Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wish List

Cheeky, cheeky, I know. Any excuse to slip in a baby picture, but I assure you that this is entirely relevant. Obligatory baby shot amidst some pumpkins is a symbol of autumn, which means that Harriet is four months old, which means that in two months, she'll be six months old. Which means that I will soon lose my maternity leave top-up, and then will have to stop spending money like a Rockefeller. (Or did the Rockefellers make money? And save it? Perhaps this is my problem.)

All of this is fine, except that it throws a kink into my book-buying habits. Or at least it should, particularly as I have forty-two books waiting to be read on my book shelf. (Some are more likely to be read than others. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes has been there since 1998).

When I buy new books, it's a kind of compulsion. I feel as though said book has to be mine as soon as possible, and if I delay, I'll lose track of my desire for it, and then the world will end. I'm serious. But seeing as we're entering a new age of impecuniousness, I've got to change my ways.

Which doesn't mean I'll stop buying books. No, I once read an essay by Annie Dillard who wrote that anyone who hopes to make money from literature has to spend money on literature (and hard cover literature to boot), all for the sake of karma. (And I would extend this to anyone who values and enjoys literature as well, but that's just me.) I will continue to buy new books, of course, which provide the best value for money I've ever known, but I have to be more careful about going about it.

There will be no more rash purchases. A good review in The Globe no longer means I have to rush around the corner to Book City immediately. Instead, I will wait on my urge, think about it for a while. Perhaps I will even wait until Christmas, for somebody to give it to me? And in order that the world not end, and I keep my desires neatly organized, I've started a new list in my ever-expanding sidebar. See "Wish List", to the left, which has already two.

I don't expect it will stay so short for long.