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~The Book Club!~

It never grows old and we never grow tireless of it!

By Jennifer CooleyPublished 11 months ago 27 min read
T.V. IS Educational Every time somebody turns 1 on I go into another room & read a book

August 11th, 2023!

The Book Club!

It never grows old and we never grow tireless of it! 🙂

The problem with today is that because we’ve changed into such a fast paced, let’s get everything done NOW world, it has displaced some of us people known as READERS and writers! So now it is much harder to find the time to keep up on the reading of the books we’d like to have accomplished within a certain amount of time! And with all the changes in technology it has brought us to a very difficult place and time in our lives, with the awkwardness of what to do about our options around our beloved, glorious habit of books?

What am I getting at here? Well, simply put it is all about HOW we split our time AROUND our interests in the wonderful world of those writers whose works come before us and our own work with far less time available today, for those of us from slower times, when and how do we get it all done? WHICH BOOKS do we READ in PAPER or HARDCOVER COPY?

And WHICH BOOKS do we own and read on Kindle or listen to on AUDIBLE in order to keep up with our desired goals in what we want to accomplish let’s say an average 1 month cycle?

Growing up in the world during my childhood, these available options were not a part of my choices on how to complete the task of reading those 7 books of Stephen King you bought and are dying to read so badly, while trying to balance going to school, do homework, chores etc..!

When I was a child, we had to ACTUALLY just READ REAL BOOKS, the ONLY exception was of course being able to LISTEN along to the TAPES of Audio recordings of books as we followed along with the words in the copy of the books we have that came as part of the purchase deal!

So if a person said hey I want to finish reading these 30 books within a certain time frame back in the old day, they would have to actually schedule in a plan of personal reading time around their work life and other family and living duties (including our own beloved writing careers and die hard habit that never quits on us, with only a pen and paper in hand if we so much as see the likes of both at the same time within our reach) in order to get all of our desired reading done lol. Making the schedule of reading all the work you’d like done by a certain time an even more unique (by well loved) task back in those days! I will put it to you this way, by sharing a fairly famous quote from Groucho Marx that some of you should know…. “I find television very educational, every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book!” And that about sums it all up for those of us from way back then, compared to today’s generation of book lovers and readers and the choices they are faced with making every day around everything they do most specifically of course their own talents, passion and interest around books and the written word?

Today nobody has to use a pen and paper, it’s a choice, but back then there was no option, so the question remaining is which one creates better writers and readers, and which method is the one most trustable and reliable for your peace of mind and comfort? I mean paper (means you have to correct your own mistakes, have the skills and confidence to know the difference in what needs fixing to be ready for sharing, to essentially know what you are doing in this field) but it also gets wrecked when wet and set on fire. But computers crash, accidentally turn off, (losing all of your UNSAVED information, which I just had happen to me the other day, which I won’t get into here but it wasn’t a feel good day for me then) and their chips fry, and flash-drives only have a limited life span before you can no longer plug it in and access that very important information on it! And that’s when the computer experts at your local Staples of Geek shops have you by the kahuna's because they can charge you whatever they want in order to access that needed information.

I have literally been quoted that my 2 to 8 gig flash drives will cost me $500 EACH if I want them to get the information for me bad enough! Needless to say, I have yet to PAY that amount to recoup the information on any of my dysfunctional flash drives. But I DO KNOW the DAY IS COMING when I am going to HAVE to hand over an obscene amount of money to rescue the material on the now nicely accumulated stack of flash drives I have that no longer work! I can only hope I’m a Billionaire by then or some kind of Super-Star of sorts so I don’t have to think about it and wince at the receipt I’m handed back the day I’ve finally paid for them all! :/

Now I LOVED THEN having to READ REAL BOOKS, but I’ve had to DIGRESS, about today’s system; I have had to learn to ACCEPT the CHANGES and conveniences in these other options and the savings in costs of expensive book buying habits as well as the TIME saved. Thus we can choose to READ the physical books with what available time one has, around our goals of accomplishing the tasks we set for ourselves. All of which of course has to do with our focused and loyal desire to one day ultimately acquire the Great Works or Library of books, WE ALL want to so proudly dawn and point to, when others come to visit or we are in an online meeting on our computer and all everyone can see is that GLORIOUS PERSONAL LIBRARY that stands right behind you or your head rather and where you’re sitting! :-)

