Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Buying Ban = FAIL

It is official.  I have fallen off the wagon and bought books.  I am so sorry but I just couldn't help myself.

First, I have to back and report something truly tragic:  brilliant author Jasper Fforde, creator of the Thursday Next series, was in Texas last Friday!  He appeared at a book signing at BookPeople (the world's best independent bookstore), in Austin, Texas, hipness capitol of the world (well, at any rate, south of the Mason-Dixon Line).  BUT I MISSED IT!

I did NOT find out about this amazing event until 7:30 p.m. Friday.  Jasper Fforde's appearance began at 7 p.m., and Austin is a 75-mile drive.  You do the math.  There was absolutely no way I would make it in time, much less get a wristband and actually get a book signed.  I was crushed.  I love Thursday Next.  If you have not heard of this series, here is a brief description, copied from Goodreads:

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality, (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

It is both bizarre and brilliant, and if you're a classics lover with an open mind, you'll probably love this book.  Needless to say, I was horribly disappointed not to attend this book signing, and I had to console myself with a signed copy -- I was already planning on going to Austin on Sunday for my quarterly Jane Austen Society meeting (at which we discussed Lady Susan and ate lavender scones, which I made from scratch!)  And not only was the book signed, it came with this cool postcard (downloadable here):

So, I went to Bookpeople and succumbed to the book-buying madness.  Not only did I get Thursday Next #6, I also broke down and bought Martin Chuzzlewit -- I will get around to reading this with the online Dickens group!  I will!!  As soon as a I finish Villette and The Three Musketeers (which I'm loving, by the way).

And today I had a 40% off coupon from Borders and $10 in Borders bucks since I upgraded my membership, so the book-buying ban went by the wayside.  Of course I could have just given it to my children or husband, but where's the fun in that??  Instead I bought The Post Office Girl by Stephan Zweig, which ended up costing me about $1. I've wanted to read this since NYRB Reading Week (sadly, I did not participate, but added countless books to my TBR list).  

So how is everyone else doing with the TBR Dare?  Anyone else breaking their book-buying ban?  I was really doing well up until now -- I'd only bought ONE tiny little book at the library book sale!  Well, I'm going to do my best as long as I can hold out.  I think I need to resolve to stop adding books to the TBR list as well -- but I'd have to stop reading blogs and that's just not going to happen.  Sigh.


  1. The TBR Dare is still going strong, but you saw how I fell off my book-buying ban big time ;-) Didn't realize Jasper Fforde has a new novel. My oldest daughter loves his books and keeps telling me to read them.

  2. JoAnn -- you went all the way to England and visited the Persephone store, so you are exempt. I'm sure I wouldn't have limited myself to only six books! Jasper Fforde's new book just came out this week. I can't wait to start on it!

  3. I would have loved to see Fforde too. That's really too bad. :(

    I keep getting the upgrade emails from Borders and deleting them. If they're going through bankruptcy, I'm not going to take my chances, plus after a thousand emails I'm a little annoyed and starting to considering them spam...

  4. Amanda -- I was so sorry to have missed him! I wonder if he's as hilarious in person as his characters are.

    I live five minutes away from Borders and my family is still buying books even when I'm not. . . with the upgrade, I'm getting nearly 40% off a book every time I shop. I'm pretty sure I'm going to break even on the upgrade fairly soon. People like me are probably the reason they're in financial hardship right now!

  5. Oh well, you can still do the TBR dare! Plus, I think books bought with vouchers don't count :)

  6. Verity -- excellent point!! Either way, I've still cut back on my book-buying considerably, and I think that's the point. In the long run, I want less books on the TBR shelf. We'll see at the end of the year.

  7. I missed Fforde when he was here for Shades of Grey and now he's not coming on this tour. :( Boo!
    I have decided to do a series re-read before starting the new book because I love Thursday! I probably won't get to start until April but I'm still excited.

  8. I've only read the Eyre Affair by Fforde, but you make me think I might enjoy some more. I feel your pain with the failure of the book buying ban. I only forced myself to refrain for two months - and I still didn't quite make it. I've decided it's sort of like dieting -- you need to allow yourself a little splurge every now and then to prevent the bingeing. A book here and there keeps me from ordering 10 at once. :)

  9. I didn't really fall off the book buying wagon, it was a great big swallow-dive! But I've started to pack away books as I read them, if I want to keep them. It makes the house a bit tidier, until I get to a bookshop again!

  10. Kristen -- I'd love to reread the whole series but I have so many other books unread already. I may reread the last book just so I'm caught up. I hope I can catch Fforde next time around.

    Susan -- they're really fun. And I am afraid I may go crazy and order about 10 Persephones when I decide to start buying books again. Maybe I'll just purge the shelves and give some more books away.

    Katrina -- I was at an antique bookstore this week and I couldn't help myself. Who am I kidding?

  11. Well if you are going to fall off the wagon you might as well fall big. I just read my first Fforde book but not this series (I read the Nursery Crime Division ones). Im sorry you didn't get to see him in person.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.