I suppose I could wax apocalyptic about the probably-impending war against Iraq (or alternately, about the Hong Kong mystery pneumonia which may be a mutated strain of avian flu, and could well become a pandemic), but frankly there's quite enough of that already, both on E2 and everywhere else on the Internet. After all, we're only gonna die anyway. (Score one for cynicism.)

So instead, I'm going to talk about books. You see, I was reading the node for the book lotto thingie, and it occurred to me that I'm really not the kind of person to give books away (or even exchange them). Hell, I don't even like loaning them to people I know. It's not that I'm a stingy person; I'm just... I guess the best word is protective. Bibliophilia doesn't quite cover it. I mean, I can even tell you where I got most of my books. For instance:

  • My 1925 edition of Col. Ingersoll's 44 Complete Lectures came off eBay for about $7, from a woman who was selling off her late husband's belongings.
  • The Harrad Experiment was originally a book one of my parents owned that my sister swiped (I swiped it back).
  • My copy of The Dispossessed was sent to me by a friend on LiveJournal who didn't want to take it with her when she moved to Canada.
  • Gulliver's Fugitives, one of those Star Trek: The Next Generation novels, was a gift for my 14th birthday from a girl named Haley Winters.
  • Rollerball was sent to me by the owner of a secondhand book shoppe in Seattle, along with about a dozen books, only one of which (The Stars, Like Dust, a long out-of-print novel by Isaac Asimov) I had actually paid for. My guess is he couldn't sell them, so he figured he might as well give them to someone who might enjoy them.
Anyway, the point is, I wouldn't want to trade any of my books, even one that would be easy to obtain again, for an unknown.

Now, I do have a box with some books that I want to get rid of. But I figured it wouldn't be very sporting of me to trade those away to people; you're supposed to trade a book you like, and it's not anybody else's fault that I thoroughly disliked Beloved (which I had to read for a class last semester) or Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo (which was apparently a novel meant for juveniles). But this reminded me that I also have duplicate copies of some books.

So, long story short, I'm going to add a book to the pot. Probably Dune. With my luck, though, I'll probably wind up getting something like Left Behind or some Young-Earther's copy of Worlds In Collision. Oh well.