Sitting in my room, in silence, looking at the book spines all around me, I often ask myself to what an extent does my humble library reflect my personal affinities. Sometimes, for some reason, it bothers me that I cannot say „Yes, I liked/read every one of these books. They are all a part of me in some way or another and every one of them has a particular reason for being on these shelves.“ And by a particular reason, I don’t mean having a collection of Zola’s works because he is one of the boulders of French literature… Although, I am not absolutely sure why this reason is not good enough.
At times, my mind rebels against the purely personal library I long for – why not own a classic I haven’t read? The aforementioned Zola, for example – I don’t know if I will ever read his l’Assommoir or La Bête Humaine but if someday I decide to pick it up – it will be there… (Sometimes I can approve of this kind of reasoning. Other times not.) And, why not act on an impulse, take a risk and buy a book that seems interesting? So what if it proves a bad choice and you have to get rid of it as soon as possible – as it happened with The American Psycho? Of course, sometimes the book proves to be a good choice – giving money in exchange for the Kleine Philosophie für Berenike made me pretty enthusiastic. Overjoyed, I carried it around wherever I went, anticipating the reading and trying to recollect whatever had survived of my long forgotten German.
It feels different, buying these ‘magnetic’ books… I guess I wish I could feel such joy every time I am buying a book. I remember being almost indifferent while purchasing Oliver Twist. I bought it just because it was Dickens. There was nothing to it but a mild satisfaction of knowing my library is richer with one new title. Which is bad, in a way.
Now I feel I am making a big deal out of nothing…
Maybe I will read Oliver Twist, and come to like it and then there’ll be a better excuse for owning it.