Thursday, July 11 2019

books, reading, and comics

609 words

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Dear Journal,

I really need to read more. I’ve been staring at my bookshelf for the past few minutes, waiting for the coffee to kick in, and I got looking at the books on my shelf. Most of the books are non-fiction. I have a whole bunch of textbooks from school that I kept around, as well as a handful of programming books. I’ve always had a hard time getting into non-fiction, and I think that’s because I consider time spent on a bad piece of fiction is time wasted. Text books, on the other hand, are a little more forgiving. Even if the book is not great at explaining things and you are having a hard time connecting to the examples, I usually still benefit from just spending time trying to learn something. I think sometime last year I tried to learn C. I picked up this book from Barnes and Noble called “learn C in 30 days”. You can do amazing things in C, and a lot of really smart people demonstrate that. And after reading the book and working through the examples, I wouldn’t claim to be an expert. But I think I learned just enough C to decide that I don’t like it.

Learn C in 30 Days is leaning up against Peter Siebel’s Practical Common Lisp. I think I only battled half way through the book before it fell by the wayside. It was good, but the ironic thing is it just wasn’t feeling very practical. I stopped trying to write Lisp because it was too hard to find examples of Lisp that were actually accomplishing something other than teaching someone how to write lisp.

All that to say is I feel like I need a new book. Speaking of books, my sister told me yesterday that my mom has had her Amazon account since 1998, and you can still look all the way back in the purchase history to see what books we were buying (you know, back when Amazon just sold books). One of my first purchases from Amazon through my mom’s account was a book called The Mars Diaries. It was a book series about this kid who was raised on a human Mars colony and, when he was a baby, had surgery that would allow him to control robots. There were five of them in the series, I think, and I read them all. You know for someone who hates fiction, I really miss the feeling of getting swept up into that story.

I also have a few comic books on the bottom shelf. In college, I tried to really get into them. I had a few when I was really little, and I guess I was trying to use that as my foot-in-the-door to get into a new hobby later in life. I bought those on Amazon. A few years ago, I tried perusing the comic book store near our house. I attempted to talk shop with the guy and throw around my knowledge of how they had recently completely rebooted the Spider-Man storyline by allowing mephisto to reset the timeline and send an older, married Peter Parker back to high school to a time where he never met Mary Jane, but the classic smug comic book store guy (who honestly could have been right out of a Simpson’s episode) quickly sniffed me out as an imposter and informed me my information was at least a decade old, and Miles Morales was Spider-Man now.

Well I’m out of time. I got to get to work. Let’s have a great Thursday, everyone!