Most bookworms I know are introverts. Never mistake introvert for passive. All that reading makes us (that might be the royal us) overthinkers. Even so, you would be forgiven for thinking reading is a quiet and carefree hobby. Surely there could be nothing worrying about picking up a book? Here are ten examples I know of bookish angst. Shout out if you identify. I would love to know if you think of any more.
- I want to lend this book to you but you will ruin the spine. I’m super-guilty on this charge. I love second hand books whose spines are marked like tree-rings, but treat my books that way and you’re blacklisted. It is possible to read without wrecking the book.
- The sequel isn’t out for nearly a year but I need to know what happens now.
- Worrying about characters as though they are real people. This is also a sign of a great book, but it is mildly concerning that I spend my days agonising over the fate of people who don’t exist.
- You can never own too many books, but how the heck will I store any more? My shelves are overflowing, there is no space for more shelves. This is worthy of a post itself. My friend Christina has an overstuffed divan, and I’ve seen beautiful bedside tables made of book piles.
- How can I leave the poor darling here? Joining the bookish community has reassured me that this is not cause for concern, although it doesn’t help the situation discussed in point four. Have you ever seen an all time favourite in a charity shop and found yourself taking it home because you can’t possibly leave it? Turns out I’m not alone. The Fantastic Flying Journey and The Patchwork Cat are books I struggle to leave on charity shop shelves.
- Why should I join in the real world? The online bookish community falls somewhere between the world of books and the ‘real’ world (a world I find decidedly unreal. All those systems are as fictional as my stories.) Anyways, overthinking aside, sometimes I am invited to partake in the ‘real’ world when I am in the middle of an all time classic. Remember those old invitation slips? There should be a box for ‘it’s very kind of you, but I’m reading’.
- I’ll never write like Dickens/Almond/similarly prestigious authors. I am better with this one. The big secret is there is one way in which anyone can write like the biggest’n’greatest authors. Everybody who published a book started by picking up a pen.
- What if the film spoils it? Let’s face it. I can be a cinema trip bore. If it’s based off a book, I’ll tell you the plot while you’re queuing for popcorn, and bemoan the changes throughout the film. The only two which equal the book are The Hours and Atonement. Three cheers for original scripts like Fantastic Beasts.
- Loyalty card woes. Loyalty cards were designed to do this. If I buy one more, I’ll get a stamp. Getting-a-stamp has dictated how much I spend on books in 2017.
- If I walk past the charity shop, I’ll miss something good. Less relevant now I live in a village which has a Post Office twice weekly, and no other shops. In the brief period I lived in Sussex, this was my mantra. I’ve never seen such good charity shops. Not to worry – I got a lifetime’s fill, and shelf’s worth of new books.
Do you identify with any of these worries? Can you think of any more? Do share! Promise it is a secret…