Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Happiness is a warm book

As haunting me has yet to break my spirit, it appears that Cat Stevens has called in some favours owed to him in the literary world. I happened by the always excellent Unity Books and the latest offerings from Messrs Eggers, Chambon, Palahniuk and Ondaatje were all displayed next to each other like a quartet of sirens standing at the edge of a financial Charybdis. I wanted to sweep them all in my arms and run from the shop. I have little enough time to read the book currently in my man-bag, let alone another four, but there’s something about owning new books that fills me with glee.

The walls of our home are testament to this. Bookshelves are filled two deep and we’ve had to employ bookends on what little available flat surfaces we have in the living room. Yet Robyn and I will keep on adding to our library. I have few plans to re-read more than a handful of the titles but things would have to get fairly dire before I’d contemplate getting rid of any of them.

I get a strange combination of comfort and safety while reading. This effect is then multiplied when seated in a well-stocked study or den. So you can see how the prospect of adding to our hoard is appealing at the best of times and the levels rise to an intoxicating level when it’s not just four new books but an armful of new additions that I know I’ll enjoy. And then turn it up to eleven as there’s a good chance that, based on the authors' past efforts, I’ll love at least one of them.

You’ll be happy to know that there is a happy ending as I left the store without any new paperback acolytes. That said, my resolve is sure to fold in the next couple of days as I just received a 20% off voucher for Borders.

Well played Mr Stevens.

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