I’m finally done with my exams! Hooray! My last exam was on Thursday and it was the most difficult one of this semester. Hopefully I’ll pass and won’t have to take it again in June. Fingers crossed. Classes start on Monday so I only have this weekend to catch up on some reading. Last week I started listening to the audio version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which is narrated by Stephen Fry and it’s hilarious! He literally sounds like Dobby and Hagrid and it’s almost like I’m watching a movie but not quite. I absolutely love it.
Since the exam period is over I decided to treat myself and so I bought two books: The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell who is my favourite booktuber and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Although Instagram is my main platform where I spend most of my time, I got really involved in the booktube community and I keep scrolling down playlists and watching videos. Yes, that’s how I survived this past month. It’s fun to discover new authors but there is also a trick to it.
By watching all these videos about book hauls and wrap-ups and recommendations my TBR list on Goodreads started to grow fast and I suddenly felt bad for not constantly buying books. I literally spent hours browsing on Book Depository looking up prices and deciding which books I’ll order next. This sudden urge to buy more books was obviously rooted in my sudden obsession with the booktube community. The same thing happened with Instagram weeks before: by looking at other people’s profiles and their vast book collections, I’d grown impatient and envious and a voice in my head started telling me: YOU MUST BUY NEW BOOKS.
Now I have around 15 books on my physical TBR pile which are patiently awaiting for me to pick them up plus a couple more on my kindle so the chances of running out of reading material are basically non-existant. Yet I was consumed with this desire, no, NEED to buy more books. I can draw parallels to consumerism and the way most women buy clothes and shoes, but the point is, this is all artificial. By looking at what other people have I immediately started feeling bad for not having as much as they do. It’s all ridiculous, really.
Yes, I do love buying more books but at the same time I get really nervous if I have too many books on my physical TBR pile. So naturally what I should do is first read those books and then buy new ones. That would be the logical thing to do. Still, I was lured into thinking I needed more books and what is even worse is the fact that I felt ashamed for not buying as much of them as others do. Welcome to the land of consumerism and artificially created needs.
From now on I’ll try to be more rational about my purchases and while watching a video on booktube I’ll remind myself that I don’t have to buy books in order to qualify as a booklover. I’ll continue to add new purchases to my book shelves, one book at a time. Slowly but steadily I’ll build my library and even if I only have like a thousand or so books in it (which still sounds pretty impressive to me!) I’ll be happy with it. It doesn’t matter how many books you own as long as you are in love with every single one of them.
I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.
Dorothy Parker, The Collected Dorothy Parker