BBW book stack 1a

In book-buying you not infrequently condone an extravagance by the reflection that this particular purchase will be a good investment, sordidly considered: that you are not squandering income but sinking capital. But you know all the time that you are lying.

Kenneth Grahame, ‘Non libri sed liberi’ (1894).

BBW book stack 2a

When Providence throws a good book in my way, I bow to its decree and purchase it as an act of piety, if it is reasonably or unreasonably cheap.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table (1872).

 What lovely quotes for a bibliomaniac to hold on to, in the attempt to justify one’s excessive/obsessive buying habits! I think I can very well see myself turning to these quotes (not infrequently) in the days and years ahead.

But really, which book lover can resist “a good book thrown in his/her way, if it is reasonably or unreasonably cheap”? That is how I ended up bringing home all those books in the stacks above, as new additions to the already out-of-control Mount TBR.

And this is only part of the entire loot (gasp!). Just in case you might want to know, these lovelies were all gotten from the best and biggest book sale in the world! All brand new books at an average cost RM8 each (less than USD3).

I think the biggest illusion of all though, whenever one buys a book, is aptly summed up by this:

It would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them; but one usually confuses the purchase of books with the acquisition of their contents.

Arthur Schopenhauer, ‘On books and writing’ (1851).

If only it were really so!



5 thoughts on “Friday Feature: The illusions of a book collector….

  1. The last quote really made me laugh. You should see the pile of books I have amassed to be read over the next few days. It would take a dozen Christmas holidays to begin to make an impression on it.


  2. That last quote is perfect! I have a huge TBR pile and not nearly enough time to read it. Do you suppose I could acquire the knowledge therein just by having the books in my house? Still, that would deprive me of the delightful experience of actually reading the words, making the Aha discoveries, etc.

    Jealous of your spectacular haul of books! Many wonderful hours await you.


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