Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hobby vs Rules

Last weekend I went to Aksara bookstore to buy Sore’s latest album, Ports of Lima, which I didn’t purchase when it was released months ago, hoping that someone I know already owned it and let me copy it (maap, masih mental bajakan:p). I didn’t try hard enough to find it, and I finally decided to buy the album, which, compared to other commercial releases, is not expensive at all. 

It was a spur of the moment thing; I always have list of things-to-buy each month, and this month’s list seems to exceed my financial ability that I have to postpone the whole plan and end up searching for an affordable consolation price (aneh gak sih). Choice went to Ports of Lima. Moreover, me and my boyfriend didn’t have plan for the weekend. Plaza Indonesia would be nice.

But I should have learnt from past experience (why don’t we all?), that I can’t go to a bookstore without adding several books on my have-to-read/buy list. So, what supposed to be a pleasant stroll in an expensive mall in Jakarta – where I can buy nothing but books – and bringing home only an indie album was not really successful. Blame a book by Chuck Klosterman, which I haven’t seen in Aksara before, with price lower than I have paid when I bought another of his books. 

Chuck Klosterman is a pop culture critic. He has written for Spin, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Believer, and ESPN. I bought one of his books, Killing Yourself to Live, for a friend last year. I read the book too and I decided to read his writings again. I bought it for Rp189,000 in Kinokuniya. Aksara prices Rp154,000 for Killing Yourself to Live and the other book.

So I bought this other book.

Which puts me into another problem; how and when I’ll read it (I didn’t consider the little financial chaos the book had cost is a problem; I’m not even sorry), which, instead of Sore or Chuck Klosterman, is the main point of this writing. With a title Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, I will have to give long explanation to my older sister when she sees me reading it. I would not bother with the matter had not a college of mine given me an unapproving look when she saw me reading KYL with reference “Author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs” on the cover.

Book lovers always deal with a problem; we keep buying books when we haven’t even finished reading the ones at home. I haven’t finished Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas, which is quite expensive for me but I bought it because I was so curious to read Chuck’s other books and CK IV was the only one –besides KYL – I found in Jakarta at that time. It was the collection of Chuck’s articles, most of which are interviews with rock stars, with notes and updates for each. Meanwhile, S,D,&CP gives us his sight of popular culture in America, mostly about insignificant things. He laughs at people only to joke about himself. 

I finish almost every book I read before moving on to another. Sometimes I read two books at the same time, though not simultaneously (actually I’m also reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink now). I stick to this rule. So in this matter I have to finish CK IV before reading S,D,&CP. But chronology is also important. If I haven’t read both, I would read S,D,&CP, published in 2003, prior to CK IV, 2006. 

So, will I read S,D,&CP first? Yes. Chronology is more important to me. But it’s not as easy as I think. I pick a random page of S,D,&CP, and found a story about Billy Joel. I was engaged by the lines about Billy and his wife, whom he wrote the song I Love You Just the Way You Are for, divorced several years after it won the Grammy for Song of the Year. 

Coincidently I found an article also about Billy Joel in the next chapter I am currently reading in the CK IV. The words of the paragraph about the divorce are quite much the same. The article was published in 2002. Now what? Chronology is no longer significant here. CK IV is published in 2006 but some articles are not even newer than S,D,&CP. Then I read the note for the Billy Joel article in CK IV (finally the notes are of any use, well I don’t mind the notes anyway). It explains that Chuck wrote S,D&CP in 2002, forwarded the rough essays to his editor at the New York Times Magazines for some opinion. The editor was surprised to know that he likes Billy Joel. He asked if he wanted to write about Billy Joel for Times, and he said yes. So that is the answer. He wrote about Billy Joel for S,D&CP first. But the article appears first. Since I found the paragraph with 95 percent words are the same, I think it’s no big deal which one to read first. I think I’m just making things complicated. I planned to read CK IV Billy Joel article before S,D&CP, but it is more likely that I will read S,D&CP tomorrow morning during my commute to office. S,D&CP is thinner and lighter, thus easier to carry, than CK IV. It’s already late now; I have no time to read CK IV’s Billy Joel article.

Message from the article: don’t waste your time with rules for a hobby


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. i mean i favour not ending an article w/ such statement. Sorry..

  4. iyyaa ngertiiiii
    you don't have to explain yourself (dan bikin deleted comment banyak begitu, you change your mind often eh?)

  5. i don't change my mind often
    i do care my grammar :)

  6. halah..taunya perseteruan son ma al ih disini:P

  7. iyyaaa... i do care about my grammarrrr, bawweeeelll

    awalnya mo pake "with" tp rada binun
    bedana apa? (oon mode on"

  8. bedanya sama "with"?
    udaaahhh terima aja. bener jg ada yg bilang kalo jangan bertanya kalo malu2in :p

  9. honestly, i like this post :p booklovers have some odd habits n oftenly seem shopaholic

    when i was librarian for 3 years, i'm satisfied by reading only the forewords or back covers of somebooks. Now i regret not reading those amazing books in depth as i have to buy them with my own money :( i used2finger 3 - 4 books for library collection monthly and have books budget of 3 - 4 million rupiah in annual basis :D (remember it's pre-monetary crisis era with kurs Rp 2.500 per dollar)