Using modern technology allows us to increase the pace in which we can accomplish our library of completed works, and or have the option to DIVIDE HOW you go about accumulating your collection! Like it or not though, whether some of us may feel that’s too many options, and just not right with the classic standard of creating personal libraries and attaining books, IT IS HERE TO STAY! So we have to make the best of it! We have to now look at what is best, or how best to achieve what it is WE PERSONALLY WANT in spite of this fast moving ever changing world and what its doing! For at the end of the day when all is said and done, when we look back on our life we want to be able to still see that we can SMILE about our accomplishments and be happy and satisfied with the results we got regarding all of our years of hard work and effort!

We must all confess to the reality that if you LOVE to WRITE and LOVE books then indeed we are all LIBRARIANS, inside our hearts of hearts one way or another! And that 1 common thread that binds us together, like strong glue and or anchor rope it is THAT our interest and desire to have a LIBRARY OF OUR OWN, where we can proudly say when asked… that WE HAVE INDEED READ all the books people see sitting there on the shelves, or that we are IN the PROCESS or soon will begin reading them, for those people to understand why they are there! That we can enjoy having long conversations about books and the stages and efforts of attaining our wonderful collections of them!

There is OH so much to talk about with people who know so little about our world of reading and writing and collecting, and it never ceases to amaze me how little they understand or are able to follow along!? I mean this in the cutest and most heartfelt humorous way… because I do truly love my friends and those closest to me, but still it never stops to amuse me, in how much time I can spend teaching them about books and or essentially how to just come to know and understand me better! :) I love having this conversation with people, I can’t get enough attention on the subject of all the books I own and what people think and not only want to but find themselves HAVING TO SAY or ask when they see it all! LOL

The most common questions or remarks AFTER being asked if I have read them all is,

1. How do you keep everything you are reading all in order?

2. Gee it must be really hard to move those books around, they must be heavy?

3. Wow, I can only imagine how EXPENSIVE it is to have a book collection habit or interest of this size, how do you afford them all?

And the list of conversational questions go on!

Of course those of us who LOVE collecting books and challenging ourselves to read everything we own, don’t find the habit a nuisance or expensive at all. And over time we learn how to organize our minds and how our habits around our books work! It’s not difficult, I tell people all the time…

1. I always have organized shelves of all my prized FINISHED BOOKS on designated shelves that I do not mix with unfinished or not started material!

2. One should always have designated shelves of material you are in the midst of reading, I myself can have as many as 7 to 10 books on the go that I’m reading at one 1 time at any point in my life! (People who do not read, just think THAT’S A FEAT that this is awesome in of itself) but those of us who read and write prolifically, well… WE GET IT! 🙂

3. Also as a person who should want to be a good host and positive encourager of the good works, pleasure and habit of reading and what that can give; then there should always be a shelf with books for our family members, friends or visitors to look through and have the freedom to read. Books we no longer have interest in, nor are we worried if they get lost or ruined if they should be borrowed. Books we found or had donated to us, or books we may know are good for those without a great personal reading habit as a good comfortable place to start, but are also not of any interest to us!

4. THIS IS VITAL TO KEEP OUR SANITY when negotiating the VALUE and WORTH of all our other books and their SENTIMENTAL worth to us and or dedication in time spent reading them carefully, to keep them in such a wonderful state, and the expenses in money spent to own those books! Books we’d about DIE or lose our SHIT over if we lost! I mean like we couldn’t even go to work much less concentrate on DOING OUR JOBS at WORK if we even DID MANAGE to get to work! In short it is important that we keep our sanity when around that whole world of non-appreciative, non-book reading people!

Losing our cherished works because of people who just wouldn’t lose a nights sleep or bat an eye over the accidental loss or wreckage of our wonderful Collected works Of Sherlock Holmes or Virginia Woolf, (well it simply would be the END OF THE WORLD as we know and understand it, would it not) and therefore just simply CANNOT HAPPEN to us, for we would JUST NEVER BE THE SAME! So it is important we have the set rule and that respectable line drawn between the books that people can look at and touch from those books of ours that are OFF LIMITS to the WORLD! For the sake of OUR SANITIES and that of a much more peaceful household, for those others in our lives we love who don’t quite understand our Book Club Love and what would really happen if all this perfectly wonderful order for us and our lives didn’t remain the way we need it to be!

