Okay, it's not that I don't have enough unread books on the shelves already. But there's only a certain kind of book that's right for reading while I'm on vacation. It should be a paperback, for easy transport. As for content, it can be a mystery, and I'm taking a Ruth Rendell and a James Lee Burke. It can be something I've read before, and I'm taking The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
But (and I never know just how much time I'm going to have for reading) I wanted at least one more new book, just in case. So I broke my resolution, just this one time. It's a special dispensation, issued for this one occasion. Extraordinary circumstances, don't you know. I bought a book.
On my quick errand run this morning, I stopped at the bookstore and picked up Where Trouble Sleeps. Wendy got me started on Clyde Edgerton, many months ago, and Sandy recommended this specific book, so I have at least one great new read for the summer.
Now this doesn't mean I'm going on a spending spree. I still haven't bought any CDs or DVDs this year. I'm spending so much money on satellite TV, which gives me all the music and movies I can handle, that it isn't much of a temptation anyway. Books are a little different, and I'm making a list of books that I'll consider next January.
This self-imposed self-restraint has at least allowed me to see how foolish compulsive buying is. I used to hear or read about something I wanted and suddenly I had to have it. Most of the time I discovered that I didn't need it that badly in the first place. Impulse purchases have accounted for most of the dust collectors on my shelves.
So I don't see this one book as breaking the resolution. As long as it doesn't lead to more serious vices, like running out and buying the new Dave Matthews Band CD. If I can't wait, I don't really need it. (Does that even make sense?)