I have many small stashes of books in my office, house, and studio. I didn’t really want to take a picture of any of them because my bookshelves are usually reserved for the books that I don’t use and have not read but can’t throw away. My nightstand is the most vital of these book stashes. It contains what I am reading, what I have borrowed to read, what I hope to read soon, and what I don’t want people to know that I am reading.
After reviewing the contents of the pile, I think it is very descriptive of my reading influences both now and throughout my life. The books I am currently reading are called Uncommon Grounds, The History of Coffee and How It Changed the World and Kerouac, Road Novels 1957-1960. The Kerouac is checked out from the library and I have been reading it for most of the year as it contains five novels. I don’t actually own many of the books that have influenced me the most as I frequently use the library (I currently have 13 books checked out). Two books in the pile, How to Fish with Jigs and Practical Flies, are self-published fishing manuals from the 1950’s written by Iowans Lacey Gee and Erwin Sias. Although the techniques are dated I read them purely for the pleasure of the anecdotal stories and local connections. Another fishing book titled The Moon Pulled up an Acre of Bass, by Peter Kaminsky, was borrowed from my colleague Tim Dooley. I abandoned reading this one because it seems too pretentious, but I have yet to return it. Thankfully, Tim reads more than I do and he feeds me lots of books that are a little more outside of my normal interests in modernist literature, there are two more of his books downstairs right now. The Way of Chuang Tzu is a book that I have read through many times and recently wanted to again. There are seven copies of Bass Master Magazine and two copies of Fly Tyer Magazine. There is a paper printout from the Internet of J.D. Salinger’s Hapworth 16, 1924. A large book on the subject of Film Noir and one titled German Cinema by John Sanford relate to my current art research. These are borrowed from another friend who manages a local restaurant and has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of film history. On the bottom of the pile is a sketchbook that I had completely forgotten about.
bio: Aaron Wilson a Professor of Art at the University of Northern Iowa. He has taught Printmaking and Foundations there since 1997. Prior to residing in Iowa, Aaron completed his BFA at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and earned an MFA from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. For over a decade, Aaron’s artwork has centered on the use of non-conventional printmaking formats including its application in installation and sculpture. Exhibitions that have featured Aaron’s artwork include, BIG: Collaboration and Innovation in Printmaking, Madison, Wisconsin, Against Tradition: Trends in Contemporary Printmaking at Indiana State University, and By Hand: The Lifecycle of Ephemera, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has been a visiting artist and lecturer at many institutions including the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia College of Art and Design. His most recent large project Parlor was exhibited at the Urban Culture Project Space in Kansas City. A selection from the installation was also shown as part of the Silkscreens, New Prints 2007/Summer exhibition at the International Print Center, New York. His artwork is featured in Printmaking: Theory and Practice, Prentice Hall, 2008 and Printmakers Today, Schilff Publishing 2010.