It’s been almost two months since I started doing my reading challenge and these past two months had been a constant test of my self control. To say that I love books is such an understatement and buying them, brand new or used, paperback or hardbound, is a constant personal debate. My 2011 resolution motto to save more and spend less has brought about my joining the reading challenge, and so far I can say that I am not doing that well. So far I have only finished 3 books out of the Off The Shelf Challenge, and have reached a total of only 6 books out of the 50 books in my Goodreads 2011 Reading Challenge. If only the number of books I finish corresponds to the number of times I visited Booksale and National Bookstore. Whew. But then again, a progress is a progress, right? I still want to thoroughly enjoy each book as I read them, and not just breeze through one book just so I could get on to another. That very much defeats the very purpose of my reading – to read for leisure and pleasure. As one good friend, and fellow book addict, often says, “It is not the quantity (of books) but the quality.”
Anyway, the point of this post is to write down my thoughts every time I hold a book in my hands at bookstores. You can just imagine all the debates I had with myself just so I wouldn’t give in to the lure of buying. And most of the time, all the good books seem to pop out of nowhere when I am not devotedly looking for them – and at frustratingly discounted prices at that! One example is a hardbound copy of Graceling for only Php 50!
Sometimes, I berate myself for visiting bookstores when I know I couldn’t buy a book…just yet. I cannot understand it myself. Bookstores are like magnets drawing my feet towards them even if I know I’ll be frustrated knowing I cannot buy books for the time being. You see, I need to finish two more books before I can “reward” myself of a new book. Oh, but there are justifications for buying a book before the “right” time, right? Like, “Nobody will ever know.” Or, “C’mon, who cares about your reading challenge anyway?” Or, in case of a good hunt at Booksale, “You might not find this book again the next time.” Or, “Buy it! It’s on sale, man!”, which is really the most compelling reason of all. Oh, I just cannot resist bookstores. Not only are they the most popular meeting places (Let’s just meet at National at 5:30; Or, Look for me at Booksale at 6), they are wonderful tools for passing the time away too, especially if your date is late. Plus the fact of scouring through stacks and stacks of books. There’s a kind of high I get every time I flip through rows and piles of harbounds, expecting to find a copy of a book I have long been looking for. Just like how some people describe the effect of addictive drugs. Though, I haven’t really tried doing drugs.
I am determined to stay true to my reading challenge. This is the first time I have set a resolution for myself, and I don’t want to disappoint myself. I am still at the first phase of the reading challenge, and only two months have just passed since the start of the year, and despite the frustrations, I am not willing to give up yet. I want to prove to myself that I am mature enough to stand upon my word, even if it entails only a simple matter like not buying books for the meantime. I am bent on not becoming like one of those who do their resolutions for the first part of the year and then completely forget about them until December. I may not be able to finish off all the books on my list, especially with the dismal reading speed I am into now, but at least I tried, right? Plus, I get to develop patience and self-control, two very admirable traits, don’t you think? And these traits I get to practice not only on buying books but on buying other stuff that I don’t really need as well.
Two more books. Two more books before I get hold of another “new” book.
I can do this!