Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Want It, I Need It, I've Got To Have It

Throughout my life I've occasionally been bitten by the got-to-have it bug. I'd read a review of an album by an artist I'd never heard of and run out and buy it. Sometimes that was a fruitful purchase--I picked up My Aim Is True based on a feature in Rolling Stone magazine on Elvis Costello in, what, '77? '78? Sometimes not so much. Ten years ago or so my friend and co-worker Rayshaun got an early version of an electronic planner and I just had to have one too. After spending hours mastering the weird script you had to use to make normal letters appear on the screen when you scratched on it with the cute little stylus, I used it for a few weeks and then lost it.

In recent years my yens have more often than not been for books. Earlier in the year I was whipped into a frenzy by pre-pub buzz about Justin Cronin's The Passage, and waited eagerly by the door to get the copy I'd pre-ordered from Amazon (don't judge me--I was still separated from Borders and pretty mad. I didn't think they deserved my business. Does that make it my fault that the Westwood store is closing next year?). That one turned out well; I quite liked it and wait--though perhaps not quite so eagerly--for the next installment in the trilogy.

This is my most recent got-to-have:

I saw it in the store and thought to myself how beautiful it was. Then I started reading the reviews and that's when that familiar itch started. I wanted it. No, I needed it. How could any good library not have a copy of this oh, so important book, a full century in the publishing?

And now I have it. It's a beauty, it really is. And so far I've managed to work my way about six pages into the long, scholarly introduction.

That's okay. It's there for me...and someday I'll make it to the actual meat of the book.

So what was your most recent got-to-have-it book? 


lisa :) said...

I'm usually only "Got to Have It" with books that are part of a series. But I've been really intrigued by The Autobiography of Mark Twain too. I recently took a trip to Hannibal, Missouri and learning about his childhood and early writing career really made me want to know more about his life!

EnriqueFreeque said...

Five or six years ago the L.A. Times ran a piece on the Dalkey Archive publishing an audio version of The Tunnel narrated by William H. Gass himself, and while I didn't buy the audio version, the book sounded so fascinating to me, I literally went out and grabbed it the same day. Excellent read, up there w/the most challenging, erudite, encyclopedic tomes of the 20th century. A book thirty years in the writing.

Sam said...

I agree with Lisa, I usually only "have to have it" if it's part of a series. I was desperate for the last Harry Potter!

My last non-series 'have to have it' was Zahi Hawass' autobiography. I teach Ancient Egypt and I just love him.

Barb said...

I agree with Lisa that my "Got to have it" usually only happens with books that are part of a series. I like to think I have pretty good willpower, but last week "Santa" put "Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing a Lord" by Sarah MacLean - the second in a series - in my basket at Target while I was Christmas shopping. (I am, however, still without an e-books....still reading on my computer...that might crumble with Boxing Day sales :) ) That book about Twain looks intriguing!