5. As for the weight of the books we own and moving them around, I always point out don’t you ever notice the trend of the SIZE of the backpacks, sturdy BAGS and PURSES those well known book reading friends of yours have? We almost never go anywhere without something to read, and we are always prepared for the occasion of the day and what we will be doing and which books and writing supplies this means we will be bringing with us for that day, including weather conditions and whether we will be spending more time inside or outside for that day! Essentially we book lovers have got this down to an art! Our books, small or large, don’t bother us at all! :-) But when it comes to literally relocating somewhere home and life wise, well the whole intent and purpose of owning personal libraries for people like us is to find places where we can SETTLE DOWN and HUNKER in for a LONG TERM PERIOD, for a wonderful foreseeable future in our book reading and collecting and writing lives!

When you see someone come to that point in life where they have a tremendously large collection of works then you can pretty much be certain in knowing your friend or family member is at that point and time in life where they want to OWN A HOME of their own, where they can create that library dream come true, and spend decades just inviting people over to view and enjoy their prize collection as much as the collector does! Which is rarely ever the case, people will smile and be polite and acknowledge one’s great fortitude, focus, energy and time to put together such a large body of work, and they will earnestly TRY and listen and understand us for a few minutes too! But pretty much as quickly as the prize collection is shown and the collectors esteemed joy and glow on their face while speaking is still happening, those whom that library was shared with are already interested in moving onto other agenda’s or items of business for the day and why they are there visiting ones home for that day!

All I have to say is… that it’s their loss and at least they were given the chance and opportunity to come to join the other side of the Book Club Joy way of life that we love living on! :-)

Anyway… In short DON’T MOVE often if you don’t want to have to give away your original copies of something, or see your books lost and destroyed. But when and if one must travel, then proper safe storage, and with someone or someplace you TRUST is the only way to go! You should also have some good, responsible book safe storage tips too, before you do this! No matter how many years I’ve been living my life WITH books a part of it, I can still confess I DO NOT HAVE THEM ALL, no matter how good I have been about all my years of work and effort, there is unfortunately loss that is suffered around the parts of mainstream daily living as we grow that causes losses in our lives! So the object here is to try and do as little hard (long term) damage to our lives causing ourselves as little emotional damage or disappointment as possible!

For me I will share this personal confession of those trying moments in life around books that for me changed things forever! I lost my Anais Nin Fire Book, I was somewhere at the halfway point of reading this BEAUTIFUL LARGE COPY rendition I loved to so proudly dawn that I owned during every opportunity I could get! Now this book was expensive for its time back in the day when I purchased it, it was around $30 THEN, and today her work is of course worth a much higher value! She is one of those writers whose collection just continues to go UP in price! So I’ve never brought myself to replace it, because buying a 2nd book of something one cherishes so much changes everything about the relationship and the emotions between the book owner and reader of that said first original copy!

In light of my stubborness in holding out and holding onto the hope that I haven’t actually lost it for good, forever type of thing, I keep hoping that I’ve only misplaced her and that through faith and prayer I will 1 day find my beloved copy of Fire again! And I just wanted to share a few perfect words that sort of sums it all up for me and my experience in how the works of just 1 writer of such value as Anais Nin has affected my life for discovering her and this Novel Fire… that I was indeed getting so much joy and satisfaction out of reading, going to places in time I didn’t live or exist in, without ever leaving my reading chair or home! Words penned so well on pages that I CAN SEE THE MOVIE of the story playing out in my head, parts of it in black and white and parts of it in color, the characters in the work, what they are wearing and the surroundings around them all! (OH that hotel room and the things that went on in there… Sigh!) Oops that was a bit off course, but one’s really got to love those tangents now and again as it really does get the point across well for those of us who love words, reading them, writing them, or discovering others who love using them just the same! 🙂

These are the words to describe my daily living experience living in said state…that I have to go through life daily with this HUGE HOLE in my Cultural, Emotional and Spiritual Awareness and well-being, because of not being able to FINISH the Copy I bought! I share this only because I bet there are others like myself who can confess to living through the same thing or something very similar! Living without FINISHING BOOKS we start because we no longer have the copies of the books we were reading from, or no longer have access to them… well that’s simply 1 of the HARDEST things in the world, in life for a DIEHARD READER and Writer to do in life, live without finishing something! It means a big void that is never fulfilled in our time here. It means something we are working on will always be plagued by the information our creative minds and souls are missing in order to be able to FINISH the writing of! And well I could just go on!

