Sunday, 3 March 2013

Too many books, too little time...

I am in love with books. I can't stop buying them, collecting them, hoarding them. I reckon if I stopped working tomorrow due some unimaginable windfall, I'd still not be able to get through all the books I want to read/pore over in my lifetime. 

Fictionwise, I don't really buy books, I swap them. ReadItSwapIt is a great site, where you can list all of your books, then swap them with other users. They can request from your list and you see if there's anything they have that you want, and vice verse. Then you post them to each other, which means effectively new books for around £2.20 a piece. Brilliant! I've got a little obsessed with the site, I've had to ban myself from trawling it, although I do have certain books on my wishlist, so if they come up I get an email notification and I can pop onto the site and request them. Here's my list of books available for swapping. My current pile of books to read looks like this:
It's quite daunting, and yet I keep going to Foyles and making mental lists of the ones I want next. I can't stop myself. I also have so many beautiful craft, travel and recipe books, and combined with the fiance who collects comics, we have built up quite a collection. They are all stored, double stacked along with DVDs and games in our IKEA storage unit - you'll see that the left hand side is pretty much his side!

We currently flat-share, and will be for another year and a halfish until he finishes uni then we get married and set up a home again - when we lived in Sheffield we were living together as a couple for 5 years in much larger properties than London rents will allow, so it's been really hard to go back to living with other people, especially when that other person is really minimalist and doesn't understand why we like having so much stuff! When she moves in with her boyfriend is May, another friend is moving in who loves books as much as I do, so I am looking forward to not feeling guilty about owning stuff.

When we are settled and married, and of course rich, I look forward to having our books proudly displayed like this:
Design Milk

The latest in my collection, on my mind and on my wishlist are in the travel category.I am going to Paris this week for my birthday, which I am really looking forward to, I've not been to Paris as an adult so I can't wait.  I am also going to Melbourne in May! I am going with my mum and we booked it last week, we're going for 2 weeks to see my sister who is living there for a year. I am so excited to be going to the Actual Other Side of the World and to see my little sister for the first time since July last year!

Yesterday I trawled every charity shop between Archway and Covent Garden for travel books for these destination. I finally had some luck in the British Heart Foundation shop where I got this Lonely Planet guide to Melbourne for just £1, it's the 2002 edition, but the geography remains the same, and my sister can fill us in on the latest places to eat and shop. On the Paris front I admitted defeat in the charity shops and bought a mini guide by Lonely Planet from Foyles. I also have pictured above some books I got last Christmas, Markets of Paris, and Paris Made By Hand. I probably won't take these two with me as they'll weigh me down but I'm going to pore over them until our trip.

I also have a little obsession with the Wallpaper Travel Guides by Phaidon. I love that they come in different colours and can't stop buying them whenever I see them, even if I have no plans to go to that country any time soon! Gaps I have in my collection for places I have actually been to are Tallinn (I don't think they have one yet), Beijing and Shanghai, and now Melbourne, if I don't acquire it in the next couple of months! Here's my collection so far.

We also spent a large amount of time yesterday in the enormous Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road, where they have a stunning selection of books. I found this beauty: 36 Hours: USA & Canada, West Coast, produced by The New York Times which is a now firm feature on my wishlist as we are hoping to do a road trip for our honeymoon next Summer.