I have a lot of trouble controlling myself when it comes to buying new books.
See, I work at a bookstore. And while, yes, as so many of my customers nosily ask, I do get a discount (and, no, you can’t use it, why on earth would you ask that, we met all of five seconds ago?), this isn’t why I struggle with cutting myself off from books.
It’s because I spend all of my time at a bookstore. When I was younger, letting me spend just my Friday evenings at our local Barnes & Noble Booksellers was risky. Letting me work at one and interact with the books all the time is a whole different kind of dangerous.
I may be working, but I’m also secretly — and unconsciously — shopping.
And when I see a book, and I want it, what’s to stop me from having it right then?
Not even my coworkers telling me I just spent my entire paycheck from that eight-hour shift alone. Not even standing in a five-minute line like every other customer. Not even my managers watching me suspiciously as I unabashedly shop after getting off work. Not even a slight smack of guilt rubbing at my fingers as I clutch my latest treasure.
So do I have a lot of books yet to be read?
Here’s what the to-be-read pile looks like this month:
Bombshells: Enlisted, by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage (a customer asked about “Wonder Woman’s new look” and I was super excited to show her, so when she poo-pooed it as “ugly” and “a shame,” I insisted my little sister buy it for me the very next day — but also, I just really want to read my first Wonder Woman graphic novel!)
Fireball, by John Christopher
Monstrous, by MarcyKate Connolly
The Red Tent, by Anita Diamond (stole this one from my mom’s bookshelf because a little girl half my age came into the store asking to read it and it felt like an unspoken challenge)
How to Be a Heroine, or, What I’ve Learned From Reading Too Much, by Samantha Ellis
The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes, by Neil Gaiman (a really really awesome gift from my little brother — I almost cried when I opened it)
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (another addition from my mom’s bookshelf and one of her absolute favorites that I’ve been meaning to read for years)
A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (my best friend recommended this to me ages ago, and I’ve been recommending it to customers for as many ages on this basis, so when it was on a BOGO, I had to grab it before it went out of stock)
The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann (I’ve had children, adults, and everything in between recommend this book to me — that has to be a good sign)
Wishing Day, by Lauren Myracle (my first ARC!)
The Qur’an (Oxford University Press)
Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, by Katherine Rundell (when two little girls came into the children’s section and saw this book, a squealing session commenced and they both carried around a copy for a good ten minutes even they’d already read it and weren’t going to buy it — my turn, my turn!)
A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab
A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab
Will I finish reading all these books this month? Unlikely.
Will I see another book next week I’ll want to buy? Very likely.
Will I resist the urge? Very very unlikely.