Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Brief Preface

Two years ago while strolling along the tepid plains of northern Indiana a gale breeze swept an otherwise ordinary piece of parchment into our step.  As we retrieved this soiled, yet still intact object, what we found was anything but ordinary.  Contained on the single paper in old English script was a compilation of exactly 100 fiction novels deemed worthy by an anonymous source named Newsweek.  Ah, here was the list of books we didn’t even know we were looking for.  There was a time not so long ago when venturing past a Stephen King or a Dean Koontz novel was too dangerous for us to even truly consider.  So; mildly, tenderly, like little baby bunnies exiting their warren in springtime, we found the courage to enter into the deepest layers of what later would become known simply as “the list”.  The impact was immediate, the feeling similar to the one we experienced the first time Hershey’s combined chocolate, pretzels, and peanut butter into one candy bar.  Since then, we are now consumed with “the list” (in a good way) hoping to unearth the next literary treasure.  “The list” has evolved for us as well.  It is now a compilation of 4 different lists, encompassing a myriad of genres and 350 books.  It is with this passion for reading that we have started Two Biliomaniacs.  What follows is an unapologetic account of everything books.  If we can encourage just one soul to embrace the world of “good” literature, then we have done our job.        
Bibliomania is defined as an obsessive-compulsive disorder involving the collecting or hoarding of books to the point where social relationships and personal health are damaged.  We chose this title for our blog to highlight this debilitating and very real affliction touching the lives of less than 1 -2 Americans every decade (statistic not verified).   Bibliomania should in no way be confused with, nor would we ever endorse, bibliophagy (book-eating), bibliokleptomania (book-stealing), or bibliotaphy (book-burying).  Truthfully, we are nothing more than two bibliophile’s, which by the strictest definitions is an individual who loves books.  Confused yet?  We hope so.
The world of literature is both daunting and tedious.  The populace is snobbish and far too eager to boast their extensive knowledge to any foreigner.  They are frequently overheard complaining about the fact that movies are cheap imitations and in rare cases they can even be heard taking on a British accent upon the completion of a memorable Dickens, Austin, or Bronte (this is currently the case with one of the co-contributors to this very blog).  That being said, the commentary found on this blog will not nullify any of the aforementioned stereotypes.  Sadly, you will probably find that the content only substantiates them.  Don’t get discouraged though because what you will find is a bridge into the world of books that is safe to cross and for the most part harmless (we can’t guarantee the occasional bad British accent).  Nowhere on this blog will you find a synopsis, outline, abridgement, or anything that resembles a book summary.  Instead, you will find a disconnected web of random thoughts masquerading as a very compelling reason why you should read a particular book.  While we can’t guarantee that the information on this blog will inspire you to add an extra book to your reading list, we will do our best to keep you entertained (We might be a little offended if your reading list isn’t expanded by at least one book, however, we won’t take it personal – unless of course it is personal, and then well…).  Finally, we want this blog to be as interactive as possible.  Please let us know what you think of the books you are reading and what you think of our opinions.  Also keep in mind that while we welcome affirmations, we already know we’re right, and would rather hear when you are offended or when you disagree with a review. 

Editors note:  It’s probably a good opportunity to warn perspective readers that although we do consider a good novel as one of the finer things in life, we are very inexperienced at blogging (one of the co-contributors has still refused to join Facebook).  This, coupled with a short attention span and lacking interest in details, has resulted in content full of opinion and conjecture.  Specifically, you may find information throughout that is presented as fact.  Don’t be hoodwinked!  While there is a fair amount of fact, in many cases techniques have been used purely for entertainment value to persuade readers and are complete fabrications (The way in which “the list” was obtained may or may not fit nicely into this category).  Also, while we would never purposely inject untruths into our writing (except in the previous admission), if we’ve overheard a conversation third hand after a few margaritas and the next morning what we remember seems to fit nicely into one of our reviews, then by all means we will proceed without further diligence.  Considered yourself warned - We would hate for you to tarnish your own reputation due to our laziness.