Monday, October 11, 2010

Resolved: Anything that can be published, will be

I've heard that America's Library of Congress adds 1000 books to its collection every day. I wonder how many of our congress-persons make the effort to keep up? 

Me, I tend to come away from a visit to the (more modestly endowed) library near my house with more books than I can read in the allotted time, especially since I go there once a week or more.

Recently I started feeling stressed by a pile of them on my desk. "I've got to read that book!" I thought. Well, in fact, I don't got to. So one day I swooped up the lot of them and took them back. Even if I didn't read them all this time, I know where they live.

Of course, I have a new pile now. Here are some of the items I decided not to check out. It seems there is a market - or at least a publisher - for everything.

1. A book of patterns for knitting covers for one's hot water bottle. I applaud the author for wanting to introduce craft and beauty to the average household. I just wonder how many households include even a single hot-water bottle?

I also feel absolved from taking this book out for a whirl by the simple fact that I do not knit.

2. Android Karenina, the latest of the "quirk classics," a collection made up of literary works - all in the public domain - with which secondary authors have re-mixed with snarky new plotlines and motives. You probably heard about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Those ones - and several others featuring mummies and vampires - sound rather too dark for me. And I suspect most of the additions run toward sex and violence.

I might take greater pleasure from this, a "steampunk take on Anna Karenina," which "discards tsarist Russia for an alternate reality where a miracle metal, gronzium, has fueled the development of a thriving robot culture. Carriages and candlesticks persist, but everything is mechanized, including the near-sentient humanoid robots who aid and comfort their upper-class owners."

Seen anything lately that got you thinking, "I wonder how that got published"?

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