The Allure of the Bookstores

You know, I won’t say I’m a person of a very strong character when it comes to temptations, but I can refuse a piece of chocolate when I want to (ask those who know me); I can even, usually at least, resist buying a darling new piece of clothing when I know I don’t need it. But, put me in front of a beautiful bookshelf, filled with beautiful books – many of which I’ve been wanting to read for ages – and, boy, all of my principles fly out of the window. My most recent find is Letter from an Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig. Truth be told, the reason why I picked up this book was the fact that I watched the 1948 movie adaptation of the same name (the one with Joan Fointaine and Louis Jourdan) and fell in love with it completely, so I wanted to discover the original story as well. I haven’t read this author before, so I’m curious to see his writing style; the edition is certainly not the prettiest one, but I had to have it since it was the last one in the store (lucky much?) and it could’ve been gone if I had waited more! And after all, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; a pretty binding certainly helps, but in the end, what really matters is inside of the book.

Regarding my other reading plans for this year, I might pick up Little Women or some books by the Brontës, as I’ve previously mentioned in my last blogpost (Agnes Grey or The Professor to name a few), perhaps read more of Jane Austen’s works (Regency era, here I come!) and, oh well, maybe read Madame Bovary and Doctor Zhivago (unrelated, but these have been on my list for a while now). I would love to read more female authors this year, so that’s one of the “goals” I set for myself in 2020.

To end with, I think all of us can agree that, when it comes to books, resisting a temptation is not necessarily the brightest idea, especially considering that the worst that can happen is that you may not like the book. Anyway, as a bookworm, isn’t it your mission to hoard and collect books and give them a new home, while also enriching your imagination whilst devouring pages of words…? Okay, I got a bit carried away here, but you see my point. As Oscar Wilde put it:

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.”

I’ll happily use this advice in my own context, if you ask me! 🙃

3 thoughts on “The Allure of the Bookstores

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