Every couple weeks or so I wander the bookstore and get so overwhelmed that I end up not wanting to read anything.
But I still look.
There probably used to be a dozen books on decorating your home, but now there are hundreds. And that's fine, but I'm just wondering why anyone needs a book to tell them which direction their couch should face. Really, can't you sit on your couch and decide what you would like to look at from there and then act accordingly? If your choice blocks anyone from entering the front door or getting to the next room, you're probably wrong. Try again, you'll get it right without spending $29 on a book explaining furniture arrangement.
I guess, though, if you have money to burn, why not get the sofa book? Why not? And get the one that tells you flowers go in vases and curtains go on windows, and then move on to the advanced chapter explaining that there are other paint colors for walls beyond cream and white. Then go to the book that teaches you to be "crafty" and use a vintage sheet as a curtain, and while you're going there, use a tree branch for a curtain rod. Daring! This is all swell advice, but I grew up with sheets on my windows because we couldn't afford curtains, so it's just kinda funny.
There are so many books on getting out of credit card debt. Yes, I want everyone to be debt-free, but we don't need 500 books with the same advice. Here, I'll save you $9-24 right here and tell you what they all say: Stop spending so much. If you have a $17,000 credit card bill you DON'T get to have that new car or even that schmancy purse. You do like my credit cardless mom did raising three kids: pay for simple food, utilities and housing before anything else, and you clutch what's leftover for dear life. There ya go. It's a good start.
Crafts. Scrapbooking. Seas of books on how to go butt-nuts creative round the clock. Glue an apple to your front door! Hang china plates on strings from the ceiling! Fill milkjugs with rocks! Stuff mattresses with toilet paper! Turn cow bones into a picket fence! Make quilts from your old underwear! ... I feel exceedingly uncreative and kinda tired after I leave this book section. I don't know how anyone thinks these things up, and I don't know where anyone finds the time. Also, if someone does something crazy like use an old toilet as a planter in the front yard, I kinda wanta let that be their own thing. I'd get no satisfaction out of copying it.
I used to look at the children's section for a little inspiration and fun, but now there are illustrations of such a magical wonderful fantastic unbelievable caliber that I wander to the next part of the building never wanting to draw again, ever. I mean, someone's got every angle covered. Ah, there are so many clever clever artistic people out there, and I hate you all... Ok, not really. You've just managed to ruin my hobby, that's all.
I usually look at the art section for a bit. Here I get fascinated with the old-fashioned clip-art for quite a while, 'cause all the black lines on white paper: delicious. Eventually I'm wondering if I can remember any of the patterns and squiggles when I get home. No, probably not, but damn those books smell good. Any artistic inspiration absorbed is wiped away when I bust open a new clip-art book and stick my nose in to smell the ink and slick paper. Mmmm. I always store about five possible purchases under my arm, but once I'm done sniffing I end up putting the books away and moving on.
On to the "how to" section for art. How to draw. How to paint. Faces. Figures. Animals. Landscapes. Buildings. I flip thru a few and marvel at how much I should know and/or employ, but I just can't be bothered. No, I don't want to do perspective correctly---I just wanna draw what I wanna draw right then without any thought or measurement or rulers or rules. I don't use light/shadows correctly. My anatomy is terrible. Again, can't be bothered. When I worry about doing all these things correctly, I stop drawing entirely.
I don't want "How to Draw." I want a book called "How to Make Yourself Draw." What I need is a book that makes me finish one drawing after another and then not throw them away. Let me know if you see this particular book.
I am this turtle:
Sloooooowly moving forward. Stopping for breaks right in the middle of the road and waiting to be hit.
Ok, actually I'm about to post some new drawings. Or not. We'll see.