A little weekend trip to country Victoria recently found me at a small independent bookstore.
I know – a real-life bookstore. Prehistoric.
And this place had all the trimmings of an old-school bookstore that real bookworms love – a quiet, private, all-consuming space of fresh pages ripe for the picking, moderately supervised by a softly spoken bookie who is more enthused about which best-selling author has just released their next piece than actually taking your money.
I totally get the love of a bookstore. But I am not a bookie.
I have tried. Often after a really good juicy novel that’s taken me away to another time and place I get so excited to find something else to devour. I love the sense of achievement at the end as you turn the last page, and that the characters stay with you for a while afterwards. Always a sign of a good-en.
But EVERYTIME after an all-absorbing successful read, I end up back in the bookstore in a cold-sweat and an overwhelming sense of pressure to choose another high-quality (if not more brilliant) page-turner.
I develop the symptoms of: bad-book-phobia.
I have so much trouble choosing just one off the shelves of thousands and commit my life (or at the very least my nights and occasional tram trip) to it. Not that I am reading world-changers. You’d be excused for thinking you were standing in the World Politics section of the most boring library in the world if you looked at my husband’s book collection. Mine however reveals someone happy with a bit more trash. There is always room for trash isn’t there?
My husbands books… snooze-fest.
My books… escapism.
Back to my dilemma: So I basically start catastrophising that the new book and I won’t work out. That I will compare it too much to my previous love, destined to end up broken-hearted, $34.95 poorer, and/or facing my fear of having to choose a new bedtime partner all over again.
So I end up scurrying out of the store, panic attack hovering over me but the threat of relationship-failure slowly dissipating the further away I get from the store.
What results from these experiences is a total book drought, and so the cycle of love-joy-hate for books continues.
Sorellas! Help me! I need your suggestions on your most loved reads! I have been stung by Oprah’s book club before, and I certainly can’t trust any of those “100 Books to Read before you die” lists ever again!
All topics welcome (except Vampires. I don’t do Vampires. Or Fantasy/Science Fiction. Can’t do that either… Just trash remember? Don’t judge me).
Leave your recommendations below! Thanks!