The effects of Howards End is on the Landing continue apace… For the past couple years I’ve been on a book buying ban during Lent. I have hundreds of unread books, a limited budget, and love of a challenge… and so I’m rolling out a year-long restriction.
Restriction, not ban, I hasten to add. I toyed with a ban on book buying, but realised that going cold turkey would send me smashing the windows of Waterstones at 3am on January 3rd, grabbing handfuls of books, and collapsing in tears.
Or something like that.
So, instead, I thought I’d buy 24 books next year. Two a month. If I’m good one month, I can get more the next – on the other hand, if I go on a book-buying splurge, then I’ll have to stay away from bookshops for a few weeks.
Let’s put this into perspective. Two books a month coming into the house is probably rather more than your average person buys – but I would be surprised if I’ve bought fewer than 240 this year. I’m decimating my book buying, and then only keeping the bit that I’ve got rid of…
I should give you an idea of the response my friends have had to this, on Facebook and my online reading group:
‘GOOD LUCK, Simon! I wonder how many days you’ll last? ;-)”Is that IN 2010 or AT 20:10? I think the latter is more likely.’
‘Hilarious. I’ll watch and laugh.’
‘I simply could not possibly do this. And I seriously wonder if you can.”Madness!”WOW. I look forward to seeing how this pans out…..”I’m still speechless at Simon’s decision to curtail book-buying, and if the resolution were made by anyone less sincere, I would suspect a Publicity Stunt! I can hardly imagine not buying books when you live in *England,* the *home* of books'(and perhaps my favourite…) ‘what evs!’So you can see the faith my friends have in me. But I quote them in amusement, and shan’t be insulted – far from it – if you happen to agree with them. I should add, to be just, that I’m not going to stop getting review copies, so more than 24 books will enter the house…
I think it’ll lend a nice slant to the blog – as I unveil each of my acquisitions over the year, and at the end of the year can see which twenty-four made the grade… unless, of course, my friends are right and I crack mid-March…