Aug. 13th, 2012

lizabelle: (Old coat new book)
I've recently turned my life upside down by moving back from Australia to the UK. It's been a stressful, turmoil-filled few months, but I'm all moved into a new flat with a very nice landlady, two cats and a beautiful garden, which gives me a base from which to start rebuilding.

While I did ship back some books (yet to arrive), I couldn't justify the expense of shipping everything I really wanted to keep, and arrived in London with precisely one book, which I'd borrowed from a friend for the plane journey. Feeling naked, I headed to the nearest Waterstones to pick up some reinforcements, coming away with Patrick Gale's latest and Veronica Roth's Divergent.

It felt so liberating to have an excuse to buy books for the first time in years. I'd been under a self-imposed book-buying ban in Sydney, although in practice what this meant was that I bought one or two books a month instead of four or five. Suddenly I had no teetering stacks to reproach me or remind me how much I'd overspent my book budget by.

I wandered through Oxfam bookshops and charity shops; I splurged on a three-for-two offer in Foyles. I sought out independent bookshops near my temporary home in South London, and made sure I bought a full-price book from each one that I found. I was given books by friends. I acquired literary prizewinners and out-of-print children's books, poetry and non-fiction, old favourites and books I may never read. I bought titles that had been on my to-read list for years and ones I'd never heard of before, adding them all to the pristine shelf in my new bedroom.

Now the honeymoon is over. Last night, I glanced up and discovered that I now own a shelf's worth of books, very few of which I have actually read. Since I don't have money (or shelf space) to burn, it's time to scale back the buying and enjoy the books I actually own. Time to limit myself again, although I haven't yet decided where that limit will be set.

But it's been a giddy, beautiful few weeks.


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lizabelle

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