There is nothing that I love quite as much as a good book.
I don’t just like to read a good book, I like to own it. Every book on my shelf is like a family member, a little story that was part of my life for a while. They are my treasures, far more than jewellery or trinkets. But I can seldom find a viable excuse to spend money buying a new book. With school fees and kiddies Panados to pay for, and all of the other things that two growing children constantly need, a single mother can seldom justify spending money on a brand new book.
Luckily for me I have discovered a loop hole. I do my book shopping at Hospice and Red Cross.
There is nothing more exciting for me than finding a book I really want at a second hand shop for fifteen or twenty Rand. It is in fact, even better than ordering one on line, and here is why:
You never know what you are going to find. Every time you do actually find a book that you want it’s like a special gift from the universe, a reward for good behaviour. There is no agonising over what to choose, the choice is made for you, you just know when you see a book by one of your favourite authors that it is there just for you. There is no guilt, you just buy it. Every time I find a book I love at the thrift shop I feel like I have been given a present. I treasure it because it is a find!
And then to add to that joy it has been read and loved by someone else before me. maybe many someone else’s. Now whereas this might disturb me a little if I were buying clothing or bedding, with a book it adds to the character and mystery of the whole thing. I will wonder who else has been caught up in the story, or the poetry, and I like that my book has come to me already loved. Books seem to hold on to that feeling somehow. You know when you pick up a pre-owned book if it was well loved or if it needs a little attention. Whereas new books can be almost intimidating with their crisp, unbent and unmarked pages and unwrinkled spines, an older book invites you in like an old friend. Someone you know well handing you a cup of tea as you walk through the door and you know that you are welcome. You don’t worry that you might make it look read, you just tuck right in and read it.
Though I may still have a list as long as my arm of books that I want, I am almost grateful that I am not in a position to simply go online and order them all, this way I appreciate them so much more when I do actually find them.
After all, If books are to be the great love of my life, I think I am too old to be bothered with inexperienced reads.