I wanted to buy it before I’d even seen it. I knew it would be there. I even knew I’d want to buy it. I knew the longing I’d feel for it.
I was just browsing, killing some time while waiting for a friend to arrive. I say ‘killing’, but secretly I was glad. Glad that I had twenty minutes to spend in a bookshop, finding my new love.
And I knew exactly what my new love was. I found it almost immediately, without even having to look for it. It was on display in front of the escalator. I smiled, picked it up – OK, I’ll be honest, I snatched it up. I stroked the cover, skimmed through the blurb, flicked through the pages, smelt the paper and read a couple of paragraphs.
And suddenly, I felt better. I felt so good that I wanted this book, needed it to continue to give me this feeling of bliss. I was ready to run with it to the till (I only had five minutes left until my friend arrived).
Thing is, I already had an unread book in my bag. And I had dozens more at home. I had books on a similar topic that I’d started reading but hadn’t yet finished. I had books I’d borrowed from friends but still hadn’t read. I had magazines waiting to be opened. I had more than enough to read but I still wanted more.
In my moment of drugged consumer bliss I fell for yet another new thing. It wasn’t a pulse of intuition pushing me to run to the till, it was a pulse of consumer madness.
I hesitated, book in hand. I wanted it so much, but realised it would be hypocritical to buy a book on simple living while cluttering my own home. With some disappointment, I put the book down.
“It can wait,” I told myself “It will be here when you need it”.
I walked away with a full purse, a light bag and a light conscience.