Yesterday was World Book Day. What was the first book that had an impact on your life?
It would be something from Kermit. In high school, Kermit turned me on to a LOT. Books, authors, music, and art. Probably the most impactful was Henry Miller’s ‘Tropic of Cancer’. I am not gonna spoil it and tell you what it’s about. BUT… I will tell you it rocked my world. Everything up to then, in reading, was boring as shit. I HATED reading, it was punishment. Why? Because the schools only turn you on to boring as shit. Henry Miller was all about sex and drugs and general Bukowskian debauchery. Oh, and Kermit turned me on to Bukowski, too. Go watch Barfly with Mickey Rourke NOW if you don’t know about Charles Bukowski.
He (Kermit) showed me reading was cool, and opened up a whole world of counter culture heroes. I ended up getting a degree in literature… pretty much because Henry Miller showed me there is joy in madness and occasional sin.
Do you read “hard copy” books and mags or have your turned to digital ebooks and magazines?
Hardy copy actual books. It strains my eyes to look at computer screens to read. Plus, like you, I am a cubicle monkey who stares at computers 9 to 10 hours a day. Plus, I am often on my phone. I do not need more screen time.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Historical biographies and rock and roll autobiographies
Do you consider reading a pastime? Why or why not?
Uh… sure. I guess. Weirdly worded question. I think there is assuredly a very timeless aspect to reading a book. I love the idea that I have books that are so old that the first person who read it was using candle light… pre-electricity. Not just that they are reading the same story… but that this very book in my hand has lived a thousand lives.
Do you have a favorite book character who has stayed with you after the book was finished?
Alice, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She is my hero. She takes all this insanity around her, and is only curious and polite in return. At no time does she yell “omg, seriously. What the fucking fuck is that?” This is how most of us might handle seeing a caterpillar sitting on a ginormous mushroom smoking a hookah. That, to me, is a big bag of WTF.
you know I talk about this book a LOT. Let’s be specific, then, shall we?
I think my favorite scene is (likely) from the second book. They are all sitting around about to eat. Alice’s hosts rather politely introduce her to all the food. Normally, I guess, this would be simply the courteous thing to do. Problem, though; “everyone knows it is not polite to eat food once you have been introduced to it.” So, being ever so polite (and ever so hungry)… she never does eat.