Books · Randomness

A Quick Musing on Buying Books…

I started the year with the hope to buy fewer books than last year. In 2021 I bought far fewer books than the years previously and I was far more consciously reading the books I bought. Yet for some reason I decided that in 2022 I was allowing myself to buy only one book for every two (physical) books I read.

Well, that already went out of the window, since I bought (ordered) quite far too many books in the last week or two. I have been reading quite a bit and when I am reading a lot, I tend to buy more books. It just gets me thinking about what else I would like to read and excited about certain kind of books. I also read a couple of books this month that led me to other writers and especially poets, which is a completely different kettle of fish again.

I ordered three books for my Russian Classics TBR, which I am fine with, as I was going to buy those anyway and I will be reading them this year. I bought the two smaller ones, The Overcoat and Other Stories by Nikolai Gogol and Notes From The Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky, because that is where I want to start. I was going to read Anna Karenina on my Kindle, but actually the version I have is an older translation and I think it will be harder to read. Since this is a big book, I want it to read as easily as possible. I have been doing some research and the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky seems to be the one to go for. That one was available in a fairly inexpensive but beautiful Ballantine Books edition, so I ended up ordering that one.

I was going to read three Russian classics, but I also have Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov on my Kindle, which I am hoping to read sooner rather than later. I don’t feel compelled to buy a physical copy of that. I am ok with reading it on my Kindle.

Four is an awkward number, so I figured a fifth Russian Classic would be interesting. I will see if I can add one at some point. I’d like to read one by a woman, but that appears to be tough task! A Russian friend recommended me Nikolai Leskov, so I may check him out once I have read the other books. That is if I like Russian literature!

Also, I wanted to read classic works by South American authors. I stumbled on Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and I ordered a collection of his poems in the Vintage red spine edition. I have started that one and may finish it by the end of the month. It’s big, but it’s deceptive as on one side it has the original Spanish text and on the other the English translation.

I also ordered a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, another very well-known South American author. I decided to give Love in the Time of Cholera a try. I found a nice Everyman’s Library edition that was inexpensive. In the same edition I stumbled across The Collected Works of Khalil Gibran. Now I have read a couple of works by Khalil Gibran and absolutely fell in love with his writing. To have his work collected in one book is just perfect, as he has a lot of smaller works and short stories. I am very excited about that one. I won’t count a collected work like this towards my TBR, as I am more likely to just dip in and out and I have already read a couple of the stories.

I ordered a couple more contemporary novels, which I plan to read next month.

Finally, I found some used Persephone books on eBay, which I decided to buy as I have been eyeing those for a while. They may take a while to get to me though, since they are shipping from abroad

Overall, despite the fact that I have bought too many books already, I am feeling very positive about it. I am confident that all these books will get read relatively quickly. I am genuinely excited about them and I feel happy. Looking at previous years, I tend to buy a good chunk of books at the beginning of the year and then there are some months I buy hardly any, so I am sure it will even out in the end. My goal is still to buy fewer books than last year, but I am not going to beat myself up about it. As long as my TBR keeps going down rather than up on average I will be pleased..

And you know what? The books bring me joy, just like music. Books and vinyl records are my vices! I guess there are worse things to spend your money on!