Why I Buy Books (and always will)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Every now and then (as you know), I step back from the somewhat obscure titles with which I surround myself and read what the world is reading. This past month I read (and you know this as well) Lit, The Help, Nothing to be Frightened of, Half Broke Horses, The Piano Teacher, and The Music Room (in addition to a series of visual art books). I loved Lit (Mary Karr), and Nothing to be Frightened of (Julian Barnes). I have great respect for the suffused hush and intelligence of The Music Room (William Fiennes) and will write more of that tomorrow. I had reservations (some of them extremely deep) about the other titles.

Nevertheless, with the exception of Looking In, the compendium of Robert Frank photographs, I bought every book that came into my possession this past month—all but two were still in hardcover. I bought these books and I bought a dozen more for family and friends, and then I went and bought some more—not because I was living in personal economic boom times (quite the contrary) but because this is the only way that I know of to support this business we writers are in.

I believe in books, and I will pay to keep them coming. For in that pile on the floor, on the desk, by the chair is a sentence that, I trust, will turn my head, a point of view that will adjust my own, a scene I'd have never imagined, a deviation explained. In that pile is possibility, and I can't live without that.

9 comments:

Sarah Allen said...

Thanks for this! Great list that I will definitely be looking in to.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Maya Ganesan said...

"I believe in books, and I will pay to keep them coming" -- I completely agree.

Diane said...

I totally agree! Piano Teacher, Half Broke Horses and The Help were excellent books. I hope to read The Music Room in 2010

bermudaonion said...

Even though I get books from publishers, I buy books as well. I just can't resist. I love to give them as gifts too.

Lilian Nattel said...

That's wonderful Beth. I agree. This year for Hannukah my kids just wanted books. Bless them.

Becca said...

There is no greater gift than a book. I treasure all of mine and always will.

Mandy said...

I never feel guilty when I'm buying books. :)

Rebecca :) said...

I LOVE that last paragraph. Beautiful and perfect. That is just it exactly. It is so great I wish I had written it myself! I might have to quote you on my blog!

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