Wednesday, June 11

Why a flailing economy brings joy


That's right. Staples.

You see, I am a messy reader. I can be pretty hard on books. I don't know, I believe books should be experienced, not coddled. Whatever tome I am currently reading follows me everywhere. On the subway. In and out of my bag (with the melted gum from two weeks before and the not-quite-fully closed bottle of Coke). In the bathtub. On my midnight tours of the sewers, searching relics of times long forgot. You know. I dog-ear page corners. I fold back covers and crease the spines. When I'm done with a book, it knows it has been read.

I do it to everything I read. Somehow between reading the appetizers to getting to the desserts, I manage to turn menus into a short term exhibition at MOMA. Hand me a flyer for you show? See how quickly it disappeared into confetti? I like to think of it not as a flaw but a talent.

Newspapers are the worst. All of those loose, unconnected sheets of newsprint. In my hands it rapidly becomes a cartoon folding map, getting larger with each turn of the page, until I am obscured behind a maze of headlines and sudoku. And for some reason, the worst of the worst is the Village Voice. I don't know why. Maybe it's that the sheets are half the size regular news papers. Maybe it's because I never read the Voice in order. I always jumps from on section to the next, in some odd ritual pattern I've developed over the years. I start with Savage Love in the back, jump to movies, then Musto, then Tom Robbins, then the features, then... okay, you get the point. With me the Voice doesn't just expand, it multiplies.

But with a flailing economy, less people are buying ads. Which means less pages. And when the page count drops to a certain level, they begin to add staples in the spine, holding it all together. Which makes my every Wednesday just a little more pleasant.

I'm a half-full kind of guy.