Writing about books is dangerous. I come across them in bookshops and they feel so much like old friends I have to greet them. "Hey, it's you! Here at last! I blogged about you months ago and coveted you ... and now I have you in my hands. ... I simply must take you home with me at once."
But penury beckons. I was in Atria yesterday, (buying fish from Giant, but found myself upstairs in the Big Bookshops Warehouse Sale again for some reason) and manged to find cheap copies of The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan (a gap in my reading), The Ghost Writer by John Harwood (horror story!) and Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky which is on all the best books of 2006 lists.
Then I was in Bangsar Shopping Centre and my legs lead me to Times where I found Self-Made Man: My Year Disguised as a Man by Norah Vincent, The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth, Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl and the graphic version of City of Glass by Paul Auster. (See what you guys have done to me - I've bought my first graphic novel!)
The Pessl and Unsworth books are very nice trade paperback editions, of the sort you have to buy those quickly or you end up with manky mass-market paperbacks with newsprint pages and a shelf-life of six months.
But I was honestly working very hard in BSC.
Well ... it might have looked to an outsider as if I was having my hair fiddled with by Felix and my toe nails adorned by Alice with a silly snowman picture, but actually I was tearing through The Brooklyn Follies. (Of which I say nothing more at the moment ... though to give you a clue about how I feel about it, I ended up buying extra copies as gifts.)
And yes, even in Times, book-browsing, it was work: I was checking out what to buy for British Council Library - especially the latest cookbooks. (Nigellas and Jamies.)
I also ended up selling a few books for the bookshop because I got chatting to other bookslovers! Sadly, no-one wants to give me commission.
I was also mouching around the Amazon site looking for a few gifts for my family in UK. My 14 year old nephew Alex is the hardest to buy for.
Not because I can't think what he might like.
I'm sure he'd love Recipes For Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook A Moveable Feast or Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars and More Dynamite Devices.
But I don't think my sis would still love me if I bought them for him.