Sunday, 13 November 2016

Why are books so damn tempting?!

The title of this post is, of course, rhetorical.

I know exactly why books are so damn tempting.

These are not my shelves - the pic comes from a BBC article on collecting books.
Thankfully, I don't have the space for this rampant level of bibliophilia.

Over 6 months ago, I wrote a post where I congratulated myself on how I had cleared the decks when it came to books waiting to be read. I returned everything I had to the library; I took all books I hadn't read off my shelves and gave them charity. Novels that had been lent to me I gave back to the lenders. It was such a delicious feeling to know that my reading-scape was swept clear. I had the space and the freedom to go out into the world - to libraries, to bookshops, to the shelves of friends, to my own shelves of once-read still-loved books - and see what books wanted to be read.

Above images found here in a collection of different types of philes and what they love

Skip ahead to today and I have 30 unread books that I have managed to accumulate since. I'd registered the odd tome slipping in here and there but I hadn't realised how many paperbacks and hardbacks had snuck back on to those cleared shelves. This total of 30 is after I looked at the acquisitions and culled those that could go to charity. My book-reading vista is once again clogged up. I no longer feel I have the freedom to go to libraries and charity shops and pick something up. I can do it, of course, but there's the nagging thought at the back of my head that I have so much to read already.

The Japanese have a word for this kind of collecting. Tsundoku. There is the feeling among some that just like the words karaoke and tsunami, tsundoku should enter the English language.

What about abibliphilia? I think this might be a made up word as it doesn't appear in the dictionary but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be. I scooped it from this blog post and wonder if this is part of my problem - fear of running out of things to read. This is a highly irrational fear as I have lots of books I have already read on my shelves and I have a kindle and a OneClick Digital app on my tablet so a vast library is only a few clicks away.

Every book is a promise. That's why I pick them up and accrue them without consciously realising it. Each one is new world. I will meet new people there, explore new ideas, absorb new sights and stories. Some will barely register as a ripple, read one day, forgotten within a month. Others will blow my mind. How do you successfully resist promises? I, it would appear, don't.

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