This feels like a ridiculous story and also one I might have shared on my blog before. But whatever, it’s the story of the books I forgot I owned so I shall share it.
Earlier this year I went on a bit of a book buying binge for a few months. I bought a lot, a lot of books and didn’t always read them straight away. And pretty much all of them were from Waterstones on buy one, get one half price. I still buy a lot of books but I’m trying not to buy quite as many and I’m trying to read them sooner after buying them.
One day in April I got the train to London. I was meeting my friend at Waterloo and we were going to see the musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It turned out to be a good musical but not the best one I’ve ever seen. Anyway I was waiting for me friend under the big clock where we always meet when she text she was still on the bus and would be a while. And there’s a new branch of Foyles in Waterloo. And I love Foyles. So I texted her that’s where I’d be.
I wandered for ages and looked at a lot of different books. Then I settled on buying Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because I’d read her two other novels and really enjoyed them. And I’d looked at it several times in other book shops over the previous month or so. But my friend wasn’t there yet so I didn’t buy it and kept wandering looking at other stuff when it suddenly occurred to me that a few weeks before I’d been in Waterstones buying books and the girl behind the till had commented on one of them and how much she’d enjoyed it when she read it. And that book was Americanah.
So obviously I put it back and didn’t buy it. It’s a couple of months later and I still haven’t read it either.
Then a few weeks after that I was back in a different branch of Waterstones looking. And I put another book back because it was niggling at me that I’d already got a copy. That book was Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield. I put a second book back – Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore by Robin Sloan – because I decided a different book looked better. Then when I got home I went searching through my books. And I found a Waterstones bag which did have a copy of Sisterland in – and also a copy of Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore (for those wondering, I have since read Mr Penumbra but I’ve not read Sisterland yet).
At that point I realised I had a problem and the next time my mum was round for cleaning we held a book amnesty and found every book not on my shelves. They got sorted into books I’d just bought and/or thought I might read soon which got put on top of one of my switched off radiators and everything else which got shelved.
Since then I’ve not managed to forget that I already own any books!