wrapped up in books

November 28th, 2005

I have a problem. Whenever I walk into a book shop I find it very hard not to walk out with a new book in my hands.

A couple of months ago I made up a set of rules which I have to follow if I want to buy a new book. Any body with an uncontrollable book buying problem can use these rules and any refinements to the rules or new rule suggestions are welcome.

Rule no.1: You may not buy a new book if You’re currently in the middle of reading another book.*

Rule no.2: You may only buy a book if it is the next book you are going to read.

Rule no.3: Whenever you pick up a book with a price tag on it, think about rules 1 and 2 and if they apply put down the book immediately.

Rule no.4: Do not enter a book shop if it could possibly lead to a violation of rules 1 and 2.**

Needless to say, sometimes these rules serve more as guidelines than strict laws. So Saturday I found myself in the local Exclusive Books Store, and I saw a book that my friend Daan told me about, The Google Story by David Vise. I picked it up and immediately felt the urge to buy it. I was about to buy it but a plan popped into my mind. As I’m currently reading The Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh, this plan could save me from breaking the rules. Since it’s almost Christmas, I thought I’d put it on my Christmas wish list and my mom could buy me the book, that way I’d obey the rules, save money and I could read another book [1] in the meantime. So hesitantly I put down the book, turned around and walked out of there… just like that! Easy!

Earlier this evening I went for a coffee with a friend at Seattle Coffee Company. I got there a bit early, and while I was waiting for my friend I quickly went into Exclusive Books. I started reading the Introduction of The Google Story and I ended buying the book. Hahaha, rules? who needs rules?

[1] I have quite a few “rule breaking” books on my bookshelf.

* If you have 50 pages or less left to read, this rule does not apply.
** This applies to online book shops as well.*


  1. nat* wrote on November 29th, 2005 at 2:32 pm

    i have the same problem….except i don’t have any rules. Problem is: people keep giving me books they think i will enjoy. They tell you bits of the story, you get sucked in, and before you know it you’ve read the first two chapters and you’re hooked. Then the problem is: do you leave the new one, go back to the one you were reading before? Then you have to start the new one all over again….i’ve got at least 20 books in my room that i am trying to get through..help! :(

  2. Desigan wrote on November 30th, 2005 at 8:13 am

    Hi I’m Desigan and I am a book adulterer.

    I’ve had threesomes and even up to four books at one time. My problem is that some books catch my attention in the beginning
    then midway through (when the honeymoon phase is over) something more exciting and with that “new book smell” comes along and I think : “I wonder whats between those covers.” Dont get me wrong – I’ve finished many a book – but there are also some casualties in my flat (with scars and bookmarks) calling out hauntingly : “finish me, finish me…” I have come to the conclusion that any book that I havent finished within 6 months of starting isnt really worth finishing.

    Meetings are every Wed at 8pm at your local library.

  3. hannes wrote on November 30th, 2005 at 10:24 am

    Solution no. 1: get a job where you’re forced to read things all day long. Believe me, when you get home reading is the last thing you feel like doing.

    But, PROCEED WITH CAUTION: it has not been proven that this leads to fewer books being purchased and may in fact lead to a ridiculous stack of “to reads” piling up on your nightstand!

  4. david wrote on December 3rd, 2005 at 8:55 pm

    i’m an old fasion guy… i finnish the book, even if its painful! And I hate it when you like a particular author and you buy the book and it sucks… it’s so hard to admit the truth.

  5. Jané wrote on December 7th, 2005 at 10:43 pm

    Rule number 5: Move to a different country where 99% of the books are french. You’ll end up buying a lot less books

    PS. Mom just read this and let’s just say your wishlist got blackmailed

  6. Peter Peele wrote on December 13th, 2005 at 12:06 pm

    Rule no.6: Do not join the Fanatics club from Exclusive!!!
    They send you a R50 voucher every now and then. You tell yourself you’ll visit them and use it for those 50 page 5-minute magazines, with pictures of nude humans. Move your head a radian and then Bang!: That book your mate’s been yapping about.

    It’s the “System”! Don’t be fooled by that Bling Bling Fanatics card in your wallet. The “Man” knows what he’s doing.