Friday, February 29, 2008

Book-buying addict

Now that I have finished Chekhov's short stories I am feeling bereft. However I notice in the criticism at the back of my Norton edition that his short novels are even better. So I have those to look forward to...but not yet.

Hodmandod Senior has begun to say 'More books?' and raise his eyebrows when he comes across those little cardboard packages from Amazon, and even I have to admit it is becoming ridiculous. I am finding myself tempted to hide them out of sight like an alcoholic hides his empty bottles.


Anonymous Susan said...

I got the same, Clare, and I think we have to be quite hard-nosed about it. "Yes - More books" and God help them if they complain. I found I had to make it quite clear to my husband that if he didn't want to be harassed about his purchases (target guns, cars, fishing equipment), he'd better not complain about mine! Oddly enough, he scuttled off quietly and seldom utters a peep now :-) And we do get along very well. Really.

Sat Mar 01, 05:18:00 am  
Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

I've had this exact same problem (which is why I had to sell or give away something like 800 books before moving to Singapore), and though I've tried to get in the habit of going to the library more, I still buy books occasionally. Publishers have also begun sending me ARCs again, to the point where Janet gets that same look that your husband gets, and I almost feel like I have to hide my purchases, like porn.

Sat Mar 01, 07:56:00 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

You have to be discriminating. I find myself going into bookshops - with a discount voucher - and coming out with nothing these days.

It used to be different in the past, but these days I'm happy just rereading old favorites with the occasional new one thrown in.

Sat Mar 01, 09:41:00 am  
OpenID maxine said...

Yesterday was the apogee of my considerable shame in this area. A packet from a book club (I confess to recently re-joining one) started the day, followed by a parcel from Amazon, two books in separate parcels from Amazon "marketplace sellers" and a publisher's review copy in the regular mail. Then a meeting with a certain friend who handed over 5 or 6 more review copies. With said friend, went to visit a certain bookshop -- having agreed in advance to hold firm in our resolve, one of us weakened and bought two books and the shop's catalogue.
Utterly hopeless.

Sat Mar 01, 04:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Susan: thank you - as usual you've made me laugh, and sound advice too. Yes, I shall stand my ground. Bookaholics of the world unite! ...Actually I've noticed recently that there are other Amazon packages arriving at this house with the wrong name on them - HS's. Perhaps this is not so much an addiction but an infection.

Jason: Yes, the library is good, and I really ought to use it more - but it is not just the reading of them but the ownership of them that I value. I find it inexplicably reassuring to own a book so I can revisit - and coming across it again on the shelf is like being reminded of an old friend. But you're right, I should use the library more. It is a far better philosophy. Mine smacks of materialism, I think.

Anne S: I think this is true too, I do find that I tend not to like what is on offer at the front of the shop but have to delve in behind and find some good books there. Most of the books everyone else has read I have not so I have a lot of catching up to do (so very fortunate).

Maxine: Very funny. This is like a meeting of Bookaholics anonymous. I expect you'll have read the lot (and written reviews) within a couple of weeks...and like Susan says I think we have to be brazen about the whole thing. Although we shake our heads over ourselves I don't think we really want to change. This is one vice I am secretly (thought less so now!)very proud of.

Sun Mar 02, 07:16:00 am  
Blogger Andrew K said...

I can very highly recommend Tolstoy's short story collection, "Master & Man", Clare. The title story in particular is one of the most perfect pieces of literature written. J Joyce considered a separate story in it to be the greatest short story of all, which I actually thought one of the lesser stories in the collection.

Sun Mar 02, 10:37:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks very much Andrew - another for the Amazon shopping basket. Chekhov admired Tolstoy enormously - so a definite must-read...

Sun Mar 02, 12:41:00 pm  
Blogger jem said...

My family are raising their collective brow everytime a jiffy bag comes through the door. I justify by saying it didnt cost much, it was swapped from Bookmooch, and they say its not the money its the space! But books are just so delicious, I can't stop!

Sun Mar 02, 02:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Yes, it is the space, really, isn't it, Jem? All my bookshelves are two deep and then there are boxes of books in ever space I can find...

Tue Mar 04, 09:03:00 pm  

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