Monday, 16 April 2012

A Saturation of Books

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.


Old Kitty said...

I vote for the sturdy bag. Seriously! And I've only just discovered Cath Kidston do something called " A Book Bag". I mean a bag just for books. If that doesn't set your book passages aflame, I don't know what!

LOL! Take care

Shirley Wells said...

Oh, a book bag. I'm with Old Kitty on this one. It's the perfect solution.

I buy books all the time. I'm an addict. I know for a fact that I won't live long enough to read them all. :)

Megan Adamson said...

Oh my, (backs away in the corner) I am just like that! I just can't resist buying a book and never giving one away...although I have lent them out and not got them back, which really annoys me!

Oh, and I dragged the complete works of Dickens back from a Charity shop, all hard-back and I found out they were worth a lot more than I paid for them. I'm ashamed to say that I've not actually read any of them yet though...(sigh!)

Jenny Beattie said...

Oh dear. We need a support group.

I made a rooky error when I started listing 'What I've read' on my blog. Husband has been able to calculate the rate at which I read. This is okay... but since I bought a set of bookshelves just for my To Be Read pile he's also, alarmingly, worked out that I have three years worth of reading. So why do I ever need to buy new books?

Anyone have any ideas?

(Buy the bag!)

Jenny Beattie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

All sounds very familiar. Sometimes if you find a good book you have to buy it, because you might forget the title or author. And so the pile gets higher.

I've had to learn to give some away to bookworms or charity shops. I like the idea of leaving a book on the bus or park bench.

snafu said...

Welcome to the club, as a compulsive book buyer, I have been forced to look hard and long at my book collection and if they cannot come up with a very good defence, certain of them are soon to be sentenced to the charity shop.

MorningAJ said...

I thought when I got my eReader that I'd be able to pare down my list of old favourites and make room on my shelves for some new friends. Not a bit of it.

I still can't bring myself to get rid of many of them even though I can carry ALL of them in my pocket now if I want (well, a hefty chunk of them)

I mean - I was given a hardback for my birthday but, unknown to the donor, I already had an eBook of it. I read it on my reader. But can I give the hardback to charity? Of COURSE not! It was a present.

(My name is AJ and I'm an addict.....)

MorningAJ said...

PS. You do all know about book crossing don't you?

Deborah (Debs) Carr said...

I can't remember what I was going to say because I've just spotted Old Kitty's comment and now have to go and check out the Cath Kidston site for her Book Bag!

I do know what you mean about hardbacks though, I'm reading one at the moment. Thankfully it's a great read so I don't mind.

Happy Frog and I said...

Buy the bag, definitely and some cake and coffee while you're at it! :)

D.J. Kirkby said...

Your final sentence made me laugh! Great blog post...I too suffer from this 'problem'. I'm just off to run your solution past my bank account (wish me luck).

Maggie May said...

I'm also a book addict & have a box full that is much more than I can read for a very long time. .... and still I find myself searching the book stalls.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Claudette Anne Pearson said...

i know the exact feeling. I could challenge waterstones on the stock front with the amount of books I have:)

Dolly said...

Oh what a delicious post and how timely for me to read it. Having handed in my final work for college on Friday I have spent the weekend so far napping and pottering about my new-ish flat that I will now have time to decorate. Books! I have now sorted them into categories for different shelves on different book cases lol and then tidied up the "to read" pile which I can now dive into.

Jayne said...

Old Kitty - *runs to Cath Kidston website*. Ah, I see what you mean. It’s like a tote, isn’t it? I have one similar that I shove books into, but then I also have a small handbag as well, and so set off to work looking like a pack animal. It’s the larger, sturdy bag I need... just got to splash the spondulicks.

Shirley – Oh but that is a sad thought.

Megan – It’s very rare that I lend out a book, mainly because I obsessively worry for their poor covers and corners. I am so impressed with your Dickens find. I actually haven’t read that much Dickens – am waiting to find the right copy of each of his stories, the right binding, the right weight for my hands. I feel those books should be special ones.

Jenny – We do! You have a set of bookshelves for your To Be Read pile?! Yikes. Although I have shelves full too, in fact I’ve lost count of how many. It’s sort of terrifying.

Debbie – I do occasionally take books to charity shops, but it’s a rare thing – the decision that never again will I need to look or turn to that book, as mostly I love all sorts of books for all sorts of reasons. But I can be ruthless if the book didn’t resonate with me; lack of space, for starters.

Jayne said...

Snafu – Yes, that’s exactly it – if they can’t come up with a good defence, then the books are off to a new place. Sentenced to the charity shop – oh dear, poor things waiting a new home.

MorningAJ – I have an eReader too, but it hasn’t stopped me one jot. I can definitely see myself doubling up though – the paperback, the hardback, the e-version – oh no – tripling up!
And yes, I’d heard of bookcrossing but thanks for the reminder and link!

Deborah – I have come to the conclusion that it’s definitely a bag issue, not a hardback issue.

Happy Frog – I really should buy the bag. Any bag. A big giant hardbook swaggering bag.

DJ – Ha! Good luck!

Maggie – I am addicted to book stalls. Absolutely addicted.

Claudette – Sounds like you have a lovely library going on there! It’s my dream, actually, to have my own library. And one of those twirly step things so I can twirl around my books all day.

Dolly – You have sorted them into categories? *Beams happily* I knew there was a reason we got on so well.

Rose said...

I can't stop buying books either- and I don't really want to.

I will have to do something about giving the ones I'm not going to re read to the charity shop- but the thing is I'm quite a re reader as well as quite a reader.

Recently there has been some trauma and I've only read books I'd already read- and they were like blankets.

I always tell myself books are an investment in the mind- where as new shoes are more frivolous- unless you don't have any shoes of course, when they are required

Mily Cannon said...

Hi, really loving your blog!
I totally understand your book dilemma! Sounds like your books enjoy a good home.

I've found myself preferring hardbacks of late; I'm not sure why. I was given a book in hardback as a gift, and enjoyed reading it more as a hardback than when I read it on paperback! And, of course, once I have a hardback, any sequels or prequels have to be hardback too in order to match!

Someone needs to invent a sturdy bag, with different sections to carry and protect books!
Keep up the blog!