I paid a visit to the bookstore today. You can see where this is going already, can’t you? My main reason for going was to pick up a book that I’d ordered, a personal account of one woman’s hike through the Appalachian Trail, called In Beauty May She Walk. I’ve had a fascination with the AT since first reading Bill Bryson’s fantastically funny and entertaining A Walk in the Woods – which incidentally also turned me into a diehard Bryson fan. I even have a yen to someday hike at least part of the trail myself, and so reading the story of a 60-year-old woman hiking alone fascinated me – and proves that perhaps my pipe dream isn’t as fanciful as it appears.
Okay, so that’s one book. But I also had received a discount coupon for Barbara Kingsolver’s new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I really support the ideas behind the slow movement and eating locally, and I love Kingsolver’s writing – so I knew I had to get this one. And that was all I intended to buy – two books.
But then I went wandering through the store.
A display showcasing several bestsellers at 50% off caught my eye – especially when I saw two of the books on my wishlist: The Terror and The Book of Lost Things. So how could I resist getting these books at half price? I added those to my basket and continued on my way through the store, coming to the section where they feature new and typically unknown authors. Among a few interesting looking titles, I picked up Karma and Other Stories – I’ll admit what first attracted me to this book was the robin’s egg blue cover, but I put it in my basket because it reminded me of Interpreter of Maladies, another short story collection I enjoyed. I was just about to leave and make my way up to check out, but then The Secret of Lost Things caught my eye – or more specifically, the array of book spines on the cover did. The jacket blurb stated it was a “novel about the eccentricities and passions of booksellers and collectors” – and so into the basket it went.
Six books later, I’ve come to a decision – I need to set some boundaries! (That and I am easily attracted by cover art.) So, I’ve decided to set myself a personal challenge of sorts. For every book I bring into the house to read – whether through buying, the library or bookcrossing – I have to read two of my own. Hopefully this will help me minimize my book buying and allow me to finally read some of the books I’ve had languishing on my ‘TBR’ shelves. Of course, this challenge is not retroactive, so none of the current library books I still have nor the books I bought today will count.