“Oniomania” and “Bibliotaph”~~from among the many ‘Word-of-the-Day’ that Dictionary.com sends him daily, Hubby dear picks up these two for me. As per him they are the perfect words to describe two of my many character quirks! This in a bookstore while i’m browsing through the shelves trying my best to fight the temptation of buying ‘just one book’! Much affronted and ready to protest, i have to reluctantly agree that there is some truth in what he says!
Browsing through shopping displays in glitzy malls; roaming market streets; looking for flea-market bargains are all fun activities i can never be tired of! The story of how i once volunteered and took off for a shopping spree at midnight is one i can never live down. In my defence all i can say are three words ~ Dubai Shopping Festival; the rest should be self-explanatory!
Then there is the crazy love of reading and the even crazier urge to collect books! Perhaps growing up in a household of book-lovers and reading-addicts has something to do with it. Our growing years were spent saving pocket-money for buying books and comics; there was much joy in receiving a book-gift for your birthday (electronic gizmos had not yet entered the scene!); and book-collections had to be lovingly nurtured. Naturally over the years one has managed to collect a decent-sized personal library with books of all types and even sizes. Even more naturally, they require a fair amount of shelf space in the house and nearly every allotted space for them is now crammed full! Call me old school, but for me the charm of turning the pages of a book cradled in your hands as you sit curled up reading it in some comfy spot remains irreplaceable. Not that i have not gladly embraced the convenience of the Kindle (lovingly presented by the children!). It is an incredibly amazing little gadget that you can keep in a handbag; that can carry your library of hundreds of books; that can let you read in any kind of light and even allows you to increase the font size when you can’t find your glasses! Logically no more physical books should have entered the house thereafter, but the ‘bibliotaph’ in me refuses to be snuffed out and forms a synergic bond with the ‘oniomania’ every time it spots a bookstore and then the trouble begins!
Apparently the problem is not mine alone. Off and on reports appear about how sales figures from book-sellers and publishing houses in the last year or so have shown that “books are back”. To quote from an article in The Telegraph:
“All hail paper, the book reading technology resurgent! Actual, physical books, made out of sheets of paper, covered in inky words, have risen phoenix-like from the ashes of some burnt Kindles!”
The consolation is that there is no fight for supremacy, just a peaceful co-xistence of the ebooks with the printed ones. That is good news for people like me who can happily continue to add to both collections!
Just as an afterthought…one is happy to add that the overflowing book-shelves in the homes of the kids are pointers that the habit lives on. And when my daughter proudly tells me that her eleven-month old has a hot favourite ~ a shelf of his very own baby-books, a silent cheer goes up…the quirky gene has been passed on!