I always have been mad on books. I was that glutton for punishment who made the Book Clubs so rich. I was never quick enough or alert enough to tick the box for ‘no books next month’ and had never read the small print which said you had agreed to buy x £ worth of books in the first year of membership. So I have some strange books on my bookshelf from those years.
After that I discovered I had produced in one of my daughters the ability to become a Marketing Manager for a leading publisher. I lost sleep excited prior to birthdays and Christmas knowing there would be a carrier bag full of books from the pulp shelf. Her choices were good. She knew me well. Sometimes when browsing my shelves I note a book and cannot remember how it came into my possession but, when I read the name of the publisher, all is clear.
Charity shops are another weakness of mine and so, on my shelves, I have numerous books waiting to be read. Sometimes I reorganise my shelves into Have Read/Must read/Give away and other futile headings.
When I joined a reading group I thought this would limit my addiction to buying books but the opposite was the case. If I really enjoyed a book, I was overcome with the desire to ‘own’ it and would make for the Amazon website to buy my own copy.
My love of books is recognised by my family who present me with many requests each year. They sit on my coffee table waiting to be devoured alongside my coffee – or stronger.
When I started writing ‘Deaf – not Daft’ a novel about two siblings in the 1950s (one deaf and the other hearing) I began collecting books about the Deaf and deafness.
All this on top of my over-zealous borrowing behaviour in my local library. We are fortunate to have kept ours as my seaside town is home to many retired people who make full use of its facility. It was definitely a case of ‘We used it and didn’t lose it’.
Writing my memoir brought on the purchase of books about my birthplace, books on how to write, books telling me how to write my life story and Chronologies of the 20th century. Half of these have not been read, although there are postits in various sections suggesting that I have referred to their inner depths from time to time. No doubt some wisdom sits deep in my sub-conscious awaiting later inspiration.
Another weakness in my pursuit of book ownership is attending writers’ conferences and author talks (again at our library and further afield) where the temptation to own a ‘signed copy’ is too tempting for words (all 80,000 plus of them).
Now, I have made a mid March resolution to weed out some of the lesser varieties of books from my shelves: those I reckon I will never read and, believe me, there are some that leave me gobsmacked. Why ever did I buy this? Moron! It must have seemed pertinent at the time but, as with all things, we move on and I harbour fleeting thoughts of greed and hoarding which lead me to bag up the unwanted and drop them off at the local charity shop in the hope that they may find a more appreciative home.
And that all leaves space for more …………… books.
Read about other bookshelves. This blog was inspired by Louise Gibney. Read her blog on http://www.misswrite.co.uk