Hands up who’s run out of paper-and-pages books. Everyone, right? I mean, actual bookshops are expensive and, well, lockdown. Ordering online to be delivered is a hopeless idea where I live – I’m not sure about other countries. It’s either expensive, slow or lost-in-post. Possibly the delivery guy was hijacked. Maybe he hijacked someone else and left the stuff just lying there. Who knows. This is now. Digital is perfectly OK, or preferable.
But there’s something about a physical book after four months of stories on Kindle and online textbooks. My bookshelf has three rows of shelves. The top row is divided into two wide sections, where I keep my two favourite Lego sets (because there isn’t anywhere else) and 103 paper foxes. The next is divided into three. I use the left side for all-time bests, the middle for averagely good or decorative books and the last for non-fiction. The bottom row is split into two, with books of little significance I want to keep purely to have them; classics, books I used to like, books that I was given by people who would like to see that I still had them (although… for now…). This makes a total of seven sections, which I mention because it was my favourite prime before I outgrew it* and remains the best number below 20.
It’s the first section of the second row that is causing stress. I have the first four Tiffany Aching books (Terry Pratchett), the two Morrigan Crow books available at the moment (Jessica Townsend), The Left-Handed Fate, The Boneshaker, The Broken Lands (Kate Milford) and three other comparatively thin little books that are just looking pretty and perfectly fill the shelf, so that the covers are all slightly compressed and don’t go bent. These books happen to have the best covers, particularly Milford, possibly because high-quality writers can get high-quality illustrators and printers. I worked on the arrangement for ages. Others whose rooms centre on the books understand, and know where this is going.
Because there is another book in the Tiffany Aching sequence. Kate Milford wrote more than three books. There will be a third Morrigan Crow book, although who knows when (The first I heard, it would be out Jan 2020. Yeah, sure. Then it was Feb, then June. Then I heard it was out, then it wan’t, then I heard September, it still seems it’s out but it’s August and I can’t find it).
This is where the Kindle/paper comes in. I have a few Discworld (for people who’ve been living under a rock, that is the series the Tiffany Aching sequence comes from) and Kate Milford’s three modern-day Greenglass house books (Greenglass house, Ghosts of Greenglass House and The thief Knot) on Kindle, but they aren’t part of the collections. The Kate Milford books are the ones set way back (I was born 2006, please don’t tell me about stuff 2000 years ago and 1812 being recent blah blah blah).
So. To buy or not to buy. I’msosorryforthatI’mnotevensurewhere *breathe* itcomesfrombut’mstillusingit. I finally did it. I ordered Bluecrowne, because I need a paper book (booky teens – please don’t tell me that I’m the only one who has had an instinctive feeling to swipe a page or highlight an unfamiliar word in a paper book and had to have a little moment reminding myself that I shouldn’t). I will just have to remove the three small books, meaning my shelf won’t have the perfect colour combo, smooth fade and pattern of book height and width. It will be all English, no books (currently book – just one) I had to read for Afrikaans book reports and were/was actually OK, which isn’t really a bad thing – just an observance.
It was a long debate with myself and long discussion with my mom that eventually got me to get Bluecrowne. Some people just don’t understand the significance of keeping a series together as a uniform collection. I wasn’t getting an electronic version, no matter how old I sound. So it’s coming in like eight weeks, with all businesses and things mess.
I can’t wait to get read a paper book, except technically I can and will because I have been doing so for years. I will have to get my ninety-ninth Kindle book, but I don’t have anything against Kindle books or even completing a good series on Kindle. It’s just that it is nice to smooth off a collection, to redesign your bookshelf, and look back on an old favourite noting any dog-eared (or, in this house, dog-toothed. There is a reason I keep my better books higher) pages or squished mosquitoes (it sounds gross, but there is one such case).
. . .
But I still don’t like the English textbooks that are so old you can find your current teacher’s name in the lower layers of owner records on the inside of the cover.
*Now 1616161 and 2759677 are my favourites, only because they are the ones I remember best. Actually, I’m not so sure I got them right, so please save me from the nerd police and give me proof that they aren’t, if they aren’t. The first I only like because it is a palindrome, 1 and 6 combos aren’t very appealing to me.
One of these days I’ll do a complete tour of my bookshelf, highlighting specific problems and dog-proofing technicalities. I hope I can make it more interesting than it sounds.