dirty secrets of a bibliophile
Literary Confession: I HAVE to own the books I read. I just have to. It’s a compulsion. If I read a book and cannot keep it, I die a little inside.*
I found this quote this evening and frankly, it is something I would have written about myself. Unless it is for research, reading a book from the library is nice, but if I liked it, I would go out and buy it. Even if I’d just finished the book I had to own my own copy. It’s almost like the experience of reading it vanishes when I return the book to the library (or its owner).
A large part of this is likely based on my tendency to re-read my books. I would go through phases where I would read the same series of books each summer. While I was an undergrad it was Anne Rice’s vampire books. I would start from Interview With a Vampire and end with Memnoch the Devil. I never went any further with the books because at the beginning of every summer I’d start reading them forgetting how stupid and frustrating they were. By the time I got to Memnoch remembered how annoyed I get each time I read them. They always brought to mind the Dorothy Parker quote that “This isn’t a book to be put aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” I later moved on to the Harry Potter series, which I always really enjoyed, until the Deathly Hollows. For some reason the last book just killed it for me. Maybe the ending was just to definitive, but after that I no longer read the series.
Last summer was the first where the effects of my chemotherapy finally faded so I embarked on finding new books to read. I wanted books that were meatier that just easy summer reading. My first stop was Jane’s book list on Ill Seen Ill Said (which doesn’t seem to have survived her blog re-design so I can’t find it anymore). She introduced me to Paul Auster, Sebastian Barry, David Mitchell and so many others (along with bringing me back to Beckett). I felt as though the blurred thinking of the past year was finally coming into focus. I bought a number of books she recommended and from there followed various recommendations and tangents to even more authors and books.
I am always looking for new recommendations!
*via the book giraffe