I reached a tipping point I never knew existed the other night. ‘Oh, what shall, what shall I read?’ I said poetically, twirling around my room, neatly avoiding all the Avalanches Poised To Happen. And then, akin to a Tim Burton film, all the books waiting to be read sort of leered at me from their shelves, spilled out of drawers, lurched out the wardrobe, and gurgled ‘me’, the way they would do if Tim Burton let Stephen King take over the script.
I backed straight off into PG Wodehouse’s Summer Lightning quicker than you can say ‘arghhhhhh - comfort read!’
I was out with good friend R on Sunday (yesterday in fact, although if you read this on a coffee break on Tuesday you might be confused) and we wandered into a vintage emporium. ‘I’m not going to buy any books at all,’ I said, in manner of one making a Stern Vow, and then added (quickly and softly) ‘apart from books that look good,’ in the manner of one sheepishly knowing they have introduced a get-out clause.
But this is my problem. I can’t stop buying books. I buy more books than I know what to do with. I get given books. I rescue books from second-hand stores. I keep ALL books. Pretty soon there will be one of those hoarder documentaries of which television is so fond, and it will be me peering fussily at the camera, leading bewildered television presenters to worm and wriggle through my book passages. (Read that last bit carefully. No mucky minds here, please. And if you didn’t spot anything mucky, then count yourself on a far higher plane than me.)
The problem (and glory be that this should be a problem) is that I have an influx of hardbacks that want my attention. I am really looking forward to reading them – lots of debut authors, and many others who are established that I haven’t yet had the pleasure of an introduction. But hardbacks! It’s like lugging a breezeblock to work, which I haven’t tried, by the way. I haven’t ever lugged a breezeblock anywhere. But I can imagine it’s a heavy, tricky business.
Perhaps I need to invest in a sturdier bag. Mmm. I love solutions that involve shopping.