I would love to know how others are living affected by similar stories of lost works you never got to finish and simply have not been able to own again since and why? It should be interesting to compare notes on how that affects our lives around our shared passions and common interests in life around books and our writing careers? Personally, I think it also makes for a great follow up story!

O.K. now on with the numbers game to make my point to this article…

6. To turn my attention now to how expensive buying and owning actual books happens to be! Well this all comes to how much ingenuity and creative ways in attaining your wonderful collection of works you happen to have that defines how cheap, expensive, easy or hard it is to come by what one successfully achieves? Some people love going to yard sales for the list of older works they want to own and read, and many of us (myself included of course) I love to go to those old 2nd hand book shops with stuff priced to sell and collectors items that they know are worth the price they have on them!

Here you can BARTER with the shop owners based on how much you are willing to spend for the amount of books you are looking for, to go home with on that day, when you are in there with them! Quite often because these shops don’t get the amount of visitors they’d like, ya know to actually be busy like the new age trendy book stores, (and make that same kind of money) since what they sell is specialized to certain groups of readers, writers, and collectors, this means they have to compromise in order to land those bucks from us!

Through compromise, the Book Shop owner learns wholeheartedly that the books they are agreeing to sell and let go of to you is going to a CARING owner, a passionate and responsible lover of books! So they are enjoying the process of getting to know the book shopper and the equal love and fervor both sides in this barter have for the wonderful works of words they are heckling over! When all is said and done usually, you have smiles on the faces of everyone around the wonderful event, and very satisfied people when all go their separate ways for that day! And that is by far one of my favorite things to do around my book shopping addiction and needs! It is also why I make sure I do not go into those shops too often, I go when I have a planned time and budget to enjoy myself in them! For me there is no other way, I would otherwise then have more books then money and no place to put them all!

Of course we mustn’t forget those friends and families, colleagues or College and University friends who have all just FINISHED a certain chapter in their lives, where some of them need to UNLOAD that part of life OR like others still who actually DON’T LIKE BOOKS and once COMPLETING their Educational journey and accomplished their goal in reaching their career they don’t actually want to SEE or READ ANOTHER BOOK again for YEARS or ever in their lives! And so we have the reward and joy in receiving from those people who have books they are just GIVING AWAY! You know… ‘those if you want them, come and get them type of people’ and opportunities book nuts like us could never fathom of ever turning down! In these collections one can actually find some really GOOD GEMS. I know I am certainly thankful for many of the wonderful books I have in my collection that I got through these FREE BOOK connecting opportunities!

When these books are owned by hard working people, whether in school for years to get a law degree or PHD, or working hard in their field of expertise while they are owned by them, often times they will at the very least know and understand the VALUE of the books (whether they never got around to reading and enjoying some of them them or they have just moved on from that place in their lives) they have respect for the books and understand they have worth if not to them at least to somebody else. Therefore they take good care of them for the years they have them in their ownership! So we inherit the benefit of pristine and clean and near mint and hardly ever read books for nothing but the gas or bus fare we spent to go get them!

And when people look at our collection they are automatically thinking that all of those books are brand new, when in fact they are not, as we are thinking when smiling back at them speaking about the library collection (keeping that little secret to ourselves) until the moment comes when we have to confess they are hand me downs or free books and not books we in fact bought new! Without question if all of us Book Nuts had to buy EVERYTHING NEW we clearly most certainly would NOT have as many books in our collection and ownership as we now do!

