When it comes to books, I have a serious weakness. I buy them all the time, because each one just sounds so fascinating. They speak to me of friends, advice, adventures and understanding. I think this is an inherited trait, since while I was growing up, my Mum always had more books than she could fit on her numerous shelves. So now I have ended up with the terrible problem where I can’t walk out of a bookstore empty handed, just like her.
But then they end up in the tower beside my bed, which will one day topple and crush me while I sleep. There are just more books in that pile than time to read them, and occasionally I’ll start a book which takes time to read. Last year I spent 3 months reading Moby Dick, and the pile became so enormous that it was a really bad safety hazard, and had to be split into 3 mini-piles, all across my room. Even now, there is a big pile and a tiny pile on my bedside table, and another decent sized stack over on my bookshelf.
And there is such variety in the books – from poetry to self-help, romance to literary classics. I have them all arranged in a certain order so that I never read from the same genre more than 2 books in a row. I like it this way, it keeps it interesting. If I read all the romance novels in a row, I’d probably drown in the tsunami of sappy emotions.
I just wish I had more time and energy to read them, so that maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty whenever I buy new books, because of having so many already that I haven’t read. But despite my concerted efforts to get more reading time in (I aim to allow at least 20 minutes a night, though it doesn’t always happen), study and work sap my energy. After a long day at uni, I get so tired of translating the symbols we call words into meaning. And after work, well, I don’t have much energy for anything other than sleep.
But reading new books is just so exciting, and on that rare occasion where you find one that understands you, it is pure magic. So why would I stop purchasing potential magical delights?