Sunday, January 29, 2006


I don't talk about my superpowers much, but ever since I was a little kid I've been able to bring characters trapped within the pages of books to life. It's quite simple, really. I just hold the book in front of me and focus my eyes to look through not at the page. After a few moments the words and pictures (if there are any) swirl and spiral around the page, kind of like when you plop a few drops of cream into hot coffee and the clouds of white cream spin within the confined atmosphere of your coffee cup. The page fills up with a mixture of color, light and darkness and out steps Phillip Marlowe. Or Madame Bovary. Or whoever I want. When other kids were outside playing in the dirt I was in my room bouncing around and making lots of noise with Curious George and Babar the elephant.

Of course, as I got older my friends and playmates changed. Dragons crammed into my closet, orcs nestled under my bed. I played catch with Hercules. Played hide-and-seek with the Hardy Boys (both of of them). For a long time I hung out with Valentine Michael Smith from Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. I never figured out how to levitate but the word "grok" still pops out of my mouth occassionally.

After years of practice I entered grad school for writing. I liked creating my own characters and bringing them to life, but they often lacked a little substance. They were pale in color, almost see through, and I could push my hand through them like jello. I learned how to make them more real, more pronounced and even, on occasion, bigger than life. But still, nothing beats the classics. So I kept buying more and more books to meet, speak and pontificate with more and more characters.

And now I enter phase three of my plan.

I just began a new masters program at Catholic University, this time in library science. My focus here on the blog is likely to change as my reading changes. I'll bring up interesting issues as they come up in my studies, and time between actual book reviews is likely to be longer than it was in 2005. To supplement I'll be adding links to other blogs, both local and non-local, and highlighting some of their posts from time to time for alternate readings.

But back to my plan.

After a couple more years of school I'll should have a job that gives me direct access to more books and more characters than I could ever hope to read in my entire life. With the future job, the characters won't just talk to me; they''ll talk to anyone who asks. And just imagine all the characters I'll have at my disposal.

Friar Tuck. Humpty Dumpty. Albert Einstein. Alfred E. Neuman. Atticus Finch. Copernicus. The Spirit. Sergeant Rock. Yosarrian. The entire pantheon of greek mythology.

And on.

And on.

We'll gather together daily and change the world. One book at a time.


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