On books

As a writer, and a part-time reader I, like so many others, love books.

There’s nothing better than a second-hand book store, or the book shelf in a charity shop, and sometimes, best of all. Sales.

I recently went to a bookseller here in the UK called Waterstones, and was delighted to find that they had three tables full of books for sale. Some of them were half-price, some of them were £5, £3 and some of them… were a whopping £1.

The best time to look at books, is when you have nothing else on your agenda. I’m really lucky in some ways that right now the last thing I need to be doing for myself is setting outrageous goals. That’s for another day (isn’t everything) though.

I think I picked up pretty much every book. If they weren’t £1 I put them down again.(I don’t have money for books right now!) Some I put back down right away because they just didn’t appeal to me, others I glanced at the blurb and set them back down, and there were a select few where I did that test – you know the one. The one where you read a few paragraphs and you’re supposed to work out by the second page whether it’s something you could keep reading or not.

Exactly five times I ended up at the end of the first chapter before I realised that not only was this definitely a book I needed to buy, but I probably needed to forget everything I’d just read because I have a SYSTEM when it comes to books. It’s like this.

HERE is a picture of the books at my bedside. These are the books I am currently reading.

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and then there’s a huge pile of books in my to-read pile.

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There’s a bigger question going on in my head right now, and the war I have with myself over it, whenever I start to think about it is pretty inconclusive every time.

What do I do with my books when I’m done with them!?

In my future, or as I like to say to a lot of my friends. “When I grow up, I want to have a house with a library and study.” In my head I have this gorgeous, perfectly lit room, with tall, second-hand bookshelves, a really comfy reading chair, and an incredibly well organised desk with an iMac and a twirly chair underneath it.

Sod the rest of it. I want a functional kitchen and a living room with a television and perhaps a PS4 (or PS10, whatever they’re on by the time I can afford something to call mine.) It’s my desperate dream to be well enough known author to live on writing alone, whether it be through book sales or free-lance work or something, idk.

ANYWAY. The problem comes at a certain point. As well as reading, and books, and writing I love BookCrossing

I absolutely love the idea of book crossing. There’s something great about knowing that you can ‘release’ a book somewhere and that someone else might enjoy it just as much as you did. Whilst I was in Melbourne, book crossing was the platform by which I discovered an amazing author, Bevan McGuiness, and without it I wouldn’t know the world of the triumvirate and that’s such a sad notion.

There’s a problem here though – and maybe you’ve noticed it yourself.

If I release these books in the wild once I’ve read them – I won’t have anything left on my shelf by the time I get those great big book shelves. Yeah, there are some books I just can’t part with. Through experience I’ve learnt that parting with my graphic novels is just a little too heart breaking, and of course there are books that particular people have bought for me that I just cannot part with. I’m a fan of getting friends to scribble a little note in the front page of books, even if it’s just the date and who gifted it to me.

Perhaps I’ll just have to be super selective about the books that I give away, but then I keep coming back to the bigger problem. What’s going to end up on my bookshelves?! I’m not even sure who my literary collection would be for. I have no intentions of having children of my own, but of course that’s not to say I won’t be that awesome ‘Auntie’ Ollie with the awesome library in her weird little house?

When I’m rich and famous maybe I’ll just be able to buy every book I’ve ever wanted, but where’s the fun in a collection that hasn’t travelled the world with you, or been carefully put together over time?

Clearly, there are just too many difficult decisions to make in life!

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