Saw a post on Gawker this weekend where someone detailed all the things they had purchased off Amazon in the past year and thought it might be an interesting experiment for me. There was a point where I was spending $40-50 every two weeks or so on books and DVDs and things that mostly went unread and unwatched as they piled up at an alarming rate.
The wife and I made a trip to IKEA (our third in the past month) so we could buy some more shelves and it finally hit me that I’m an idiot. Well, I mean, I already KNEW that, but still.
I actually stopped buying things, other than gifts and Kindle apps for the kids, sometime around Labor Day. Granted, this coincided with a necessary shift in funding towards beer for the college football season, but it also had to do with the fact that there was a stack of a dozen books on my nightstand with a quarter inch of dust accumulated on them. I’m fairly certain my 3 year-old scrawled “REDRUM” on top of them with her strawberry jelly tipped fingers.
Anyway, here’s a list of all the things I bought for myself on Amazon in 2013, with appropriately sad commentary…
Busy Monsters – William Giraldi
Gun Machine – Warren Ellis
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
Truth in Advertising – John Kenney
Yep…right off the bat, the unread pile of novels begins. I was so excited for each of these books, in its own right, yet haven’t managed to even crack the cover on any of them.
One Trick Rip-Off/Deep Cuts HC – Paul Pope
I’m a HUGE, like, completely GIANT-SIZED Paul Pope fan, so this was a no-brainer. However, it just sits on the shelf, unread. I’m a Pope completist to the point of spending hundreds on old posters and dealing with Mr. Pope himself to secure some things I couldn’t track down otherwise. I have a bit of Batman Year 100 preliminary artwork and the pre-press digital proofs of his Pulphope book. Hell, I even named my cat after him.
The Prince of Cats – Ron Wimberley
Speaking of cats, I heard this was a pretty cool comic book hip-hop retelling of Romeo & Juliet. Maybe one day I’ll actually read it.
I also bought the Die Hard 25th Anniversary Collection on Blu-Ray, because it was on sale and also because…DIE HARD.
And I bought a book that I already owned, but this was partly Amazon misleading me in the description and partly me being lazy. Luckily, my dad was more than willing to take the copy off my hands.
The Rules of Attraction [Blu-ray]
I have this instant gratification slash nostalgia thing where I have to have something that I just watched on TV because it reminds me that I watched it at some other point in my life on TV and I need to be able to relive that experience whenever I want (even though I just relived it and I’ve never thought about reliving it prior to that…nor will I think about it again now that I own it on Blu-Ray).
We Live in Water: Stories – Jess Walter
The Miniature Wife and Other Stories – Manuel Gonzales
I decided, prior to writing my third novel, that I was going to get into short stories, little bursts of fiction that I could sate myself with while I tried to squeeze out my own scribblings. The Jess Walter book was beyond amazing (leading me to buy Beautiful Ruins…and, subsequently, not read it yet). Oh, and lest it remain unsaid, I haven’t read The Miniature Wife either.
Imperial Bedrooms – Bret Easton Ellis
Lunar Park – Bret Easton Ellis
Obviously, seeing Rules of Attraction made me think about my past love of Ellis and how I was missing a few of his books. Of course, the reason for this is that I had outgrown his writing (both content and style). But I never let that stop me when I’m bored at work and trolling Amazon. I still haven’t read these either.
Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon TPB
Read it as soon as I took it out of the box. Love me some Hawkeye.
The Shade TPB
Loved James Robinson’s Starman…or at least what I read of it. I have all 7 hardcovers, but trailed off reading them somewhere around four or five. I was very excited when this Shade project was announced. So excited, in fact, that I took this out of the box when it arrived and promptly shoved it atop my bookshelves for 10 months. I moved it last week when I put the new bookshelf together. I like to think of the dust as a protective cover, like Gorilla Glass.
Great Pacific Volume 1: Trashed! TPB
The Unwritten, Vol. 7: The Wound TPB
The Massive Vol. 1: Black Pacific TPB
I read two out of three. Finally stopped collecting The Unwritten after purchasing but not reading the last 5 trades. It’s a good thing Scalped ended with 10 volumes, otherwise I’d still be buying those.
