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Pipes and Literature

Books and pipes seem to go together.  A while back I took a trip to Salinas, California for a stop at the John Steinbeck museum.   Steinbeck isn't necessarily my favorite author, but his book EAST OF EDEN is one of my favorite novels.  I wasn't a lifelong reader but started in my early 30s and it was the book that really got me going, so it stays close to the heart.  I've read much of his other work since but none of it moved me like EOE did.  I thought I'd share some pics of my time there in Salinas.  I took Bing along with me (my favorite pipe).  The RV/truck is the one he drove around America and later wrote about in TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, which is pretty much the ultimate road-trip book. 

What are some of your favorite books and writers?


  • The only thing better than RV's and pipes is fishing and pipes! That's why I usually do both at the same time! LOL. Hard for me to comment on a favorite author per se simply because I mostly read history books (right now I'm big into British Roman and Saxon stuff), and to most except me, they are all boring reads. That said, if I had to pick a fiction writer it would likely be Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. I love short story detective stuff like that, especially the politically incorrect kind, which they both are.
  • edited September 2022
    I don’t read books.  I’m un-edumacated.  That, and they bore me to tears.  I tried to read a little paperback “Under The Black Flag” awhile back.  I don’t think I made it half way through it, maybe more.  I stuck with it as long as I could which might have been thirty minutes to an hour.
  • @RockyMountainBriar;
    Don't put yourself down. There are many ways to get "edumacated". We haven't met and all I know of you is what you write and post on TPL. Based on just that you are one of the smartest young men I know. A PHD from living your life is more valuable and centered in the real world than a bunch of degrees hanging on your wall. Besides, you need that wall space to hang your pipes.
  • @RockyMountainBriar Well, I had typed out a long comment (that I thought was pretty good!), hit a wrong button, and lost the whole damn thing!  So here goes another try...

    I would be the last person to tell another man what he should do, but I will say that reading has opened up an inner world to me so rich and wonderful that I'd not trade anything for it.  And this is coming from a man who wasn't a good student as a kid, never did homework, wasn't brought up in a literary home, wasn't even read to as a child, and never went to college.  Looking back now I can see that my public school days were about being educated into a kind of conformity, but self-education and learning for its own sake makes a man an independent thinker, an individual, and provides him with an inner world that cannot be taken away from him.  This has been my personal experience with literature.

    When I was around 30 my lack of education started to really bother me (not lack of schooling, but education - not the same things).  Around that time I had ran across an old homeschool textbook from my wife's youth in my garage of all places.  I thumbed through it, brought it to bed that night, and found that it lit a fire of sorts in me.  In this same season I went to my local library for the first time.  I had to ask the lady how to get a library card, how to check out books, and how it all worked.  I think she thought I was joking, but "un-edumacated" didn't even begin to describe me.  That's when I found that Steinbeck book I referenced at the start of this thread (an audio book, by the way).  That was almost 20 years ago and hundreds of books ago.  I've also gone through several college courses via audio CD through the library - not for credit but just for the sake of learning, and I've dabbled in a couple foreign languages.  It has been great fun.  It got me off the news, which I was hooked on, and cut my movie and pop culture interest down to almost nothing.  For me it was the path to inner freedom and finding my true self. 

    If you're not into paper books, have you considered audio books? The bulk of my "reading" is done via audio book.  I "read" as a I mow my lawn, drive, work at my day job, and sometimes as I just sit with a pipe and a cup of coffee.  (It took me a long time, but I trained myself to read/listen in small bits of available time.  Many people wait for large spaces of time, but in my experience, and with the responsibilities of the average adult, those times rarely come.)  There are paid services like Audible, but I recommend the more sensible path of free books.  There are tons of audio books on Youtube, and there are many free books on some podcast apps.  There is a site called LibriVox.org that has thousands of old books now in the public domain, all read by volunteers - wonderful stuff!  Example: there is a man over on Librivox that read the entire Sherlock Holmes catalog by himself.  He's a volunteer but as good as any professional reader I've heard.  But my personal favorite way to get free learning is via the public library.  I'm a big believer in the library system because that's where my life was changed.  There is an app called CLOUD LIBRARY that I'm pretty sure is available in every state.  You hook up to your local through the app via your library card and gain access to tens of thousands of titles.  There has never been a better time to be alive if a man wants to learn and educate himself.  It's a Golden Age for learning!
  • @TakeMeToTheShire
    That is fantastic. Take it from a pretend educator/college professor.  I like to learn in many forms/ways and it has a power it gives you like nothing else can. 
    Even better, nobody can ever steal your knowledge or control it.  
  • Londy3Londy3 Master
    edited November 2022
    Not sure where to put this article. Was interesting for sure.

    Yes, yes, it's old hat by now, you've heard all about it. Cigars are hip (ho-hum). They're sexy (so what else is new?). There are magazines and radio shows and even a Marxist dictator dedicated to cigar smoking (tell us something we don't know). Yet buried beneath the ballyhoo is a story that has largely gone unnoticed: the incredible disappearing pipe smoker.

    There was a time when pipes dominated cigars the way cigars now dominate pipes. "Up through the '80s, any real tobacconist was a pipe store. A cigar shop would just be a stand, in a railroad station or a hotel lobby," says Paul MacDonald, owner of tobacco shops in Boston and Cambridge, Mass......click link to continue 
  • @Londy3;
    As I've mentioned before, I'm the only one I know.
  • One of the guys that mans the counter at “Stogie’s” is a pipe smoker.  We have BS’ed for hours after his shift end and the shop was closed.  His predecessor was also a pipe smoker and a friend that I met through my brother with whom he worked with.  Our little MC group went on several Harley runs together exploring the backroads of Montana and Wyoming.  He was partially responsible for me starting my pipe journey.  Sadly he passed too soon and much too young, so we didn’t get to bond over our shared pipe hobby.  I was still a newb when he was called away by the creator😢
  • Melville's "I and My Chimney" is a pipe tale if ever there was one:

  • MontecristoMontecristo Master
    edited January 2023
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Pipe and Pouch, by Various
    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
    almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
    Title: Pipe and Pouch - The Smoker's Own Book of Poetry
    Author: Various
    Release Date: February 3, 2005 [EBook #14887]
    Language: English
    Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
  • MontecristoMontecristo Master
    edited January 2023

    Wrong folder. Sorry.

  • The Old Tobacco Shop

    A True Account of What Befell a Little Boy in Search of Adventure

    By William Bowen

    (pdf attached)

  • Just finished a great book. "Walk The Blue Line" by James Patterson & Matt Eversmann. Published by Little, Brown. Each chapter is about experiences of different law enforcement officers. My little brother is a Retired Police Sergeant so it hits close to home for me. Highly recommend.
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