When you work in the book industry, it’s really easy to constantly get sucked into the NEW publishing – whether that’s advanced reading copies of books not out yet or the things arriving in deliveries every day – and, eventually, it begins to feel like you’re just eating fast food every day. Instead of reading, you’re simply consuming. There’s certainly an endorphin rush to receiving a copy of the newest book from an author you love months and months before its official release date, but it’s like the high from a Big Mac, delicious at the time, but you get more and more unsure of your choice as the day goes on.
With me, I’ve been so focussed on making sure I’m doing my job right – that I’m well-informed on the newest titles and aware of what’s publishing when – that I’ve almost forgotten what kind of books I actually enjoy. I don’t think I’d even thought about this until I decided to sit down and write this post tonight, instead of the one I was originally planning on writing. Before I started my current job, I mainly read sci-fi short stories, teen dystopian fiction and odd British ‘cult’ edgy books. I think Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh was the last book I read before I starting working with books.
This year, with my birthday money in May, I bought myself some books just for me, not my job. They weren’t picked with helping me improve my customer service in mind, is what I mean, although I have ended up recommending some of them to customers. And I loved them, and it made me happy. And I remembered that I liked books. I’m a bend-the-spine-back, fold-the-corners and drop-food-in-the-pages kind of reader – I give my books a hard life. In my opinion, they’re there to be used – and to that end, their physical existence as a lump of paper isn’t important. The best books don’t have you counting the pages and having the spare fucks to give to put a bookmark in the right page at the allotted time for bed. They leave you gasping as the plot unfolds and when someone interrupts your reading, saving your page is just a reflex act, like keeping a door open with your foot as you spot someone approaching it at that last minute when you’re almost through.
That’s my opinion, anyway.
For the past two months, I’ve done a splurge on payday, buying around 7 books to get me through that month, of various genres and it’s been super fun. This month, I’ve pledged to return to books I always meant to get around too, but somehow never did. Maybe I once owned a copy, as in the case of Rosemary’s Baby, and had to leave it behind when I moved house or maybe I just was never fully convinced that I wanted it, but it spoke to me every time it caught my eye,
The books I’ve bought to read in September are:
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
He Is Mine And I Have No Other by Rebecca O’Connor
In The Miso Soup by Ryo Murakami
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
The Disappearing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments if you have, and I’ll bump them up the list!
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see y’all tomorrow!