It used to be, I could afford to buy just about any of the gaming supplements that I wanted to buy. After a time, I saw writing RPGs as a way of paying for my habit, much the same way as a drug addict might see dealing as a way of keeping him in the goods. As with most fantasy tales, it was not to be.
The paychecks arrive infrequently, and like as not, there's a pressing need that requires that I spend the money on more important things. Like food or rent, for instance. It's gotten to the point that I (half-)jokingly say, "Aww, I could've bought [insert number] of books with that money," whenever we buy baby necessities (or anything else, for that matter). For example, when they raised our rent $90, I said, "Awww, that's, like, three game books every month!"
Back in the day, when I was young and lived at home and my income was more or less expendable, I acquired quite a collection of gaming books. I worked for a local game shop for a little over a year (13 months, precisely) in the mid nineties, and I made excellent use of that 20% employee discount. It didn't help my pocketbook that I had first pick of the new titles, since I was the guy stocking the shelves.
Part of that collection is shown here; there are two other book cases full of this stuff in my "office" (which is currently carpeted in baby clothes), along with a smaller bookcase that is filled with D6 Star Wars stuff and a small collection of paperback books. My wife's game books got folded into mine when we turned my office into a baby room, so the whole collection pretty much belongs to us both.
So what's my point?
I guess that I'm merely lamenting that I'm pretty far behind in what you might refer to as my "reference library" of gaming material. As much as I'd love to throw the payoff for my last book at games and accessories, the money was more or less spent before I got it (between this fancy new laptop and the cost of Gen Con Indy). My credit card bills are fat and ugly (though I'm sure they're small compared to most).
I have managed to keep up with my Warhammer Fantasy Role Play collection. It's not hard to do, really, since the new edition's line is relatively small. I'm up to date on Midnight, too, given that I've been obsessed with it since it came out, and the releases aren't necessarily on a regular basis. Plus, they're typically inexpensive when compared to the hardcovers that WotC releases.
What I'm missing is a whole slew of D&D books, as can be seen by taking a quick look at my Amazon.com wish list. I'll buy the stuff eventually (or so I keep telling myself), since every title is a business expense, anyway. Writing games means I need access to some of the newer books so that I can see what's been done and what hasn't. When a product outline refers to an obscure rule in The Book of Snails, I will know what in the heck the reference means.
Okay, I'm done whining (for now). Time to get ready to work. As mentioned yesterday, I'm going to Borders so that I can write. I reckon I'll be there from 9am until noon. If you happen to show up and see a fat guy staring at his laptop, it's probably me. Be nice and buy him a D&D book.