The Little White Book Of Life, Lies, and Love

I hated school. I hated work. I hated boredom. I had no interest. I had a happy childhood. There was school, adolescence, growing up, questions about the future. I was twenty-one. I had no dream.

I dropped in and out of college. After three years I wasn’t going back.

Students sat on lawns, drank coffee, held books, discussed ideas, wore expensive sandals and footwear. Professors taught classes on campus greens. Students basked in youth, in the fine times of college. I was told I’d meet my friends for life in college.

Everywhere people smoked, sat on wide steps of academic buildings, enjoyed the outdoors together, like people in glossy-paged catalogues.

I hated college atmosphere.

I left college for the last time as impulsively as ever – free and happy – like I had a bottomless pocket of money, fully funded, like my lungs were fresh and I could still run a mile in under six minutes.

Cars passed slow with the wind brushing up my hair. I listened to the dusty dirt on the bottoms of my new leather shoes. I felt slow like a fish underwater, like a soft cloud pulled along.

I was content to be slow, away from the vague traps between cause and effect.

Birds made noise along the roadsides, up high in the light-green pine needles. I smelled the sandy heat. When I closed my eyes I believed I had a grand future; I had no problems; the past didn’t matter.

I was going to make my life an adventure.

### END EXCERPT ###

A few days ago I was at Book People in Austin, TX and stumbled upon a small white display of 4 white books. When I say white book I mean the cover is completely white, no title, no author, no publisher, no copyright. 200 pages of text. $5.

I immediately picked it up and went to check out. The checkout girl made a comment. “This book confuses me every time I stock it. I don’t know where or how to put it, but it appeals to my teenage anarchist younger years.”

I thought that was funny. Mostly because it’s obvious she didn’t read it. Even so, she was drawn to the book in some way.

That’s on purpose. It’s mysterious. No author, no design, it’s cheap. While I’m sure there is a little profit in the $5 for the author, it can’t be much. The lack of cover is meant to draw people in. The first page (reprinted above with “permission”) is meant to draw people in.

It obviously drew me in.

I still can’t fully figure out what the book is about. It’s about a man who is lost yet found. He knows where he is, but doesn’t know where he’s going. It’s about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s about travel. It’s about finding your own way within a system that wants you to comply to their way.

It’s about consumerism. It’s about minimalism. It’s about alcoholism. It’s about a lot of isms.

It’s scattered, it’s plotless, it’s completely incomplete. It has no defined beginning and no known ending. But that’s life, isn’t it?

If you’re a fan of Catcher In The Rye (I am) or On The Road (I’m not) or Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (awesome) I think this book will appeal to you.

In some ways I feel like I’ve been fooled into some kind of sick mass control by writing about this little white book. Like it’s a trick played by some evil corporation or government. It answers no questions and and yet it answers them all. What more could I ask for?

The book is called Manifesto. You can’t buy it anywhere. But you can buy it somewhere. Enjoy. ;)

###

I’m in Michigan! This Monday I’m posting about my next (frigid) destination, where I will be residing from Jan 2 – March 11. But more than that I’ll write about compelling reasons and why we need them to accomplish anything important. Subscribe to the RSS, follow me on twitter, or Like the facebook page so you don’t miss this update.

{ 28 comments }

Marios

Hey Karol great story, I would like to read the book can you give us ISBN number, of the book,

Thank you
Marios

Karol

There is no ISBN number. :)

Ryan Renfrew

Dude,

That is awesome, I love it. I will always be on the look out for it. What a great Idea, how quirky. Thats real Scarcity in action, ive never wanted to read a book more in my life.

I like your writing style, theres a very nice flow aswell as being poetic.

bLAZE yOUR tRAIL

Karol

Yes, a lot of good lessons to be learned from this book. At least in the “making people want it” category. Not sure about the whole “making a living” thing. :)

Thanks Ryan!

Marios

Karol, Found the book and bought it, so for your readers if anyone is interested here is the link, hope you don’t mind

http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/1986/

Marios

Karol

awww, now the challenge is gone

Claudia

Hey Karol, nice story…Mass control or not, gotta say that it certainly drew me in…lots of isms, mysterious white cover and no clear beginning or end…very appealing. – Thanks for the link Marios, think I’m going to check this one out.

Karol

Enjoy :)

Laurie

Hmmm…weird. Sort of like the original Led Zeppelin IV album cover…No identification, just a bunch of odd symbols and Jimmy Page being all mysterious. Obviously effective ;)

Can’t wait to see what you’re up to, Karol…welcome back north :)

Karol

Interesting, I didn’t know that’s how the IV album was originally released (not a zep fan), but I like it. :)

Sarah St John

Maybe it was written by a well known author that was tired of having to comply with the mandates of a publisher that only wants them to crank out the status quo. I imagine Stephen King might want to write more than horror stories. When you’re tied to someone else’s bottom line, you’re never truly free to do what you want. Either way, we all need a little mystery and maybe it’s better not to figure it out and just enjoy it. Thanks for sharing this!

Karol

That would be interesting, but I’m almost positive it’s not written by a well known author based on the little research I’ve done into the matter. :)

Galen Pearl

How completely intriguing. And what a marketing coup. If you don’t know where to put a book with a white cover, then why not right out in front where it catches people’s attention! My next door neighbor (and friend) runs a lovely independent bookstore. I’m going to see what she knows about it.

Karol

Ooohhhhh, would love to know if she knows anything. :)

Galen Pearl

I just spoke with her. She did not know anything about it. What an intriguing mystery!

KennyEller

I’m a little behind in my reading of this, but I Love the smallest hyperlink ever;-) Nicely done!

Post rocked too!

Kenny Eller

Do I win something? Hahah!

Karol

haha, you win a virtual high five!

Kenny Eller

Hahah, sweet! Looking forward to Monday’s POST!!!

Scott Kostolni

Karol,

C’mon man! You can’t tell me something like this exists. Do you know what I’m gonna end up doing? I’m gonna go scour every damn bookstore for months now trying to find it. I bite my thumb at you, sir!

Nah, just kidding. It’s pretty awesome. I avoided the link mentioned above (because I will hunt this down like it’s my job). =D It also gave me a very intriguing idea! I’m gonna have to think about it. Thanks!

~Scott

Karol

hehe, there’s actually a list of independent bookstores that carry it, but that would make it too easy ;)

jenny smythe

what a clever idea! I’m completely drawn to it now!

Karol

word of mouth + mystery = success? :)

Rasheed Hooda

That’s a great epiphany, Karol

Rasheed

Vincent

Hi Karol,

That seems like an interesting book. A book without any design and pictures does seem weird and attention grabbing. It makes me feel curious about that book now.

Cheers
Vincent

Karol

:) Let me know if you find it.

AJ

So I found it, started reading it…got 50 pages in. Does it ever get better, or is the whole book really just this one person whining? Does he ever make a change in his life, or is he unhappy and drinking too much the whole time?

Why do you assume the checkout girl hadn’t read it? It’s like a depressed Evasion, which is the teenage anarchist Bible.

Karol

I didn’t assume the checkout girl didn’t read it. She told me she never read it.

I guess it’s not for everybody. If a book doesn’t hook me in the first 50 pages I stop reading. Not worth the time.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: