Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sandman and Desire

This week, I received an Amazon gift certificate. I spent quite awhile deliberating and thinking about what I wanted. Should I get Zelda for the Wii? Or should I get a couple of game books that I want? What about my wishlist?

I looked on my wishlist and started investigating what Dungeons and Dragons books I wanted. I looked at reviews and was close to ordering when I decided to give my wishlist a final review. There were a few books that I think would be truly interesting (Prime Obsession by John Derbyshire, The Master of Go by Yasunari Kawabata, A History of the Ancient Near East by Marc Van de Mieroop, etc). There were a couple of D&D books that I had earmarked, as well as a couple of CDs. And then there are the Sandman volumes (by Neil Gaiman), the perpetual inhabitant of my wishlist.

Four years ago, I borrowed the 10 volume Sandman series from a friend. I started reading it, and was immediately drawn in by Neil Gaiman's prose. I was hungry, and devoured the volumes in rapid succession, feeling a bit of remorse that I wasn't savoring this feast. As the series drew to a close, I knew that I wanted to own a copy of this particular work of art. The story so seamlessly dovetails with the human mythos that I can't help but feel like it is a part of me.

What is even more odd, is that during college, the Sandman series was being released, and several of my comic-book geek friends were all eagerly awaiting the next issue. They would talk about it, discuss and dissect and absorb each issue. I sort of wonder how I missed out on this phenomenon (ah yes Magic the Gathering and D&D). In any case, having read the 10 volume series I knew that I wanted to own it so I could read and re-read it.

As the years have passed, I've always thought about getting the whole shebang, but could never quite rationalize spending $150 in one pop. I also never felt quite right about just getting one book at a time (there is a part of me that figures that I'll stop at 6 books or something silly).

So with the above in mind I decided yet again to forgo getting the Sandman series, but I noticed something strange. Volumes 1 & 2 were not on the list. Had I missed them? No one ever orders anything from my wishlist, so I went through the steps of adding them back on, but lo, they refused to be added to the wishlist. Someone had in fact gotten me two of them.

So I cleared my shopping cart of some D&D books, and added the remaining 8 books. The gift certificate won't cover it all, but thats a small price to pay for literary genius.

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