Before you ask, no, I don’t own a kindle.


The problem with bookshops is you always want to buy something when you go in. I wish I had more money, and could buy locally more often. There’s an independent bookshop near my university, a sweet little place called Unity Books that’s always filled with people. Well, it feels that way; it’s small enough that not many people are needed to make it feel full.

I popped in there because I was bored after class. There’s only so much entertainment a smartphone can bring. Besides, I can’t resist a bookshop. I love the smell, I love the colours, I love the dormant stories lying there waiting to be read. I want to try Haruki Murakami and China Mieville and Ksenia Anske. But you will not believe the number of books I own that I haven’t read yet.

It’s getting a bit stupid. I have a two-page list in my Midori, and I don’t cross things off as often as I’d like, or as often as I should. Right now, I’m reading the Count of Monte Cristo. It’s very, very good, but also 850 pages long, and my copy is 100-odd years old. As bored as I’m getting waiting for a bus or hanging out after class, I can’t very well bring that along with me. It might get hurt.

There’s also the problem of weight. My poor Midori has been thrown over in favour of a wallet, and with my writer’s workbook, my hobonichi, and whatever I need for class, plus water bottle, yada yada…. I’m weighed down enough as it is. I think about weight a lot more than I used to. Back in college (that’s “high school” to Americans and others) I’d be dragging inch-thick maths books back and forth from school, and I never even did much of the homework. I’m sure that’s part of why I have a tendency to lean forward when I walk. Compensating for a weight that’s no longer there.

So books I take with me have to be light. I have forbidden myself from buying more until I make a good dent in my list. Little ones can come along with me to amuse me waiting for classes or buses, and big ones like GRRM’s offerings will have to be “home reads”. I started with Junky this week and have already made a significant dent in it. I tried my hand at reading on the bus, even. Reading while moving always used to be one of those things that made me feel sick, but I think I’ve got the basic idea now: hold the book up so you’re not looking down, take frequent breaks, don’t read when corners are involved.

I’m not sure if I’ll do a write-up about it. I’m not planning on doing one for The Count of Monte Cristo because I’m probably the last person on earth to read it, but it is really good, so if I can’t contain myself, there it will be. I know “proper writers” (she says facetiously) review recent books, and have discussions about them and so on. Meanwhile here I am writing reviews for books written 100 years ago with authors long-dead. I don’t think this is how one is meant to do one’s authory social media!

1 Comment

  1. // Reply

    Always down for thoughtful discussion about Monte Cristo!

    And I share the exact same tension re: what I want to read v. what I want to carry. Having a Kindle is not the silver-bullet-solution some think it is. Still having too much to read is a good problem to have…

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