At the beginning of this year, I made a vow to myself to curb some of my book buying habits. I made the decision for two reasons: one, that some life changes now proved that I could no longer support excessive purchasing, and two, because I had a house full of books I hadn’t read and it started to feel intimidating.
My progress, and the feelings it gave me, were palpable. In 2014, between January and April, I had purchased 27 books, For someone who reads between 3-6 books a month, 27 books in 4 months is ridiculous, but I had excuses lined up: my favourite bookstore was closing, bookish friends from out of town were visiting, I had to know what happened in the comic book series I was reading. I shrugged off suggestions of the library and told myself it was my money and I could do with it what I pleased. But I felt crappy. Now, I don’t mean to imply that buying books is a bad thing, because it is definitely not. But my buying habits were not sustainable, and I started feeling like I was buying things on a whim for the thrill, and not because I actually was going to sit down and read those books anytime soon. Of those 27 books, I have only read 8.
This year, I have felt wonderful. In the same amount of time, I have only purchased 10 books. That is a 63% decrease in book buying! My conscious attempts at purchasing books have made a huge difference to me. Not only do I think more about what I’m going to purchase, but know that when I hand over my money, I am buying something I will 100% actually read. There has been no impulse purchases. Not one.
Then, my birthday rolled around, and at the same time, I received a little raise. I used my birthday money to buy myself 4 books I had been coveting for months. Then, I used Visa Checkout from Chapters Indigo which gives 20% off your entire online purchase for the month of May to treat myself to 4 more. Admittedly, 8 books in two weeks is nearly as much as what I have purchased in the past 4 months combined, but I couldn’t be more excited. These are books I’ve been waiting for, for ages.
So, without further ado, (what I think is) a very well-deserved haul!
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
I haven’t been reading a whole lot of comics recently but I’ve been waiting for months for this to be released. The colours, the art, and the back cover which reads “Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!” prove that this is going to be wonderful!
Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter by Allison Wearing
I’ve heard a lot about this book, but never intended to pick it up. But at the bookstore, whilst looking for some family-based memoirs, I saw it again. The front cover was blurbed by Will Schwalbe, who happens to be one of my favourite author people ever. I say “author people” because it’s not just his writing that I adore; it’s him. One of the kindest people I’ve met in ages and I 100% trust his opinion. I read the first few pages and knew I couldn’t leave without it. I’m 1/4 of the way through and just love it.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Everyone and their mother has recommended The Year of Magical Thinking to me, and when I finally picked it up a few days ago, I realized why. I’m a bit of the way through and had to have some more Didion lined up for afterward. STB is her first essay collection and is well-loved by many Didion fans.
Crazy Salad & Scribble, Scribble by Nora Ephron
By now, you should know that Nora Ephron is one of my favourite people. I love her writing, her movies, and her overall persona. I’ve read both of her essay collections and couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen this combination of two of her article collections combined into one easily accessible bindup. I dread the day when there is no more Nora to read.
Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron
More Nora, because .. because.
Son of a Gun by Justin St. Germain
Justin St. Germain’s mother was a strong-willed woman, but not when it came to the men in her life. Though he adored his mother, St. Germain acknowledged that her choice in men was awful and ultimately deadly. Her 5th husband killed her. This book is about the author’s road to healing and search for further understanding of the woman he loved so much. I took this out from the library and two pages in, knew I had to own my own copy. I expect there will be tears.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
I have yet to hear anything negative about this book, and I’m not about to go looking. I’m just under halfway through Wild right now and am in love. Strayed is one of the best writers I’ve read in years. This is a collection of her advice columns for The Rumpus, where she wrote for years as Dear Sugar.
Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson
I can’t seem to shut up about Jon Ronson. His books are just so compulsively readable and interesting. This is the third one I’ve bought after reading So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed and I have a feeling, over the next few years, I will accumulate the rest of his work.
And that’s it! Let me know if you’ve read and loved (or not loved) any of the above books and happy reading!