Since I remember I have always received books for birthdays, Christmas etc. I loved reading from the moment my mum taught me. Now I’m in my early thirties and I could furnish a house with books. I recently moved to a new flat and transport of the books proved to be a real problem. I did get a van and people to help, but they all commented on the number of books I had and how much effort it took to load them onto the van and then take them up to my flat on the 2nd floor. It made me think – do I have a kind of disease or I just simply love books.
In my defence I do love books and I always end up buying more. I read them and keep most of them, but I also give many of them away. Still, I have so many. Why? Could I not use the local library? Yes, I can and I do, but I love buying books. There’s something therapeutic about it. Some people go and buy clothes, shoes and bags – my retail therapy is buying books.
I have my favourite genres but sometimes I buy books simply, because I love the cover – call me shallow! Though rare and special editions by P B Shelley and W Shakespeare are the biggest part of my collection. Lots of signed books by my favourite authors too. These will never walk out my door. Over my dead body. Also being a translator, I have lots of different dictionaries – and I keep buying more. All is fine until people start commenting on number of your beloved books or cats or anything else people might have more than one.
There are two categories of people. Those who admire my books and sometimes borrow them from me, and those who criticise me for having so many of them. In many cases it’s nothing to do with the fact that they hate reading, because they read, but they think it’s a waste of space to keep them – more dust!
I cannot stop buying books, so maybe it is a disease, like OCD or something. All this created a dilemma – should I get a Kindle? I occasionally use the Kindle App on my phone, so it’s not a completely strange idea to me. Will I feel the same about buying books? I don’t know, but I also know that my flat cannot invite more books, as it’s practically full and I share it with my partner who has his own interests.
Buying a Kindle is a tempting idea. I can build my virtual library and put there almost 3000 books, which I can carry everywhere with me. That sounds brilliant – I would still buy regular books (nothing beats smell of new/old books and feel of paper in your hands) but not as many. Most important though is a book itself. It will still find its way to conquer my mind. It will be in a different form. But is buying books in a different form a publishing treason? Ages ago, people strived to find ways to publish stories. It was a long and exhausting procedure before the printing machines were invented. Nowadays, it all can be done in a matter of clicks.
Sometimes I wonder what majority of authors think about having only virtual publications of their books. I would love to have my book on a library shelf, not only available in an ebook form.
If I win the lottery, I will buy a huge house, then I can have my own library. In the meantime, I might consider buying a Kindle – I will see how I feel about it, once I have it and use it.