I went to a book shop yesterday. In theory I went to purchase a card for our wedding anniversary but it seemed rude not to have a look at the books as well. Card selected I sidled up to the books. This was the first real challenge, the first time I knew I was going to feel a wobble and would have to steel myself against non-essential purchases. There is no book which I need other than the Kopprasch Horn Studies which I have been instructed to purchase by Runner One forthwith for impending exam. At the current music expenditure rate I am hoping for a trio of virtuosos who can at least make my old age more cultural if not more comfortable. There are plenty of books I would like, but that is not the point.
I started in children and young adults on the grounds any purchase would be research. I girded my loins and moved on. We have a houseful of children and young adult literature and there is a perfectly good library in town should I notice a shortfall.
A meander around Literature A-Z lead to a discussion with self about whether, when I am a Published Author, to use maiden name (beginning with A and which nobody can spell correctly but would be at the front of the shop) or married name (beginning with S and thus at the back of the shop but an exceptionally memorable name). A quick peek to see if old favourite, my copy long since lost but feeling a sudden need (want?) to replace was on the shelf. But unsurprisingly as it is a little offbeat, it was not; a narrow escape. I snapped a few photographs on my phone of books I rather liked the look of and could put on my birthday list, and then felt very guilty as if I had actually taken the books and slipped them in my bag.
Finally I flicked through self-help. Nothing specific, but there were a couple of new editions of Tony Buzan which looked interesting and there were one or two NLP books which I would gladly have bought if buying was an option. But it wasn’t.
And I didn’t mind. I bought my card and didn’t feel short-changed for not leaving with a couple of books as well. In fact, the whole exercise only brought home how many unread books I have propping up the eaves and how much pleasure they gave me when I bought them. So in fact I felt rather uplifted, as if I had discovered a whole library of unread books, which of course I had.
That evening, after a long couple of hours taking the Dancer from one lesson to another I picked up the Nomad catalogue. Once again buying was off the agenda, but window shopping is still allowed. I idly noted a couple of items that vaguely tickled my fancy. On close reflection I realised I already owned something that was almost identical to each one. How often have I bought the same thing again and again, without thinking? Many times I fear. This is proving an interesting journey.