My mom is one of the things that enable my book buying habit. To understand why this is, you need to know that my mom used to hide any books she’d bought in her car then wait until her parents fell asleep before slipping out and sneaking them into the bookshelves. Her own mother used to chide her about ‘investing in the CNA’, which is a newsagents here in South Africa, and so sneaking books into the house like drugs or alcohol was necessary to avoid a speech.
I grew up surrounded by my mom’s books, so many books that they could easily have had a room all their own. Books lived on shelves and in cupboards in an amazing array of encyclopedias, fiction, fantasy, sets of classical literature works, artist’s anatomy books, thrillers, folk tales, in short, there was something to grab anyone’s interest.
This was both the birth of my own love of books and the nurturing environment that caused it to grow to such large proportions.
My mom knows the value of literature, and appreciates the aesthetic of a beautiful book. She’s the first person I go to when I find a book like the grim oak press edition of The Broken Kingdom because I know she’ll understand why it makes me feel like I left my stomach behind at the foot of a steep hill.
My mom is always going to agree if I suggest going to the second-hand bookshop to look around. Hahaha. Like any bibliophile can go to a bookshop and just look around, especially a second-hand bookshop. We always walk out with books.
If my mom is my number one enabler when it comes to buying new books then the second-hand bookshop is definitely number two. I found A Thousand Splendid Suns there for R55, less than a third of the price to buy it new. Who can resist that?
Who or what enables your book buying habit?