Thursday, September 1, 2011
Today I went into a bookstore. I don't know why I did it. I have bookshelves full of unread books, a stack by my bed, and many more scattered about the house. I am still reading last month's bookgroup novel and I really should have started the next one. Somehow I convince myself that I'm just going to browse. Twenty minutes later, I leave with three books. I just can't help myself. I love books. They are my passion, my inspiration, my obsession. I was recently made to feel a little guilty about my book-buying by a friend, who asked me what I did with all my books once I'd read them. The answers is that I mostly keep them. I like being surrounded by books. They are there as a reference point, to be reread or lent to others, and now that I have children, they are there as a backdrop, to be picked up, one day, by a bored teenager and discovered all over again. I'm not going to feel bad about buying books: some people like to spend their money on music, or clothes, or gym membership, or wine. I love to own books. It's not extravagent; it's the thing that keeps me happy and connected to the world beyond that of a stay-at-home mum. Besides, if I want to be part of the publishing industry again, if I want to write novels myself, then the least I can do is support it by buying a few books each month. As if I need any excuse.