Discussion

Buying Books: What Not To Do

There’s a book sale going on right now. A book sale that I attend almost religious every year: the Vancouver Public Library annual book sale. There are brand new books offered here for 75c and most of the times, I just go crazy. Like, suitcase full of books crazy.

This year, I decided to depart from the norm and abstain from the book sale. My friend, Teng, will be quite shocked by this decision because she knows that I am a glutton for books. I see books, especially books on sale, and I immediately start buying them whether I want them or not. I justify this rampage as a one in a million chance (lie) that I’ll find the book at this price ever again (lie).

However, ever since I started keeping records of the books I have on my TBR lists and the number of books I manage to shave off it every month before it is topped up again by books sent to me or bought when favourite authors release books or I get sent review copies of books I want (I only keep finished copies and books I really like, everything else is donated), I got this really cold feeling in my stomach. I realized I hadn’t read the books I bought at the sale three years ago and then I keep on buying and not reading. This is obviously not something I am comfortable with anymore because I have become too conscious of my own mortality¬† (is that weird?) and I want to read the books I have. Space is also a concern and I don’t want to fill up all available space with books that I bought simply because they were cheap.

So, even though it is sort of killing me, I’m not going to the book sale. I just decided this right now. I have a large list of books I want to add to my collection and I know I could justify the trip as trying to find the books I want but the truth is, I don’t mind waiting to buy those books until I have money to do so. As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I begin to be more fully aware of the consequences of my own actions than I used to be. Paying full price for a book may mean that I can only buy one book/month but it will also ensure that I will read that one book I buy. I won’t buy books that I *may* be interested in but I’ll buy books that I truly have yearned for.

Of course book sales are awesome, the VPL book sale in particular as it functions to help the library make more purchases of reading material for its patrons. I am in no way putting down book sales and chances are, I’ll probably wish I was there tomorrow but when you have a TBR mountain as ragingly out of control as mine, some feet have to be set down, no matter how agonizing it is.

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