It seemed an innocuous habit at first, one my parents even encouraged. Harmless to begin with. The odd Puffin paperback here and there, and then later, Penguin Classics, before moving on to trendy Picadors, with their 80s covers.
Then, as money becme less of a problem, hardbacks, and the ultimate fix, signed first editions. The shelves filled up, the pile by the bedside grew, each move meant more cardboard boxes put into storage.
When I left England, I decided to purge myself. I sold over a thousand books (how did I manage to acquire three copies of ‘Bleak House’? And who reads Richard Brautigan these days anyway?). And promptly continued to fill shelves and boxes.
No local bookshops? The Internet, Kindle and the homes of friends and relatives solved that problem. In fact, the only problem was that I spent so much time buying books that I didn’t have time to read them.
Tsundoku, as the Japanese so succinctly put it.
So what to do with the 8,000 books or so that I have scattered around the world?
Answers on a postcard please. (Not on a flyleaf: I really HATE people who write in books.)