Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Deeper Than I Usually Get

I still had some time off from work to burn before the middle of March, so I went ahead and took this week.  As I had no big plans, I set myself the task of rescuing the game books that are stored in boxes in my garage.  About seven years ago, I had to temporarily turn my study into a guest room, which meant getting rid of some shelves and moving in a couch-bed.  As a result, about thirty bankers' boxes of games ended up stored in the garage.  In the ensuing years, said boxes got raided when I went looking for something, and many of them were half empty, causing the remaining books to get bent out of shape.

So, I bought new shelving, unboxed all the books, and put them on the shelves, where I can access them, and where they can either stand up straight or lie flat.

After I took a picture of this and put it up on Facebook, I decided to photograph the rest of my accumulated library:

My Main Bookshelf

Main Bookshelf Detail - Left
Main Bookshelf Detail - Right
Auxiliary Shelf #1
Auxiliary Shelf #2

For a few moments, I felt a sense of pride in it.  But right now, I'm actually feeling kind of disappointed in myself.  Those shelves represent the investment of thousands of dollars over the course of decades.  But mostly, they're full of untapped potential.  There are hundreds of books on those shelves I never used for gaming.  There are scores I've read once, or possibly never read at all.  Not to mention boardgames unplayed, software unused, and Gigabytes of PDFs purchased over the years.

I consider myself lucky that I get to game regularly once a week for three hours, and for four or five hours on a less regular basis.  But I want more.  I want to feel that sense of wonder, that spark of creation, something I rarely feel at the gaming table anymore.  I want to run games and have people in my home to enjoy them, something that just isn't feasible at the moment.  I'm worried that I just buy gaming stuff to try and fill that need and it's been going on for a very long time. 

On the other hand, this may just be a consequence of having a week's vacation and the house all to myself.


  1. I am sorry that you feel disappointed, and hope it's only by a bit. This room looks great and the good news is, that you are gaming.

    And that is very cool.

  2. I guess the question that's important is did you at least get pleasure out of reading them, even the things that you read only once? If so, then they're worth it. In this sense they're no different from a novel you've read, or a movie you've seen, or a meal you ate in an expensive restaurant. And you can reread them. Or use them to play. All their potential is still there.

    Anyway, Whisk is right -- the room looks great. And even getting to game three hours per week regularly is lucky indeed!

  3. @Whisk: Thanks. The room does look good (and the garage even better now).

    @Bard: That's the question, ain't it? It's also a handy reminder that Depression is a nasty lying bastard who will say anything to make me feel bad about myself. And due to a number of factors, life hasn't been sunshine and roses lately. Nothing life-shattering, but tiresome to deal with.

    This too shall pass.

  4. Impressive collection.
    Yes, every book is part is packed with seeds for new worlds... The validation of cost and ownership through actual play... hmm...

    I've been struggling with that one for a while. I have come to the conclusion that it is perfectly justifiable to read rules for pleasure, to embark upon thought experiments, what-if systems and possible campaigns, whilst also collecting to fit the big jigsaw together, to assemble the different systems, to compare and contrast games like great recipes made from 100 spices on the larder rack.

    You must revel in this mighty hoard! You are the librarian, the archiver, but you have also been and always will be a gamer even if it was only with one system. When civilisation collapses (or Wikipedia goes down), it's collections like yours which will fill in the missing pieces.

    I think you should just post a random picture everyday of game. That in itself would be a worthy gift to the internet.

  5. It's not the having. It's the getting. Bravo, my man! That collection is epic.

  6. Geez Theron that is an AWESOME collection! I have a few books I haven't played, but I worry not about that, I enjoy just reading them. :)

    This is a great blog post the pictures are fun, and man oh man my favorite line "But I want more. I want to feel that sense of wonder, that spark of creation, something I rarely feel at the gaming table anymore." yep! me too