book dump || This Calls for a Book-Buying Ban

Yes, I know it hasn’t been that long since I put up not one, but two, Book Dump posts. Which points to a rather serious problem. Anyway, here they are–and I deleted all the rationalizing I’d put after each item, haha–more bloody books:

  • Light Boxes, by Shane Jones.
  • Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
  • Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, by William Styron.
  • Theft: A Love Story, by Peter Carey. [Read!]
  • Becoming Jane Eyre, by Sheila Kohler. [Read!]
  • The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, by Maggie O’Farrell.
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Asleep in the Sun, by Adolfo Bioy Casares.
  • Skylark, by Dezsö Kosztolanyí.
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls.
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Brontë.
  • The Cry of the Sloth, by Sam Savage.
  • The Infinities, by John Banville.
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.
  • This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper.
  • People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks.

This is getting ridiculous, really. I smuggle books into the apartment, in big backpacks and oversized totes. In the apartment, I go to extreme lengths hiding them, for god’s sake. I have two full plastic containers that hold these books, not counting the others in the Sasha Shelf that The Boyfriend has graciously reserved for me in his as-overflowing bookshelves. Augh. It’s not just the money [though God knows a lot of it goes into this addiction], it’s the psychology behind the buying, what I think about when I buy these books. Beyond that unexplainable Oh, I will love this book, beyond the default love for all things written, it’s that I buy books to fill a gaping chasm inside my soul. Aherm. It’s not buying power, it’s not simply owning something. I love these books. And I need to have them because there is a near-painful urgency in this loving and needing.

I do try to read everything that’s come in. I’ve made progress with the last Book Dump books. It’s the principle, I suppose–I’ve made a spreadsheet and a schedule, hee, just to assuage the guilt at the mere possibility of not being able to read all of these things. But I know I’m well stocked for a couple of months. And there are still so many books–I will have to count one day–that I haven’t turned to. Some books I’ve owned for five years and I’ve selectively forgotten them dusty on the shelves. And, man, the rereading–how many books do I want to reread? [Please just nod at the whole Bright Side of Shiz spiel.]

So. Let’s give this a year. [Oh, my heart.] And since I just can’t stop myself from buying books–I do not have the strength for that–I’ll limit myself to one a month. One. One. ONE. And technically, I bought some of these in June, but those don’t count. [I am off to a good start.] Our third year anniversary’s coming up [wee] and I’d already planned on giving The [licensed but non-practicing architect, full-time artist, too good a cook] Boyfriend The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. [I’m giving this to someone else, but if I read it, will it count? Eek.] And, come the end of September, Lydia Davis’ new translation of Madame Bovary will be released, and I’m buying that. Will have to buy that on October, since September’s my birthday. And, yes, credit can be cumulative. I can not buy in July & August so I can give myself three birthday books come September. [I am really not off to a good start here.] I’ve also decided to really think about the book. As what normal people do, I guess. Look it up in Amazon, read more book reviews and all that–so I’ll get a book because, if I take a moment to think about my life without it, I shall be seized by a ginormous bereftness and utter despair. Hell yeah.

The suffering shall be entertaining, at least. A new category, then: Book Ban Agonies. Holler.

And, come on, guys, you are so allowed to give me books. Buwahahaha.

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25 comments

  1. This sounds all too familiar. One a month, I don’t think I could stick to that, but I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll succeed!

    1. One of my closest friends just said, “BOOK BAN MY ASS,” hahaha, and I’m almost afraid she’s right. but I will try, I will. Eek.

  2. sounds like a book trade would be away around the book buying ban (which I can relate to!) would be to arrange a book trade!

    1. Yep, yep, like I told you, it’s been difficult coming up with the list, since I don’t have all my books with me–but we can do batches, haha. Off the top of my head, I’d love your Villette for my Mrs Dalloway. :]

  3. I love the bargaining that came at the end of this post – I do the same thing, though I’ve found that the best thing for me to do is just resist going into bookstores for as long as possible. Because once I’m in there, all bets are off!

    But I can’t blame you for your splurge, because so many of these are books I’ve been dying to read. Particularly, I’m envious about the Maggie O’Farrell – I really want to read more by her!

    1. I’m trying to negotiate with my own resolutions, hahaha. I know, it’s ridiculous–I don’t want to do this. But I need to. Gahk. And it doesn’t help that where I work is in close proximity to six bookstores–two of them in my usual route going home. It’s a sign from the Universe, augh.

      It was your review of The Hand that First Held Mine that urged me to get this novel of O’Farrell’s. I haven’t read her before, but I figured I wanted to read the other one so badly, that this could do for now. :] And I think the Guardian had an article out a couple of weeks ago that praised this novel for the treatment of the relationship between sisters, and I like sister stories, so, well, why not?

