I vowed to go through the month of August without buying a single book and so far I’m holding firm. The surprise arrival on my doorstep of parcels of books from friends and family certainly helps. But for me the key to resisting temptation is simply to stay out of bookstores.
Today, I weakened. It was a hot, muggy afternoon, and there was the air-conditioned bookstore offering a bit of respite halfway home. It couldn’t hurt, I thought, just to have a look, to find out what’s new, solely for future reference of course.
It was a pair of Penguin titles that nearly cracked my resolve: a lovely new hardback edition of Anne of Green Gables, and The Penguin Book of Contemporary Short Stories by Canadian Women. The former would be a ridiculous purchase given the amount of time I spent just yesterday trying to decide which of the five editions of the book that I already own that I could bear to part with. Then again, having just measured the merits of those other editions against one another, I’m all the more certain of the charms of this new one. I particularly appreciate the cover which features a representation of Anne’s bedroom window rather than Anne herself, with a blossomed bough of the Snow Queen reaching elegantly into the picture. It also includes an introduction by Lisa Moore that I would dearly love to read. Moore is part of the draw of The Penguin Book of Contemporary Short Stories by Canadian Women as well, having selected the stories and penned an introduction for it too.
I want them, I want them, I want them. But I didn’t buy them. Not yet.