Monday 28 December 2015

The art of book buying

I look at my overflowing book shelves and I have too many books, or not enough?

I'd give a different answer everyday of the week but at the end of it all, the one question I have is: can one ever have too many books? 

I must have 1000 books, give or take. A collection I have taken care to build up for as many years as I can remember. Have I read then all? Definitely not. But I have read a good percentage of them and it doesn't bother me that I have a surplus. So, when I already have my own library of books within my room, why do I buy more? 

It's an addiction! I can't go into my local town without making a stop at Waterstones. I can't make an Amazon order without putting a couple of books into it. My day is incomplete without a book in hand and I always have one tucked away in my bag; just in case.

I don't see an unread book as a waste of money but rather an investment. A book is more than just the paper it is written on, it offers the possibility of a new world, new characters, a new journey. It is not so much a product but rather a lifestyle choice. I read books because I enjoy the way they make me think, I like to explore the worlds they create and befriend those who live in them. An unread book can't be compared to that leather jacket you bought and never wore. A book doesn't go out of fashion or have an expiry date.

Those unread books that sit on my bookshelf will still be there for me in the years to come and one day, they will be read. And if they aren't, what does it matter, because an unread book still has a place on my bookshelf. It reminds me that I have more worlds to explore and I find that thought comforting.

So yes, when I next walk past a Waterstones I probably will buy another book, and you know what, that copy of Ulysses by James Joyce that sits on my book shelf will probably never be read, but I am glad it is there.

Book buying is an art and I am well versed in it.