Book magpie


My name’s Lizzy and I have a problem.

I am addicted to buying books.

I buy books I already own, I buy books I could easily borrow off other people, I buy books I’ve never heard of, I buy books I didn’t even like.

But I want to have a tangible record of every book I’ve ever read. So if I borrow a book off someone else I’ll still end up buying my own copy eventually so I can file it away on my shelf with all the others. If I read the book on my Kindle app I’ll want to buy a paper copy of it. If I see a book I already have with a prettier cover then I’ll buy a replacement (and then never get rid of the original).

Fortunately for me, most of my books are second hand copies or else this would be a hugely expensive hobby. Almost all of my books came from charity shops for about £1.50. Not only does this make it cheaper but I also like to idea of someone else having read it, looking out for pages it falls open at or marks made on the pages. Even though I’d never dream of writing in a book myself I do like finding places where other people have. As Helene Hanff says:

“I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to.”

Today I bought seven books and it cost me less than a tenner. Bargain. Although I then had to spend an hour rearranging my bookshelves to find room for them. Oh well. Won’t stop me doing it all again next week.


3 thoughts on “Book magpie

  1. I feel like I have walked into an AA meeting for Buying Books.

    7 Books for less than a tenner is amazing!

    I’m too snobby for second hand. I can’t bear the thought of having a battered book. I’m a book keeper. I keep them neatly and ensure that they don’t get creased torn or wrinkled. I most certainly won’t pull the pages fully open either. I want to keep them as new as possible, so that the spine doesn’t snap and wrinkle! There’s nothing more cruel than the creases down the spine of a book. Snobby… I know :/


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