I tried not to buy a new book last month. I really did try. Then I realised I was being an idiot, and I bought a book. And then, before I paid for that book I realised that book would be lonely…and what kind of monster would buy a single book and take it home to books it has never even met before – that’s how you give an innocent book a complex – at least if there’s two of them from the same shop they have each other right? And anyway, it wasn’t real book shopping because I bought it used from a charity shop, therefore it wasn’t technically new and didn’t count. And when you think about it, I was supporting a worthy cause. And if you’re going to do that you might as well go H.A.M right?! Cos otherwise you’re just a heartless, stingy…
…long story short, my new bookcase arrives next week.
I guess what I’m getting at is I really like books. And it’s becoming a bit of a problem.
I’m kidding. It’s been a problem for years. Until recently. I’ve decided to stop viewing my love of books and reading as a problem which needs solving.
Because even though my entire apartment is pretty much overflowing with books with some doing double duty as furniture (I really should just buy a dining table and chairs), my bank balance is severely compromised (I blame Waterstones), and I occasionally answer people’s questions with paraphrased versions of book quotes and/or excerpts (Doctor: How are you feeling? Me: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a sick woman in possession of an infection, must be in want of some antibiotics’), the books make me happy, and isn’t it important to hold on to the things that make your life even a little bit better? Of course! I’ve been through my fair share of drama dealing with people and situations that have seriously tested me and had it not been for my paperback friends I probably would have gone crazy. Being able to escape into a fantasy world filled with colourful character’s, and magical worlds for a couple of hours is the best therapy you can get – and it’s hella cheaper too (provided you know your limits, and don’t live near any book stores. Sigh).
And also, more than that, people are annoying!
Constantly fawning over you, and trying to get to know you. All they want to do is talk and ask pointless, incessant questions like ‘how are you doing?’ and ‘when exactly did these symptoms begin?’. Am I the only one who feels disturbed by that? Books don’t interrogate you that way, you can just read without being verbally violated and judged because they asked you a question, and your response was to maintain unblinking eye contact and slowly slink (back) into the shadows. You are exactly who you are, and your books love you unconditionally without talking back. That’s real love. In fact, the only two things I really dislike about books is people interrupting me when I’m with a book (yes, I can see the client waiting, and I will deal with them…when I finish this chapter), and monster’s authors who shatter my heart by killing off my favourite characters with no real warning (you should be allowed time off work to nurse this pain).
So yes, I will continue to fill my house with book even though I’m running low on useable living space, and yes, I have a ton of friends who are technically the figment of another person’s imagination, but I have chosen to embrace my bibliophilia wholeheartedly, and I suggest you do too! (BTW: bibliophilia? Did you know there’s a word for people who love books isn’t it awesome?!)
Bonus: (you can stop reading here)
Last month I read:
- A man called Ove (Fredrik Backman):
- The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
- Strange the Dreamer (Laini Taylor)
- Norse Gods (also Neil Gaiman)
(And I’m always looking for recommendations so feel free to leave a few).