7. And last but not least of course we MUST and DO have those BELOVED WRITERS and works that we could not and would not FATHOM owing USED! There are writers whose careers we at all costs, no matter the expense must and WILL SUPPORT directly by way of purchasing those important items BRAND NEW! Some of our collections of works, whether a series or just that of favorite works of a certain acclaimed group of beloved and favored professionals, (just can’t be read any other way) than by hand and as NEW books! It is these works that we SAVE our PETTY CASH, IMPULSE or PLANNED SAVINGS, for OUR BOOK COLLECTION GROWTH FUNDS, FOR! (WOO that was hard to say in one breath, but it was also fun, so I sure hope it was understood?) It is THEN we have those glorious moments of ZEN in our life wherever we are with our loved NEW BOOK collection to enjoy and hold onto where all of life feels like it is in Perfect working order, and that somehow so long as we have this perfect balance of PEACE and joy with our books that we can and will get through ANYTHING IN LIFE ahead that is throw at us as it comes our way! 😀

And there ya have it, the Perfect Balance to life and the Perfect balance to being owners of books and readers of books, all the while pursuing our love and passion of the reading and writing of books! In short, with all of that working right in life, like a well oiled machine then it simply can’t be said in any other words than… “ It just Doesn’t Get Any Better Than That”! Amen!

With all of the above now discussed and set aside all that is left to be daunted by in our current world system (to close my thoughts around my opening ones about our modern world) is WHEN to USE KINDLE (IF YOU ARE EVEN a KINDLE USER, I MYSELF DO NOT OWN ONE, I HAVEN’T BROKEN my standards and given in to that yet). However on the other hand as a writer sharing my work independently as a self-published professional, I do have my work out there on Amazon available for those who DO USE Kindle and like to download copies of the work they want to read! Is that wrong or right of me? In the end I guess I’ll never truly know, because of how little it will ever matter and make a difference in my life and it’s career, considering most of my work will never be read and collected through Kindle anyway! lol

Moving on from Kindle (as I don’t know much about that trend, being that I’m not part of it) we mustn’t forget audible and other Apps of this nature we have now, where your books can either be READ TO YOU and you have the largest selection of books in the world that you can imagine at your fingertips to LISTEN to and never have to worry about OWNING copies of, either used or new! And here it is where the BOOK CLUB GEEK IN ME no matter my age LOSES HER SHIT… because just like my standard of refusing to own an MP3 or MP4 and buying people’s songs only 1 at a time for 99 cents, I have such a DIFFICULT TIME not feeling GUILTY in SOME WAY for OWNING and USING AUDIBLE in my life today! Because here I sit still wondering how many of these books I’ve already listened to and all the books left to get through in my library whether or not I will still be stubborn enough to NEED TO OWN, Or like feel emotionally compelled and convicted to believing and feeling is a MUST OWN (at least in my mind)!

To show my PHYSICAL PRIDE and collection of works, to show my support to the writers, the industry and the community or readers, writers, book sellers, and collectors!

Who would I be, if after a lifelong stable, loyal habit and highly esteemed standard of keeping my eye on the prize by never wavering on the value of such effort and upholding such relevant and valuable law around books and this industry in OWNING and READING as many of the REAL THINGS as I CAN… IF I WERE SUDDENLY to STOP DOING THIS and USE my AUDIBLE (only) as a NEW REFORMED WAY or standard of adding and sharing my collection of body of works to my library? My struggle is real on whether it is alright to split your library between traditional and modern ways, and I will probably fight with this matter within my own core values and standards in some way for the rest of my life! lol

I mean I already went mad enough as a young growing girl having to go from Beta, to VHS, and then on to CD and DVD leaving behind, Vinyl, record players, TAPES and walkmans! I had spent a better part of my early years building my own great collection of tapes and records, and I LOVED WALKMANS with big FAT (with the PH) kind of heavy, but COMFORTABLE headphones! And LORD don’t even GET ME INTO talking about typewriters! So who would I be NOW, TODAY if I suddenly decided it is O.K. to jump ship and have a change of thought, opinion and view around how a writer and a reader and collector can go about doing what it is they so love to do? Ya, know one of those things they just do best in life? :/

In closing the question here to be asked now is “Where does this change leave us?”

I know I for one will continue to struggle with this place and time in my life, with the value, and convenience, and worth behind everything I do, and how all that matters in my life long pursuit in what I love and how important it is in the grand scheme of things in the industry, in the world around me and everyone else all these changes in technology effects!

