Might as well face it, I’m addicted to books…

Three weeks in South Africa and I have not blogged much, in large part due to the painfully useless little laptop I bought for the journey (sorry Windows I am in serious Mac withdrawal right now) combined with frequently slow or inconsistent wifi connections. Quite frankly I have not even read much save for a slim collection of Bosnian short stories I have been dragging around. But I have been observing, writing, journaling and taking photographs. There will be plenty of time for reading after I get back and a strict embargo on book buying for some time.

After all I have spent more than R3000 on books. Shame. Well it’s not as bad as it sounds, I spend a fair amount on books at home but not all in one shot and not with the need to transport them across the globe. I fell asleep last night mentally rearranging my bookshelves to welcome my new acquisitions home.

A selection of new titles (there are more,  confess). Trencherman, the Michiel Heyns, Tales of Metric System, Rusty Bell and The Violent Gestures of Life were all on top of my list when I arrived.
A selection of new titles (there are more, confess). Trencherman, the Michiel Heyns, Tales of Metric System, Rusty Bell and The Violent Gestures of Life were all on top of my list when I arrived.

As long as I can remember, bookshops have been a highlight of any vacation for me. Sometimes it was the chance to visit a larger centre or to access books not available at home. I mean honestly who goes to San Francisco without stopping in to City Lights? I suppose those people exist but I don’t want to know them.

This is the first vacation I have had in years, the farthest I have traveled and what I hope will be the first of many visits to South Africa. I have stubbornly had a predominately anti-tourist experience and it has suited me just fine.

But books, they were always high on my agenda. From a second hand shop in East London to The Book Lounge and Clarke’s here in Cape Town I have built piles, triaged, sorted and made my selections – sometimes price, sometime size and weight were factors. Books readily obtainable in paper format outside of South Africa were eliminated, aside from some impulse purchases. Suggestions from the friend I was staying with in the Eastern Cape, books featured on the site of a South African book blogger I follow, and advice arising from conversations with booksellers were all tossed into the mix.

A few of my second hand finds: I am looking forward to the memoir by the late Chris van Wyk and the Ettiene van Heerden on top is signed (but sadly the only one of his books I was able to locate in translation).
A few of my second hand finds: I am looking forward to the memoir by the late Chris van Wyk and the Ettiene van Heerden on top is signed (but sadly the only one of his books I was able to locate in translation).

There are still, inevitably, titles I wanted but could not find. And some I had to leave behind.

Not one given to ostentatious displays of book porn, I am showing off some of my new friends. Wish me luck packing and dragging them all to the airport on city transit!

Author: roughghosts

Literary blog of Joseph Schreiber. Writer. Reader. Editor. Photographer.

19 thoughts on “Might as well face it, I’m addicted to books…”

    1. I’m not going to be over weight. I did buy a second bag to check which means I won’t need a personal carry on. I might have just managed to squeeze them all in but with two checked bags (up to 50 lbs each), why not check a second bag? Shipping would be madness and take 100 years.

      Blah is far away now and has been for a while. Missing her myself and scheming a way to come back to this amazing screwed up country.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so envious! I saw loads of interesting authors in the J’Burg bookstore but couldn’t get them because of weight restrictions on our internal flight. Will look forward to hearing about them when you get around to reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like a bit of a geek, but book buying was a major objective. I saved money by staying with a friend and traveling by city transit and interprovincial bus lines. I will have to force myself not to buy any new books for a few months at least!

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      1. That’s what I’ve been telling myself. Never happens. 😛 At least I get through my books pretty quickly now that I’m blogging about them.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t fret. I can check up to two bags, each about 22kgs. With the cheap bag I bought from a vendor I have scads of room, space and weight wise. The bus was a different matter. Being out of the country I had two free checked bags (and if I ever come in winter again I am bringing warmer clothes, I’ll need the space!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Next time you’ll have to come to Durban, even in winter, our winters are wonderful. When you’ve read some of the books I’ve reviewed, and written your own reviews, I’d love you to link them to my reviews somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely want to visit Durban and see that part of the country. Next time I hope I can stay 6 weeks or so. I just have to find a way to manage my life but I seriously hope to be back within the next two years.
      If I read a book you have reviewed or vice versa, we can link them. When you link, WP sends a message that the linkee has to approve, so we should do that for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Read Mark Behr “Embrace”, an epic novel on the insectionalities between race issues and sexual orientation in (towards the end of) apartheid South Africa; a total classic, using straightforward narrative,beautiful descriptions of the veldt, and brief stream-of-consciousness passages(which exemplify the protagonist’s ‘ self-conflicts, mirroring those of the torn-apart country). May be out of print; a masterpiece! Steve

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    1. Sounds most intriguing. I will check with my best friend find out if she has heard of it. I also have resources to search for books for me in SA. There are some great writers in South Africa who are gay.

      Liked by 1 person

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