Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Out of the closet

To channel Diana Ross's popular song of yesteryear: "I'm! Coming! Out!" of the wish-list closet. (Ha. I know what you were thinking!)

I'm a wish-listaholic. I'm talking about the online wish-list here — that cunning little invention that made notebooks and hundreds of lists and reminders scrawled on scraps of paper quite, quite obsolete. I have dozens of wish-lists on various sites all organized into categories, subcategories and sub-subcategories. I dream of a career in wish-list management. I won't go into details of my mammoth Amazon, Victoria's Secret and Sephora vices — all popping their seams with 'stuff'. Today I'll narrow my focus to two Amazon wish-lists that I've been cultivating for years: 'Books' and 'Books on Writing'.

I didn't start out with two book wish-lists. I started with one, creatively labeled 'Books'. The plan was to drop a couple books in there, buy or borrow them, then drop a few more in so the thing remained current and dynamic. What I didn't anticipate was that I'd stumble across books I wanted to read at a far, far greater pace than I could read them. That first list took on the qualities of bird vine (the Caribbean incarnation of kudzu) and I soon had to start subdividing just to be able to manage it. I created 'Books on Writing', 'Prize-winning Books', 'Travel Books', 'Classics', 'Romance', 'Books by Authors I Know', 'Books for Mom', 'Books for Sis', Books this, Books that... Until one day I grabbed a digital pruning knife and out of the carnage two lists survived: 'Books' (again) and 'Books on Writing'.

The 'Books' list currently stands at 347 and 'Books on Writing' at 43. They continue to flourish despite my efforts to stunt their growth, to refrain from feeding and watering them, to consume, replace and maintain an ecological balance.

I've begun avoiding my book wish-lists. I fear I might go in there one day and just delete them. I'm having nightmares about neglected wish-lists ganging up on me, breaching security firewalls, stealing my credit card info and ordering themselves. I have visions of a UPS truck backing up to my door, of muscular guys in brown shorts unloading pallet after pallet of books while I cower behind the drapes.

What are your book wish-lists like? Are they submissive and disciplined or have they, like mine, taken on a menacing life of their own?


Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't given in to the book wish list urge. Instead, I have no resistance willpower and to want is to buy. Thus my wish list stays short.

Charles Gramlich said...

In fact, my own blog post is about exactly that sort of thing.

Phyllis Bourne said...

The Kindle helps me 'hide' my book addiction. If I want it, I ZAP it ASAP.

Then I look at my bank account and wonder why I'm broke.

Liane Spicer said...

Charles, now that I my think about it, my wish list habit keeps me from doing serious harm with my credit card. Maybe it's not such a bad thing after all!

Phyllis, that instant download business is dangerous. I have only the free Kindle for PC version and I realized the instant gratification was getting out of hand so I stopped cold turkey. But I'm still broke... :-/

Jewel Amethyst said...

I don't make wish lists anymore. Don't have enough space to contain them, not even on my computer :)

Liane Spicer said...

Jewel, I'm getting there fast!

Anonymous said...

The problem with wish-list is that they can lead to purchases and sometimes near bankruptcy. The trick is to keep wishing until the item becomes extinct or so rare only billionaire tycoons or authors can afford them :)

Liane Spicer said...

akalol, "billionaire tycoons or authors"? BWAHAHAHAHAA!!!

Leaving items in the wish list until "This item is no longer available" pops up is more realistic for starving authors like me. :)