Numb – Sean Farrell
Battleborn – Claire Vaye Watkins
If ever there was a book that made me hate myself for even pretending to be a writer, this is it. Simply put, it’s a beautiful, effortless collection of stories that had me alternately chuckling and cursing its uniqueness.
Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors – Andrew Shaffer
Pretty good bathroom reading. Writers are a mess.
Samsung BD-E5400 Wi-Fi Blu-ray Player (Black)
Is there any other color? I think I bought this while we were on vacation at Disney World. No idea why. Was it on sale?
Slow month. That Disney trip really fucked with our bank account.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation – Michael Pollan
Absolutely LOVED In Defense of Food and enjoyed most of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Saw him on a speaking tour too (as well as Anthony Bourdain). I got really into food politics and cooking for a while when I was writing my first novel. Still enjoy cooking, but reading about food has fallen down my priority list. Haven’t read this one.
SUPERMAG – Jim Rugg
Street Angel is an amazing comic. Jim is a super nice guy. We met when I owned my comic book store. This book is sitting in a drawer in my nightstand, paged through but never really read.
The Rockford Files: Season One DVDs
Blame Matt Fraction. He kept comparing his early Hawkeye run to the Rockford Files. I was aware of the show from growing up in the 70s and 80s, but never really watched it. Decided to buckle down and watched the whole season in one weekend. Totally hooked.
Modern Vampires of the City – Vampire Weekend
People still buy CDs?
The Paleo Slow Cooker: Healthy, Gluten-free Meals the Easy Way
You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack: Cartoons – Tom Gauld
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: A Christmas For Shacktown
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: The Old Castle’s Secret
Two volumes of Fantagraphics’ amazing Carl Barks Library. I bought an Uncle Scrooge volume when I was in New York in 2012 to meet with my agent. I love me some ducks.
The Rockford Files: Season Two DVDs
Yeah, that’s right…
The History of Vegas – Jodi Angel
Another short story collection. Gave up on it about three stories in. Didn’t like the voice.
This Is Portland: The City You’ve Heard You Should Like – Alexander Barrett
My wife and I took a trip to Portland at the end of July. This cute little book actually helped us out quite a bit.
The Rockford Files: Seasons Three through Five DVDs
The ‘rents gave me an Amazon gift card for Father’s Day. These box sets are still in the original wrapping. I never finished Season Two.
Soludos Men’s Dali Shoes, Color: Charcoal, Size: 44
I bought espadrilles for the Portland trip. Comfiest shoes EVER.
Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon – Chuck Palahniuk
I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains – Chuck Klosterman
Unwritten rule: I never fly anywhere without taking at least one book of essays by a person named Chuck.
Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe – Tim Leong
The Legend of Korra – Book One: Air DVDs
Wonder Boys DVD
Get Shorty Blu-Ray
Nostalgia, pure and simple. Dennis Farina had just passed away. The Get Shorty Blu-Ray was less than eight bucks (Unrelated to Farina, I think the Wonder Boys DVD was six).
The Iron Giant (Special Edition) DVD
WWE: Legends of Mid-South Wrestling [Blu-ray]
WWE Presents: The Spectacular Legacy of the AWA DVD
The Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling DVD
Decided I needed to do some research for Book #4. Can you tell it may have something to do with professional wrestling? My dad and I just watched the WCCW DVD on New Year’s Eve (only 3 months after buying it!). The others? Unwatched to date.
Oh, I also finally bought an HDMI cable for that “new” Blu-Ray player I got in March. I’m on top of things.
Nothing! See? Beer money.
I got some birthday cash, so…
Cards Against Humanity
I have no friends, but if I did, this would be a fun game to play with them.
The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling – David Shoemaker
Excellent book about mostly dead people. “Memory/All alone in the moonlight/I can smile at the old days/I was beautiful then…”
Redken Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo for Men, 8.5 Ounce
Motorola Moto X, Black
Nothing (for me personally).
And that’s that.
I’ve made a conscious effort to try to catch up on those dusty bedside books, while also reclaiming some sort of workout regimen, cooking more, caring for my three children, satisfying my wife, and (somehow, somewhere, at some time) returning to a regular writing schedule.
I figure, with enough distractions (and illegal internet downloads), I’ll stop buying everything forever!