When I was younger, just like now, I consumed books. I read and read, churning my way through words like they were the air I needed to breathe. It’s natural then, that sometimes I didn’t remember reading the book so much as I remembered the contents of the book. I thought it was so for Treasure Island, but it was not.
Grabbing it again for free from Kobo to reacquaint myself, I realized last night that my knowledge of the book must have come from other sources… and I’d not read it before. So I got to fixing that, right quick. Now, here I sit on the other end of its pages; wishing there was much more to the tale.
With the brilliant Black Sails prequel ended and seared into my brain, and now the entirety of Treasure Island passed through my eyes, I long for some more pirate fare. It’s too bad Assassin’s Creed left the pirate theme in the dust after Blag Flag, as I’ve played too much of that to enjoy another romp through the sand. It’s also too bad that Sea of Thieves is an X-Box exclusive, as I’d like to give it a go but don’t need another box I don’t play (alongside my sedentary PS4, Vita, and PSTV).
Instead, though – I plan to visit another classic in a new form (for me). I’ve just grabbed Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park from the Kobo store, and am loading it onto my eReader right after I finish this post.
Reading; how I love thee.
I have always been the kind of person that prefers the feel of a book in their hand to a tablet or eReader performing the same task with an eBook. The feel of the book, the amount of words on the page, the smell of the pages; these are the things that I remember enjoying from my childhood. These are the signs I’m reading a book.
But not all books are easily available… eBooks, on the other hand, are pretty easy to get a hold of. Therein lies the rub.
Over the past…five or six years I’d say, I’ve been searching for a physical copy of Alan Glynn’s The Dark Fields. It’s the book that inspired the movie (and TV show) Limitless, and it’s supposed to be really, really good. The problem with that is that I don’t use Amazon (it doesn’t load properly for me for some reason – likely my ISP), and I wasn’t looking for a second hand copy; as someone who harbors some OCD tendencies, I like my books to be new and crisp.
…so this one eluded me.
Fast forward to two days ago, and I picked up a brand new Kobo Touch eReader for a cheap as hell price. Setting up, I got an email saying $5 off my first purchase over $5. I thought; “Cool, I’ll be able to grab a book right away,” and went looking. It turned out, there were a few freebies I wanted too – so I grabbed those, and then did a search.
No “The Dark Fields,” but they did have the re-brand “Limitless.” I hopped on it, but the $5 discount didn’t show. I tried entering through the email, a different email which claimed the same thing, etc. Nothing; still not taking off the $5.
So, I gave up, and tweeted my frustration to the ethos. I only had $3 in my account at the moment, and that would only get me the book if I had the discount. I wasn’t getting it ’til I hit the bank.
Or was I?
This morning, the @Kobo account on Twitter tossed me a message to contact their help account (@KoboHelp), and I did. They sorted me within 90 minutes via direct message, stating that it was indeed my free purchases that negated the $5 but they could fix that for me. They were a great help.
Now, I’ve got a good read I couldn’t get anywhere else sitting in front of me. I’m ready to dig in, and I think I shall.
But before I go, here’s a little question for you; what are you reading lately?
Absolutely nothing – but on the other hand, The Art of War is great. Having just gotten through my copy I can definitely see how it’s already affecting me. My gameplay in Fortnite, the way I’m trying to write this scene in the new book; it’s influenced by Sun Tzu, and I think it might always have been.
While I admit I’ve never read his work before, it’s come up so often – and has been adopted by so many movies, television shows, books, and even games – that I feel like I’ve always been incorporating parts of it here and there. There are scenes from OWOW (the code name of my first book) that take quite a bit from Sun Tzu’s philosophy, and I feel like that’s just natural. He’s quite obviously the de-facto source for all things war (and really all interaction against an opponent of any type), so even though I hadn’t learned from him directly there was so much that others had learned from him in their work that I’d gleaned a lot of it through situational analysis.
On the other hand, reading his work in full gives a much bigger and more thorough picture of his philosophy. You learn to consider more than just the obvious, which leads to stronger and tighter maneuvers when you come up against the same problems you might have dealt with somewhat less expediently or successfully in the past.
There are also many quotes that drive the true meaning of some of the ideals home, which obviously aren’t a part of everyone’s works. Though I’ve heard Sun Tzu quoted before, the quotes I hadn’t heard were some of the most hard hitting. One of my favourites has been; ‘War is like unto fire; those who will not put aside weapons are themselves consumed by them.’ The truth about something as violent as war (or fire) is not often so beautifully stated.
The Art of War is a book that I think anyone who struggles with an opponent should read, and it’ll be one I refer to for the rest of my life. I think it deserves to be on every bookshelf, and it’ll forever have a place on mine.
There have been a lot of “close, but no cigar” type moments for me lately, and I’m more than a little tired of them. Some of the most notable have been coming up a bit shy on the money for my image commission (I admit – I’ve been ignorant of pricing for artist), only getting to level 78 in Fortnite before the turnover (what a bunch of wasted time there at the end), and now almost buying a cheap eReader for work purposes and then getting it sold out from under me. I’m not generally someone bothered by the ebb and flow of life situations, but it seems as if my plans have been thwarted a few times too many in the last few days. It’s getting hard to keep the wheels turning when they keep slipping on the rims and wasting gas.
On a somewhat lighter note (depending on how you look at it), I put some more time in with The Art of War today. Unlike how I normally chew through books, I’m purposefully slowing down to absorb all the nuances of the philosophy – and it’s quite an enjoyable read because of that. Whoever Samuel B. Griffith is, he’s done a great job making the book accessible and cohesive for those looking to read in English. Definitely recommended to anyone trying to write intelligent interactions between strategic minds, and simply anyone looking to win any sort of battle – be it physical or mental.
I’m also looking for my next fiction read, but being as I’m picky and didn’t get that eReader for cheap I’m a bit screwed in the short term. My local bookstore has very few books, and the ones I want I’ve already got. Sure, I could order books; but that neither solves the problem of right now nor conforms to the “cheap” price tag I’m looking for at the moment. Bummer.
Well, back to poking at this new book and trying to tie up this short story somehow.
Maybe some Fortnite, too. 😛
This weekend will be a weekend of things I need to – and therefore will – continue.
Fortnite Season 5 has kicked off with a bang, and all the new bits they’ve tossed in or changed have got me addicted once again. Paradise Palms and the desert area around it are my new jams, and I’ve done well digging myself out a good landing spot. This should be fun, and that’s coming from someone who has put around ten full days (240 hours) into the game so far. 😉
This next book however, is being a bit of a stubborn jerk. I’ve thrown a few thousand words at it so far but nothing seems to stick. That said, I’ve got a few new ideas on which scene to write first – so this might be the weekend something stays on the page. The idea is very strong, it’s just that I’ve yet to be able to sew it into a story as intricate and flushed out as OWOW (the code name for my first book). It’ll get there, and I’ve got a good feeling about the next two-ish days.
As for the short story, like I said; it has potential. Just over two thousand words at the moment, it’s just not cohesive and impactful enough to be released. It needs some major finessing, but unlike the book it has been progressing here and there. You may just see it soon.
Aside from that, I have no idea what my weekend might hold. I’d be satisfied if just two of these things made some progress, but I have a feeling I’ll but putting a fair bit of time into all three and not much else; that obsession coming up to rear its insistent head.
Continue? Hell yes I’ll continue. A little bit of obsession is good for the workflow.