In the Turmoil

(Direct from my favorite Starbucks, on a sugar-and-coffee rush, with anti-government demonstrations marching on one side of the building and major traffic jams on the other… probably not the quietest creative place on earth!)

Book lovers are supposed to be dreamy creatures, far removed from material contingencies and the nitty-gritty. Some may be, but the more book bloggers I virtually meet, the more convinced I get that it is a silly cliché. Even if you may find yourself dreamy, you can’t be altogether ignorant of the current financial meltdown, unless you’ve just come out of a 3-month writing retreat where phones and internet were banned. So in the current situation, what’s a book lover to do? I torn between contradictory strategies:

– get to the nearest bookstore and buy lots of books to single-handedly support the economy
– in distrust of the merchant economy, swear off bookstores and join Bookmooch or other book-swapping schemes

– turn to financial self-help books or even novels related to money and/or crisis like Martin Amis’ Money or Joshua Ferris’ Then We Came to the End (finding it funny while silently worrying about lay-offs)
– turn to huge classics you’ve always wanted to read (Proust, Joyce, Balzac…), with the hope that by the time you’ll finish them, the crisis will be over and the economy, restored.

I’m tempted by all four, which is completely irrational, but hey, aren’t the guys on the stock-market behaving in the most irrational ways too?


2 thoughts on “In the Turmoil

  1. My financial advisor and all the ones I’ve read and heard talking on the radio keeps reminding me to stay calm and not worry. The wall street traders need to pay attention to the financial advisors because they all seem rather in a panic. I keep wondering the same as you. Should I buy some books? Or do I hunker down with all the ones I have already, plenty to get me through this crisis and then some. I wish I was dreamy and hadn’t a clue or a worry about the economy!

  2. Lol! Oh I’m going to keep doing what I always do which is single-handedly boost the book market. Money’s going to go down in value for a while now, so spending it while you can is definitely the way forward!

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