Number Seven: The Written Word

Musings in Grayscale issue #7


My relationship with words, writing, and books is in many ways one of the defining characteristics of my personality.  I read, and I write.  (Maybe I know things.  A few things, anyway.)  This issue is largely about the memories I have related to reading and books from childhood — there are so many, enough to do several more issues.  Hopefully I will cover more of them one of these days.

The last panel represents a jump from memory to the present day.  As you might guess, I enthusiastically embrace tsundoku — a Japanese expression which literally translates to “reading pile” and is often used to refer to the practice of buying more books than one can possibly read, or someone who does so.

I’ll admit, I haven’t been reading as much in the last decade or so as I used to.  This year, I’m aiming to change that!  According to my Goodreads stats, I finished 21 books last year, and so far this year.  I’m pushing for 35.

Images Used

  • Panel 1: A Paper Camera image.  I think the New York Times used to be bigger.  I mean, I know I am, but still …
  • Panel 2: Stock photo from, cropped and grayscaled.
  • Panel 3: A shot of me holding open a book from my childhood, The King With Six Friends by Jay Williams and Imero Gobbato.  Photo by Joe Medina.
  • Panel 4: The cover of Mad Magazine #211, cover date December 1979.  Image found on the Vintage Repurposement Etsy store.
  • Panel 5: Covers of All Things Bright & Beautiful by James Herriot and Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster.  Located via Google Image Search then grayscaled.
  • Panel 6: A Paper Camera image.  Yes, this is what one corner of our bedroom looks like.

Full disclosure: the links for the book titles will take you to the Powell’s Books website.  If you buy a copy there, I’ll get a little cut.