Thursday, October 25, 2007

For the Love of Books

I really must stop buying books.

My shelves are groaning under the weight of the books they’re carrying and my conscience is groaning under the weight of the guilt it’s carrying because all these books are not being read. It’s not that I don’t want to read them, it’s just that when I take in the sheer volume of books and the range of topics that they cover I am simply overwhelmed and at loss for where to begin.

I have had a bit of a clear out – there were books sitting on my shelves that I knew come hell or high water I just would never read. But even then it doesn’t seem to have made much of a dent to what still sits there.

I rarely buy novels (non-fiction?) these days. My heart doesn’t leap wildly as it scans down the list of books recommended by leading magazines/booker prize/Oprah’s book club etc. It may do a little dance at the sight of a novel by a (but not all) Nigerian writer but that’s about it.

No, the sort of books that make my heart soar and that I splurge on – and I blush as I admit this – are self improvement/ self development books. God, I’m a sucker for them and the prettier the cover/the print/the paper the more of a sucker I am. I don’t know what it is about books of this genre that excite me so – perhaps I am secretly trying to ‘find myself’ and just don’t know it? Or want to admit it? Or perhaps I think ‘someday I’m going to need that’, the latter has often turned out to be right.

Note to self: A strategy

I think what I need to do is make a list of all the books – unread – that I own and then tackle them one after the other as opposed to my current strategy of tackling three or four of them at the same time and ending up reading about five pages before putting them down.



Blogger uknaija said...

Join a library? And ban yourself from going into Bookshops or visiting Amazon?

7:26 pm  
Blogger Pilgrimage to Self said...

I joined the library years ago but only just started to use it. Its not the same thing though. I know, I know... Amazon is the bane of my life!!! I think I also just love the parcels being delivered by the postman. :-)

9:22 am  
Blogger Uzo said...

I love new books too. ...I currently have 42 unread books but in my case...I read them one at a time even though i keep buying and buying...

How are your kids?

3:51 pm  
Blogger Mona said...

wow apologies but its been almost a yr since i visited ur blog

love ur writing style as always


pls get ur groove back oh! (as per ur previous post hehe)

love always - Mona xx

check out

6:27 pm  
Blogger Olawunmi said...

totally random comment to say, "how are you and the fam doing?" i haven't checked up on you in a while, abeg no vex.

hope you're well

2:40 pm  
Blogger ebony said...

I find that some of the self-improvement books don't meet my expectations....sometimes am like "What kind of silly advice is that? Shoot!"

4:53 am  
Blogger R said...

PTS!!!! ((Hug)). It's been like ages! Ditto Olawunmi.. How's the family doing, especially the not so new any more baby?

I've given up on trying to learn the discipline of reading one book at a time. I read a minimum of three at a time, usually different genres... I love the buzz that it gives me...

Reading your post did make me want to recommend another book to you... So Many Books, by Gabriel Zaid. Yes, I know it sounds like I'm not helping, but maybe I am.

Take care of you, PTS.

12:55 pm  
Blogger Kafo said...

i used to suffer from Bookamocitis also
i love the smell of new books so once a month or so depending on how busy i was i went to the local bookstore Barnes and Nobles or Borders and just sat down for like 5 hours and read the book and i made absolutely sure that i did not have any cash or credit cards on mii
i still do it

just finished this tight book on monday, yes it took two readings one last week and one this week but my shelves are smiling and my credit card doesn't hide behind receipts each time i step into a bookstore

3:38 am  
Blogger Pilgrimage to Self said...

@ uzo, olawunmi and r, thanks for asking!! We are all doing well. Baby is just gorgeous and I am totally in love. I'll give you guys an update soon. {{{hugs}}}

4:44 pm  
Blogger stella halley said...

Dear Pilgrim,
I guess I know why you buy books you cannot read and are so interested in self improvement books. You're a good mom!

You know you must be your best,
fast, to become the mom you want your kids to have. (Forgive my poor english, I have to translate my thoughts).

Flaubert, Balzac, Dickens, Austen, Wilde, and the new, interesting ones, won't run away. They will be waiting for you, the moment you need them again.

Now, enjoy the happiness of introducing your children to the beauties of this world. Did you already read "The Happy Prince" to your girl? I cried every time I did it...

Library is good, but underlining our own book, writing special notes on its pages, it's superb!

I love your writing and I'm very glad, you are back. To celebrate it, here is quotation I love:

"Oh for a book and a shady nook, either indoor or out.
With the green leaves whispering overhead,
Or the street cries all about.
Where I may read all at my ease,
Both of the new and the old;
For a jolly good book whereon to look,
Is better to me than gold."
(John Wilson)

11:26 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home