Sunday, 30 September 2012

Buying more books

Guilty pleasures in Sainsburys sounds plain wrong, doesn't it? But I was 'allowed' out to the supermarket last night sans children and it was intoxicating. I found myself browsing - I'd forgotten such a thing existed.

It's very sad, isn't it, that I can be excited about Sainsburys...anyway, I headed by circuitous routes to the book section, not intending for a second to buy anything, but wanting to see if the shelves had been refreshed. And there, staring me in the face, was Jojo Moyes' latest offering, The Girl You Left Behind. For £3.99!!! How could I resist?

I stuffed it furtively into the bottom of my trolley, hoping my other half wouldn't find out I'd been spending on books AGAIN, and trying to ignore the disquiet that comes when you know you're buying books in the Wrong Place. I get the guilts whenever I buy from Amazon or a supermarket, but the bottom line is about price. I'd rather buy two or three books somewhere cheaply, than one at a place where they hand a virtuous feeling to you along with the book. I can't help it; the addiction is stronger than my principles. I'll have principles again when I can afford them.

Then I noticed The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. I wonder if you've ever had the experience where you meet someone, and then see them everywhere (or so it seems!), or learn a new word, and then see it several times in quick succession (this happened for me with 'hinterland' recently). We toyed with the idea of naming Chick-pea Eowyn, and decided against it because of the complications of pronunciation and spelling it to everyone for evermore, though I love it. And very shortly after that, I first saw this book reviewed, thought it sounded intriguing and enchanting, and then noticed the author's name. Since then I've wanted to read it, but been deterred by the cost, but Sainsburys were offering it for just £3.99... How could I resist?

I checked no-one was watching and nonchalantly dropped it into my trolley. Then my gaze ricocheted past a new Adriana Trigiani novel--I tore myself away, and marched into the meat aisle, away from temptation.

When I got to the checkout, smuggling my contraband (well, my husband would ban it if he had any sense, instead of just tutting disapprovingly) I watched it go through with satisfaction and then the cashier frowned at her screen.
"Oh," she said, "It's not done that before."
She continued to squint and poke at it, in a way that struck me as being experimental. I quickly shoved the books into an orange carrier, determined to keep them, whatever the problem.
"That's sorted it," she said with a self-conscious little giggle. "It was just asking me to ID you so you can buy the Cheddar."
If I'd known it was the cheese that was going to cause hiccups, perhaps I'd've added that Trigiani novel, too...Oh, well, I'm sure I'll be visiting the supermarket again soon...

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