Sunday, 12 January 2014

To All the People Who Wonder Why I Buy So Many Books

To all the people who wonder why I buy so many books,

That's just the thing. I know people sometimes wonder this about me. Sometimes, they say it aloud. Other times, I can see them thinking it - it's a particular look, only seen when I tell them whatever precious gem is coming my way this time. Because that's just it - I'm not just buying books. To so many of you, books are nothing more than words on a page. Something to do when you're bored or when you have too much time on your hands. Something to do once in a while.

The thing is, books are so much more than that. Words on a page might be a very accurate description of the word 'book', but there is so much hidden in those words. I don't buy books because they have words on a page. I buy books because those words bring me something.

A book is so, so much more. Whole worlds are hidden within them, so many emotions, pieces of life. Imagination, imagination is what fills those pages. Books are not black and white - are not words on a page. Books are filled with every color in the visible spectrum and everything beyond. Books are swirling with actions and conversations and feelings. Books contain planets yet unknown to the human race, books contain universes yet unknown to the human race. Books contain magic and reality and lies and truth. Books are the twisted version of reality and yet the most honest thing you will ever discover.

Imagination inspires imagination. I learn from books. My head is never empty, I am never alone because I have thousands of memories of people I have never met yet know so well. This, this is why I can be silent for as long as I please, this is why I like long journeys and the pieces of quiet in between the moments of life. I am never alone. I am never without a story. I can remember the old and make up the new, and everything in between.

When I open a book, start reading the first page, I am not here anymore. I am whereever the book takes me and feel whatever the book makes me feel and I am whoever the book is about. Stories are powerful, and they contain more wisdom and truth than you could ever imagine. I live not in one world like you do, but in dozens. I can escape this world whenever I want and go somewhere else, can lose myself in an universe that is not ours. I can live whole lives that are not mine, I can fall in love with people who are not real, I can make friends who do not know I exist. I can be surrounded by imagination and fantasy, and I can make it real - real enough.

This is why I buy so many books. I buy more experiences, more worlds. I buy more ideas and inspiration. I buy blood and tears and smiles and life and death. I live a thousand lives. I laugh, I care, I cry, I love. I can feel every emotion and not have moved at all. I can be destroyed and healed by words on a page.

Words on a page.

Maybe to you, books will never be more than that. Maybe to you, it doesn't matter. Maybe you do not care about it. And that's okay. Maybe you know the saying - reading isn't just something you do, it's a way of life.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Wow Celine, what a powerful and heartfelt article! It's totally true that books are little worlds captured between the pages that we get to discover. I love the escapism of it and the power and emotion that these pages can inspire. Keep reading Celine :)

    1. Thank you! It's such a huge thing that non-readers miss...

  2. Oi... Jeann you stole my words! Meanie :P

    But seriously, Celine. This is a brilliant post! I buy heaps of books and put them in my room because it keeps me company and when I open one, like you, I just escape into another world full of imagination.

    1. Thank you <3

      I keep all my books in my room as well! It's just so lovely to have a shelf full of little words and stories!

  3. Beautiful post Celine! And I think you are spot on. My ex-boyfriend used to make fun of me when I would go to a bookstore because the second I walked out with a bag of books I would be so overwhelmingly giddy with excitement. I couldn't help it! I just knew I would be going on new adventures, meeting new people, experiencing new things. How could one not be excited by such thoughts?

    And you know what, those people who only think a book is a book? That can change. My current boyfriend has never been a reader. He says he can count all the books he has read on one hand. And yet I got him a book for Christmas and he has absolutely fallen in love with it. He says it's his favorite gift he got and every time we talk he seems to be surprised at his own excitement for the book. (Of course, it is based off a video game he plays, but still... He's getting excited about a book!) In a way, it's like books have this little secret of magic inside them, and once you realize it you become a part of this special little club that just gets it.

    I'm glad we get it Celine. <3

    1. It's really lovely that your boyfriend got so excited over a book you gave him! Giving exactly the right gift is one of the best things in the world, and if you manage to turn someone into a reader along the way it's even better!

      Thank you <3

  4. This is such a beautiful post, and I couldn't agree more. Books aren't just books, they are adventures I've had when I was just sitting in my room, or traveling to school or when I wanted to forget about some crap thing happening in my life. Books made me forget that.
    It's like the quote by George R.R. Martin, which I'm sure you know I'm talking about (a reader lives a thousand lives before he died, the man who never reads lives only one). Isn't that quote the best? Because it's true. I've traveled all over the world by reading books and since I love traveling but I can't afford it right now, this is the next best thing.
    So yeah, I completely agree with all you've said and I think you've said it in a wonderful way <3

    1. That quote IS the best, because I can't imagine anything more true than that.

      Thank you so much <3


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