Book Buyers Anonymous

My financial advisor (aka my husband) asked me the other day, 'How much do you think you've spent on books this year?'*

'Um, dunno.' I offered the hugest sum I could imagine. '$300?'


'What? Er, that is quite a lot, isn't it.'

It's funny how quickly it adds up. A bagful of second hand books from the library book sale here; a handful from Brown and Bunting there. A visit to a literature festival and you pick up a few books by the writers you've just made friends with, because, well, now you're interested. (My publisher once said to me, it's almost a self-sustaining industry... almost!) Bought a Kindle a few months ago and it's just so easy to idly look up a book, so easy to idly click BUY. Drop into that funny remainders shop in Tooradin on our way to visit friends in the country, and buy a book each -- it's a ritual! Birthdays and Christmas require presents, and what better gift than a lovely new book? Attend a book launch, and it's only polite to buy a copy of the book. Check out that rare title on Book Depository; never seen it for a lower price, better grab it now! Got a book group meeting coming up, must get hold of that one we're reading.

And before you know it, the Books column of the expenditure spreadsheet is into four figures, and you have a Serious Habit.

As vices go, I guess it's better than smoking.

* That's this financial year; in his world, the year runs from 1st July to 30th June.

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