Here’s an odd admission to make on a blog about books: I hate buying novels.
Although I’m no bibliophobe – I love books! – I have a fear of ‘what books may do,’ as Holbrook Jackson puts it. Not all books, mind, just new-release novels.
Let me explain.
Buying books is risky business. A new novel hardly ever lives up to the hype, which says more, methinks, about the way books are marketed than about the books themselves. And then what?
Reading a novel is no one-night stand. Unlike a mediocre movie, a bad book stays with you; it crouches on your shelf, glaring at you like the picture of Dorian Gray, with ‘eyes of a devil’, a reminder of your profligacy and poor judgement.
Here’s another admission: I hate selling my books, even the bad ones. My ‘typographical errors’, you see, must never be known.