“So many books, so little time,” says a book hoarder who promised two minutes ago not to buy any more books until her TBR list gets cleared.
At the onset of 2020, I made a promise to minimize my spontaneous book buying and to start reading the ones that are piling up on my shelf. I told myself to buy books only ─ and only if ─ absolutely necessary such as coming across must-reads or hard-to-find copies. But little did I know I was bound to cheat on that faithful afternoon on February when I entered Booksale and saw Velocity by Dean Koontz.
Fast forward to September, I find myself having my highest number of book haul in a month. Six books.
- By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
- The Raid and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy
- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I know this desire to buy more books than what I can read in a lifetime is a universal guilty pleasure for book lovers. The question is, should we feel bad about it? Are we taking away the true essence of a book which is to be read? I cannot speak for others but, in my defense, here are three reasons of what triggers me to hoard books:
1. The bookstores. Do I even have to explain this? Here in the Philippines, the biggest distributors of books are National Bookstore, Fully Booked, and Booksale. The delight of walking along bookshelf aisle, the excitement of what awaits in book pages, the smell of books, old and new. Who would not be tempted to buy a book?
2. Book rescue. I have mentioned in my previous post that buying pre-loved books is one of my bookish fetish. I am a sucker for them. Aside from frequenting Booksale, I follow legit pre-book resellers, join “pasabuy” Facebook groups, turns on notification for book listings on marketplace, and just recently included Shoppee and Lazada in my go-to sites. I have always believed that every book deserves a home and this is my little way of helping. It’s like animal rescue, only books. Plus, hey, it’s a very cheap bargain too!
3. Happy hormone booster. Dopamine? Serotonin? Oxytocin? Whenever I add another member to my growing family of books, I feel like all my happy hormones are spiked up. If I am not reading or writing, buying books is my next resort during gloomy days.
Some people would say that book hoarding is a sin or a shame. That it is just vanity and greed masked as love for books. But as long as you are doing what you enjoy the most, shrug it off.