I will just take a great big guess here now, (speaking for myself), to end the crisis I’m living through in finding the right answer of what the perfect happy medium in the world today looks like is?… That 1 day it will come down to my actually BUYING copies whether from used shops where books are kept in great care or ordering them new to add to my PHYSICAL stay at HOME library collection of books, where they too will one day finally sit in pristine condition as part of the 8. Point to my series of answers around the rules and life and questions of true lovers of books, reading and writing them, mentioned above and my understanding of it all!

That I too will indeed have rows and collections of works that I have bought or had given to me that have never been or ever will be read! And I HAVE TO ADMIT THIS CONFESSION IS A BIG ONE FOR ME! Because THIS is the 1 THING I swore, starting out as a 13 yr old writer with stars in her eyes and a dream of taking on the world with her pen, paper, typewriter, and imagination, and as an avid reader and lover of collecting books that I read or wanted to read, that I swore I’D NEVER DO!

I always said I wanted to be different, I wanted to be the one to do differently, (get it RIGHT in my young head at that time as I understood it) I didn’t want to be someone who has books in her personal home library that would never be read! I always imagined my collection would be works that I would have flipped through the pages of, devouring every word before putting it in its proper perfect place on the right shelf for the rest of it’s (owned by me) natural life!

Because fast forwarding to now and my being 48 I’m on the entire opposite other side of that conversation, life and career with self, (in regards to that 13 yr old I once was just starting out) and with that maturity and time on my side today, I do have the clarity of mind and understanding in WHY many of the great minds in our passing history have indeed owned many a book, that was never read personally by them or ever by anyone who had held it in their hands and passed it on to see to its sacred place in history and collection.

Where many are today for all the value of what is in them and what that means they were worth then and are (even more so now) worth to us today, and those who will follow us in reading them and cherishing what we all do today, (and who we are helping to mold the new generation to become) in making all of us just that perfect amount of different from the rest of the world! Just the way we like it! :-) An inside thing… where either you get it, and you are IN THE BOOK CLUB for life or you are not in it at all and therefore don’t know what you’re missing!!! And that we on the inside of the Book Club are just fine with being that way! Lol Am I right, or am I right?

Some books do just have the right to hold their own value in weight and worth on their own merits for the works that they are whether we read every word of every page of it or not! And therefore it has every right to sit there proudly amongst our collection as 1 of those great, untouched works that we can be just as happy for owning, for all the RIGHT REASONS, in of itself, so that we to can share in the love we have for all the books we own, throughout our life times, and hopefully that shared love with whomever we pass them on to, rather than just to care about the ones we’ve read or are working on reading! At the end of the day Books matter, and there is not another 7 ways of slicing it, no matter the time in the world that has or is to pass!

Using Audible and apps of that nature makes it possible for me (I must confess) to collect work that I will never have to worry about needing to replace, because the spine falls apart, pages fall out, turn different colors or covers get wrecked because of how many times they’ve been touched, read and moved around and affected by surrounding climate! Now I can look forward to a new form of collection that I have, and will continue to grow books that can just sit there happily and safely, in my Audible account!

UNTIL a day may come to me that I’m in the inspired mood to read directly for myself at such a time after having ingested every word so deeply through my Newly discovered world of Audible Joy, which brings its own style and type of equal gratification and satisfaction as does READING books the traditional way… (back to my thought here) when I may choose to pull that brand new unread copy, (purchased post-mortem of my Audible experience) that waits perfectly parked in its place as the beloved book of work it is off the shelf and CHOOSE to read it in the traditional manner right then and enjoy it for what it is just the same whether I listened to it on Audible or not!!

Today’s epiphany is that I’ve learned at 48 that I get to SPLIT the JOYS of both of those experiences, much easier, and much more cost efficient and convenient then I ever could have imagined would happen and take place in the life of the writer I started out being in a world that no longer exists (except through those of us who carry the memory of those times within us).

I never would have imagined anything would bring me to today and writing this story about the Greatest Book Club I’ve ever known… that I believe, any of us out there with the same love and fervor for books and the work that we do, couldn't be more happy to be a part of then this one?

The End!

Written by,

Jennifer Cooley!

* * * * *

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About the Creator

Jennifer Cooley

I've been writing as long as I could hold a crayon! Remember writing my first story like it was yesterday at 5. I remember the details of the day, location, time, excitement & where the story was preserved for all time! Lots Born From That!

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