So, with the exception of the Stranger in a Strange Land uncut edition and my old copy of Shogun which Athena was looking at, what you see here are some of the books that come to me on a daily basis, some to be considered for The Big Idea, some for potential blurbage, and some just because, you know, people like me. Beyond this pile, there’s an even larger pile at the foot of the desk, and over by the book shelf, and in front of the bookshelf, and out in the hallway. And more come every day. I love my life, man.

But as I noted last week, I’ve fallen behind in telling folks what’s been coming in, which means I’ve failing in two things: one, keeping you informed about the upcoming books you might be interested in, and two, making you jealous about the fact I have these books and you don’t. I was thinking of ways to rectify that when it occured to me: Hey, you know what would be an excellent medium for a short announcement of what new works have arrived in the mail? If you say “why, Twitter, of course!” then you get a gold star. And if you didn’t, well, you can have a gold star anyway. Because I know you tried.

So here’s my plan: Whenever new books come into the house, I’ll note them on Twitter with a #BookHaul tag. My Twitter feed propogates on Twitter and here on Whatever, so it’ll be a great way to address both audiences (all of whom, almost by definition, like to read). And this way I’ll not feel guilty about not keeping you all informed in the manner in which you have become accustomed (or would at least be willing to become accustomed). To start it off, I will this weekend be doing a Great Accounting, in which I will catch up on many of the books on the desk, off the desk, by the bookcase and in the hall. There will be many. Having thus caught up, from thenceforth I will update at the rather more leisurely pace of when they come in.

Don’t worry, I’ll still actually talk about books here on Whatever, and will continue running Big Ideas here until BigIdeaAuthors.com is ready to go. I just see this as a good way of getting out the word on what’s new that’s arrived here at the Scalzi Compound. And it’ll make Twitter feel loved. And that’s important, too.

44 Comments on “#BookHaul”

  1. What I want to know is, who are in those photo booth like pictures at the top of the image.

  2. Throw a few ancient computer cables in there and that’s almost exactly like my work desk in the basement. Is it any wonder I don’t go down in the basement anymore?

    What you need is a script that can connect Delicious Monster to Twitter, so all you need to do is scan a barcode and it will post automagically with an Amazon link or something. That would be fun, and cool!

  3. I can see the spine of A Madness of Angels peeking out from one of the piles on the right, and it made me glee a little. I know that its presence on your desk doesn’t guarantee a read-through, but my fingers are very much crossed that it might. It’s one of those books that makes me wish I still worked in a bookstore, because I’d be handselling the hell out of it.

  4. And I thought my to-be-read pile was bad!

    Think I’m down to like just 23, nope 24, added more last weekend.

    But I AM listening to METAtropolis on my commutes every day at the moment. Fascinating piece of work.

  5. Wait just a second. You have roofers working (no concentration), and you came up with a great idea, and are putting that plan into action, which involves organization, all in one day? Who are you and what have you done with the John Scalzi who used to run this place before the great internet outage of 2009?

    And on a side note, after having moved dozens of boxes of books for a family member last weekend, I have to say that I REALLY REALLY love ebooks. Much easier to move and organize.

  6. Your office looks like Krissy will be having words with you soon.

    I’d love to have an incoming stack like yours. It’d be da bomb.

  7. Are you allowed to sell these, John?

    My first thought on seeing that pile was “go to Powell’s used book counter.”

  8. I wouldn’t sell any until at least the mmpb versions were out, just on principle, but no, I typically don’t sell them. I don’t need the cash. I do donate them from time to time.

  9. You will still occasionally post pictures of your Tower of Babble here, won’t you? We love seeing the pictures of all those stacks of books protecting your desk and every other horizontal surface from gathering dust, or cats. Plus it’s nice to get a peek at some of the covers too.

  10. Looks rather like my nightstand — especially, the books falling over and off part. Our firefighter son lectures us about the “fire load” in our house but hey, my reading addiction means I like to live a little dangerously.

  11. Fire load “Amount of combustible matter present that can act as a fuel to feed a Hostile Fire”.
    Always makes me think of the story that Ray Bradbury had to call the fire dept. to find out the temperature that books burn at.

  12. Oooh. I just finished Maelstrom by Taylor Anderson (Third out of The Destroyermen Series) and I think I see Turncoat by Butcher. (Book 11 of Dresden)

    These “friends” of yours that send you these books… have pretty good taste!

  13. I like the Twitter idea, but admit, I’ll miss the pictures. I like seeing what you have and getting caught in the “ooh, shiny” of a particularly lovely cover.

  14. “Fire load”…heh. You learn something new every day.

    With the amount of books in our house, the place would burn for three weeks, I think.

  15. I don’t know why, but I just imagined a South Park/Heinlein mashup: Stranger in a Strange Land: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

  16. Start reviewing, Lee. If you get a big enough following, or work for free for one of the bigger online zines you can request ARCs, or will have them sent to you by the zine. All you have to do is produce well written reviews.

  17. Joyce@24 Feeding a hostile fire? Does that mean that the books have to worry about friendly fire as well?

  18. You should definately read Kay Kenyon’s series, “The Entire and the Rose”. I saw the last book at the top of the pile there. Wonderful series. Shouldn’t start with the third book though, wouldn’t make much sense.

  19. The twitter idea is OK except for those of us that actually go to a job all day. I guess I can see the last hour or so on Whatever.

  20. Man, was I ever buried under the review copy avalanche until I lucked out and inherited 12 massive bookcases from my neighborhood Borders when they mothballed their DVD section. Their loss is my gain. I literally had to evacuate my master bedroom, repurpose it as my library, and move myself into bedroom #2. But that’s what you put up with when you’re a psychobibliophile.

    It’s actually unusual to see everything going up on shelves. It’s like, “Oh yeah, I have that. Forgot.”

    And I still get rid of more than I keep!

  21. Re:@32 — It should probably be pointed out that one doesn’t need to establish a Twitter account, let alone have to watch it all day, to keep up with something like this.

    Just bookmark Twitter Search and enter #BookHaul there to catch up at any time. Boom! you get an always up-to-date list of the Haul that you could print out to take to the library or bookstore.

  22. Charity auctions at conventions must love you.

    And, um, there’s this convention coming up….

  23. This is a fantastic idea, John, with the added bonus that you get organized on exactly what has been sent to you. I lust after a fire load (heh) like that, but my wife would most likely kill me. She’s already not crazy about the almost 400 books that I’m hanging onto right now.

    A suggestion: if you do still want to post photos to accompany each batch of tweets, you can use TwitPic. Posting the photo plus a description will automatically port to your Twitter account.

  24. Thomas @ 38 – “But that’s what you put up with when you’re a psychobibliophile.”

    THANKYOU!! I knew there had to be a name for the hereditary disease my whole family suffers from! Spent one morning last Christmas vacation assembling yet another bookcase for my parents, to go in the den that already has floor to ceiling bookcases on two walls!

    And I’m way overdue for more of the same myself. I mean, the last couple of times I moved I had the foresight to let the movers know I had extra boxes of heavy books so they could plan accordingly.

    yeah, fireload indeed. Between the books and quilting supplies in two of the three households, we’d burn for months…

  25. Re 38 and 42 Check out ‘A Gentle Madness’ or ‘Patience and Fortitude’ by Nicholas A Basbanes.

    Not only is there a word for it, there are two thick books about it. My father-in-law had about 25,000 (not a misprinnt) volumes in his house including stacks in the entire basement.

    I only have about 4000 and my wife a piddling 600 or so.