  4. Book buying bans are HARD! I love the new smell of books and I can’t help them coiming into the house… it happens way to often!

    1. I know, I know. I’m going to try so hard. In the meantime, I can keep my new books in sealed containers and just take ’em out to smell them once in a while, ;]

  5. Theres no way I could limit myself, I just tell myself that a shoe addiction would be much costlier. I also brought the Great Gatsby this month and I am eyeing up the cry of the sloth.

    1. Hi, Jessica. I think in this case, I’m allowing myself to feel guilty about having too many books unread. That might help restrain me. Might. :)

      This will be my first foray into F. Scott Fitzgerald, I’m both excited and wary at the thought that I’m going to be reading what a lot of critics think is “one of the best American novels.” Sam Savage charmed me with Firmin, so I’m eager to try this one out. :)

  6. I’ve been doing okay with books lately. I went way too crazy around Christmas time because there were so many sales. I probably buy a few a month, but now that I have an e-reader we’ll see if I buy more or less. Ugh, I feel your pain.

    1. It’s this first job, really. Having spending power turns me into a monster in the bookstore. It just makes me so happy having books I want now, haha.

  7. It’s a never-ending battle, isn’t it? I try to store my books in all sort of different spots, bags, corners, just so it doesn’t look like I have so many. And yet. Deep down. I know…

    1. Oh, a never-ending battle, yes. I’ve never made a count of my books. I am afraid to, really. Like I said above, I have boxes separate from my shelves, and then I have a bulk of books back at my grandmother’s. The knowledge of the mountain of books awaiting you . . . Man, it can be horrific, haha.

  8. There are so many books in your pile that I want to read! Enjoy The Glass Castle–it is impossible to put down!

    1. I know it’s going to be a compelling read–from reviews, and, well, from instinct. It keeps getting bumped up the TBR Mountain.

  9. I sympathise. I imposed a two month book buying ban on myself, and then bought eleven books in five days – all of them absolute “must-haves”! I’ve now put myself on a self-imposed three month ban, but, if I get some books as presents, they don’t count, right? :)

    Only read Gatsby from your list, and it’s absolutely fantastic!

    1. I know I’m falling off the wagon once the workweek begins, I just know. I mean, I wouldn’t be writing elaborate rationalizations on my notebook if it weren’t so, right? Augh. I’m not good at this, haha.

      I’ve always heard how The Great Gatsby‘s considered one of the best American novels, ever. Plus, that Richard Yates was influenced by his writing. It was only a matter of time for me to pick it up, I suppose. :]

  10. This is adorable and made me smile and laugh, because I know that wonderful feeling that comes with the texture of new books. I actually ended up here from your tumblr from a link from my best buddy Laala (distantheartbeats) and I think you and her are slices of the same kind of soul in this book buying addiction and constantly promising not to purchase so many. I love how much you read and your reviews and I look forward to following your book posts into the future :)

    I post occasionally about books on my own blog (also about mail, and other random things) although I get spurts of wanting to review/not wanting to review which I am trying to remedy and become more consistent. it’s a lovely way to clarify your own thoughts.

    1. Hi, Zoe. Thank you so much for your comment. :] I look forward to sharing books with you, too! I love Laala, so admire her reading, and her unrepentant hoarding of books, haha. Actually, well, dammit, but I fell off the wagon, and bought a bunch of books. Eek. Tumblr is awesome, I wouldn’t have met so many like-minded people if it weren’t for it.

      Again, thank you, thank you — I’m blushing, haha.

      1. I’m not surprised but it made me laugh anyway :) I actually have a tumblr to (bodywithoutorgans) although I don’t really use the site to its full advantage and have become more immersed in a blogspot community than a tumblr one. Tumblr is definitely a great way to find more passionate readers though.

        1. “Book Ban, My Ass” was actually what a close friend of mine replied when I expressed Book Ban intentions. :) And I’ve checked out both of your blogs — followed you on Tumblr too. :)

        2. “Book Ban, My Ass” was actually what a close friend of mine replied when I expressed Book Ban intentions. :) And I’ve checked out both of your blogs — followed you on Tumblr too. :)

  11. […] think anyone is surprised, but man, this has to be a record. A little over a week ago, I proposed to limit myself for one book a month. Turns out, I can’t do it. Huh. Moving […]

  12. […] Moore, and Lydia Davis’ short story collection Break It Down for Metakritiko. [2] Added several new books to the TBR Land Mass, effectively confirming that I have no resolve whatsoever when it […]

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