This is Why I Buy Books


With apologies to my wife, this morning I bought my second book.  By second I mean the second during my moratorium not to buy any. The thing is I had to. Not for the usual reasons, but because Willa Cather is buried near where I live. As I read a review in the Wall Street Journal of  a new book of Cather’s letters, I knew within sixty seconds I had to have the book.

Today is my last fiction writing class online from NYU. I took the class to help me decide if fiction should be part of next years year of the book. I have several ideas for non fiction books, several more for creative non-fiction articles and several dozen poems begging to be published, but no fiction stories completed. Only beginnings (Next to titles, I love beginnings).

As it stands now, and I mean right this minute, I do not plan to include fiction in my 2014 writing efforts. During class today I could very well change my mind. All of which to say, this is why I buy books. Willa Cather helped me. In 1916 in a letter to her brother Douglass, she writes, ” To write well you have to be all wrapped up in your game and think it awfully worth while.”

As I start reading The Selected Letters of Willa Cather by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout, I know the twenty bucks was worth it. This one sentence states my problem, not with writing, but with fiction. I try, but I can’t get wrapped up in it.

As I read her letters, I will most likely buy more books, hers. I might own some already, but I needed a reason to read them. Hearing how she was wrapped up in writing might be the catalyst.

As for my own writings, every time I write a nonfiction  piece or a line of poetry, I am absorbed in the process, but fiction lulls. I can’t bring the emotion, the feelings and the experience to fiction. Not yet.

If fiction is ever to appear in my writings, it will be born out of life. The reason for its birth will be because of something I care for and can’t explain any other way.  As I write of life, it is possible I will find my way to dreams.

8 thoughts on “This is Why I Buy Books

  1. SirenaTales November 23, 2013 / 9:11 am

    Oooo, now I want to buy the compilation Willa Cather’s letters! Love books! Best wishes on your book writing odyssey….

    • fictionfitz November 23, 2013 / 11:13 am

      I need to enter into Goodreads that I have started three new books. I love this kind of problem. And yes, I am looking forward to book writing next year. Thanks for your good wishes. We watched the first half of Pina last night. Fascinating how all of the dance gets put together.

  2. Carole Webber November 23, 2013 / 9:34 am

    Your reasons for buying so many books is becoming fiction, too many excuses,

    • fictionfitz November 23, 2013 / 11:09 am

      I always like backup. When I do I celebrate. Thanks for coming to the party.

  3. New Hampshire Garden Solutions November 23, 2013 / 6:39 pm

    I wonder if you ever visit the Homestead Bookshop in Marlborough? It’s my home away from home and I noticed several Willa Cather books there the last time I went.

    • fictionfitz November 24, 2013 / 8:08 am

      I have, and particular liked to visit the Science Fiction and Fantasy store next to it, but it is no longer there. When I finish the book on Cather’s letters, I will know where to go. That is if Kindle doesn’t offer them at some ridiculously low price, maybe even zero.

  4. I’ve decided book buying is the only addiction that doesn’t have a 12-Step Program. It wrecks me emotionally and physically to have a critique group meet within a big box store or even a tiny independent. It’s pure torture to sit there and pretend I’m listening when what I’m doing in my mind is running up and down each section.

    • fictionfitz December 14, 2013 / 5:38 am

      I couldn’t do it. As to to 12 step program for books, I think you have to want to be cured. I don’t think I do. Besides, what does hitting bottom mean? Covered with books? Oh no!

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