getting vs. having

last friday, i asked my baby daddy, “do you think i’d be wasting money if i buy a new book? i mean, just one?”

to which he replied with another question, “what do you need it for?”

“i need to be inspired,” was the most truthful answer i can muster.

“ok,” he said, “whatever adds to your knowledge is a good investment. it’s not a waste of money.”

what he doesn’t understand is: i will not be inspired by a book which, by convention, adds knowledge. with a baby on the way, he would have mildly objected to my purchase of a work of fiction, no matter the numerous blurbs proclaiming its life-altering potential and that it was on sale despite the bestseller status. what he doesn’t know is: i have many other books whose pages have yet to see the light of day. if he had known this, he would have loudly protested my purchase, the demon of practicality that he is.

there is something about getting a book, as opposed to having a book. a chord stirs in me whenever the cash register rings a new purchase, whenever the clerk hands me the item that only a second ago was not even rightfully my own. with a smile and a rustle, she utters the customary spiel of gratitude and cordial invitation to come again, and in my mind i clearly state thank you and yes, i will come again.

i am reasonably certain that i am not the only one with such a wanton habit of hording more books than one can read.

there is something about a new book that makes me feel everything will be all right. bound within are the possibilities of making life a little better. there is both comfort and thrill in the awareness that i now possess something that can revolutionize the way i look at the world, that the thoughts of a creative mind, a genius, a wise man have been arrested on paper and have made their way into my hands by commercial destiny. and this power is mightiest when the book is new. once it has been shelved unread (or partially read) for periods longer than a few days, latent but loyal, the power is depleted, though its possibilities do not change. maybe it is i who change. maybe the few dormant days have brought in a few experiences that erase the recognition of that power and i am ushered towards some other form of inspiration.

and that other form is always another new book.

any cure?


12 Responses to “getting vs. having”

  1. 1 banzai cat July 31, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Nup. 🙂


    Funny enough, the power of a certain book– still unread on my shelf– doesn’t relinquish its power for me. Its only after I’ve read does it loosen its grip. Something about the number of future possibilities stabilizing into one solid line of reality I guess…

  2. 2 cornerseat August 2, 2007 at 5:20 am

    it ought to be like that for everyone. for me, unfortunately, worldly concerns usually overshadow my enthusiasm for an unread book. that’s why the wisest thing for me should be to read a new book immediately and not put it down until i’m through. which, unfortunately again, is improbable given my circumstances 😦

    but i’m about to finish a novel by gregory maguire and about to move on to another 🙂

  3. 3 ofel808 August 2, 2007 at 11:22 am

    kinsa si baby daddy? =P

  4. 4 ofel808 August 2, 2007 at 11:25 am

    a purchase of a new book for me means.. time for myself.. relaxation…

    cure? hmm.. watch a movie? =)

  5. 5 cornerseat August 3, 2007 at 12:29 am

    baby daddy ang amahan sa akong anak nga usahay inutil…

    watching a movie might only take me away from the inspiration even more, unless the movie also covers the same genre as the books in shelf. and movies now hardly explore these themes 😦

    on the other hand, movies for me are time for myself and relaxation, as books are for you 🙂

  6. 6 ayen August 3, 2007 at 12:32 am

    there is no cure… there is no cure…

    imagine an alcoholics anonymous-like scene:

    fiddle: “hi, i’m fiddle.”
    seated people: “hi, fiddle.”
    fiddle: “i haven’t bought a book in six months…”
    seated people: (claps, shoots each other knowing looks, passes nods and smiles all around the room)
    fiddle: (smiles meekly, looks down on her hands)

    no, this is not going to happen…….

  7. 7 cornerseat August 3, 2007 at 12:57 am

    ayen, that is a very creative notion!

    and it shall be called “bibliophiles anonymous.”

  8. 8 ton August 3, 2007 at 1:45 am

    what do you mean “baby daddy”?

  9. 9 cornerseat August 3, 2007 at 5:22 am

    you’re kidding, right, ton?

    daddy of my baby. and i’m his “baby momma”.

    that’s the most valuable piece of information i learned from tyra. but i’m no gold-digga 😛

  10. 10 ton August 8, 2007 at 7:32 am

    and you’re together with this person??

  11. 11 ton August 8, 2007 at 7:33 am

    you gave me the impression that you weren’t

  12. 12 cornerseat August 9, 2007 at 5:16 am

    together existentially. not physically.

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