I will try my best to make this pile (plus the secret pile that I bought for exchange gifts) to be my last book shopping for this year. For us bibliophiles, there’s nothing wrong in shopping for books that you know you won’t be reading anytime soon, but you see, I’m planning two trips in the next few months, so I have to save whatever money that I have remaining. Besides, it has been some time since I last shopped for books. It must have been four weeks ago, so you can just imagine those agonizing times when I go out of a book store empty-handed.
This pile is one of my favorites for this year. First, there is a collection of poetry. Second, there are two short story collections. Third, there is an assortment of trade paperbacks, mass markets, and hardbounds. Fourth, there are gifts. Fifth, there is a number of novels by a single author. Sixth, there is a study guide. Hmm, need I say more?
- Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda (November 17) – given to me by Kwesi. Thanks! This is supposed to be a Christmas gift. But I wonder why he gave it to me a month earlier? Probably because he felt the need to give back something when I bought him a copy of…
- No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (November 18, Fully Booked – Gateway) – Yes, I also bought myself a copy. I promised Marie that I will attend her book discussion of this. So yes, my attendance makes me a participant of two book clubs, and I don’t think that’s bad. It’s actually fun. You have two sets of people that love talking about books.
- Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan (November 8) – sent to me by a representative of Doubleday Publishing as a review copy. You probably know that I am not attracted by HBs, but if it’s free, why not? And oh, I first thought that it was an ARC, but no, this is the real thing. Thanks!
- On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (November 9, Book Sale – Makati Square) – I felt that I had to start buying every Ian McEwan book that’s on my wishlist the moment I got the book above, so when Aenna alerted me that she saw a copy of this at a nearby Book Sale branch, I ran to get it. And I did that during office hours.
- Saturday by Ian McEwan (November 24) – I got this at a book bazaar inside the University of the Philippines campus. I can no longer recall its price. It’s either Php 250.00 or Php 300.00.
- The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan – I just wanted to include this here because I didn’t realize that I already have a copy. If you are wondering what McEwan novel I still have to buy, that would be Black Dogs. Looks like I’m going to be a fan despite the fact that I’ve only read one McEwan novel.
- Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley (November 24, Php 110.00) – I also got this at another book bazaar inside the UP campus. I’ve been hunting a copy of this for a long time, so I don’t mind that it’s a mass market edition. I’m shocked by its length though. It’s close to 500 pages, and the font size is so small.
- Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata (November 24, Bookay Ukay, Php 120.00) – I was targeting the trade paperback edition sold at regular book stores, but I decided to buy this mass market edition because it’s the ones at regular book stores are so expensive, and I feel bad paying a huge amount of money for slim books.
- Cathedral by Raymond Carver (November 25, Fully Booked – The Fort, Php 630.00) – I have a feeling that I will become a Raymond Carver fan. I’ve already listed the Carver books that I have to buy. Unfortunately, this is the only one that I could find, but it will do. I can wait for other titles to make their appearance at our book stores.
- Sparknotes: Ulysses by James Joyce (November 24, Bookay Ukay, Php 60.00) – Okay, I admit that I felt like a loser when I paid for this. I’ve already mentioned in some of my posts that I am having a hard time with Ulysses, so I figured that I should seek help in understanding it. Some of the great writers that I’ve read revere this work, and as of now, I can’t see why. I want to know why, hence, this study guide.
How about you? What do you feel about study guides? Do you think they are necessary in understanding certain books? Do you think that they are merely the perspectives of other readers? Do they make you feel incompetent? Do they make you feel like a cheater?