Anyone who is even remotely close to me should know that I am a book-hoarder to the backbone! It's not really a problem, though, in saying that, when the day comes where I have to pack up and move out on my own it'll be a serious problem. The problem isn't that I'm a bookworm, its not even that I'm a hoarder. The problem at hand is that I am what I like to call "a sentimental book buyer"... I buy most of my books in charity shops or at car-boot sales. My addiction doesn't cost me a lot, in reality. It just takes up a lot of space and annoys everyone around me.
Two weeks ago I stumbled on a charity car-boot sale with my mum and within 5 minutes of arriving, had bought two books; The Narnia series in one volume, and "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom. I actually apologised to her, because she is always telling me I buy too many books. Its not my fault, these books are laying in boxes unwanted and unloved. I think its a "Toy Story Mentality" type of thing. Nobody wants to love them, so it would be cruel to leave them behind.
On Tuesday I bought NINE books, though it was technically twelve, 3 were for my uncle who is a "Grow Your Own" enthusiast. Again, they looked sad and unwanted, so the need to re-home them like lost puppies kicked in with fervour! When I'm book-buying in any kind of charity shops, there's a process I go through, so let me explain:
First, I'll look pretty vaguely at the shelves, or the stack or whatever, and see if anything catches my eye. This is where I'll have my mental list of things missing from my own collection. For example, I have two of the three Hannibal Lecter books, and though I've gotten a lend of the first one, I want to have my own copy. I'm weird about that. So I'll keep my eyes open for things missing. When or if I find them, I'll go onto step two.
The second step is where I look for titles I've heard mentioned or had recommended. For example, I really like Nicholas Sparks and Sara Shepard, so I'll have a closer look in a bid to see authors or titles I recognise, if only vaguely.
Step Three, scan the shelves again. I don't like thinking I may have overlooked something potentially wonderful, some hidden gem, so I''ll have a look and double, triple, even quadruple check that every spine has been examined.
For the fourth and subsequent steps, its a case of "lower your standards and go again". The only reason this step exists is because my favourite charity shop to buy books in offers a deal of "50c a book, 5 for €2, and 12 for €4". Usually I find 5 or 6, and the thought of picking one to put back is unthinkable. So I keep going.
Now, I have this other mentality, wherein I tell myself, if something is cheap enough, even if you never use it for its intended purpose, it will not have been a waste. nothing is truer of that statement than my hardback copy of Maeve Binchy's "Tara Road", which is acting as a level for my desk, since its missing a caster.
I have a problem, but its not buying books. Its not even that I read half a book and pick up another. My problem is that I don't have a problem with having a problem!!