The Woman and the Book

It was a chilly grey day in October…

She stepped into the bookshop and forgot about the world. Completely. She deliberately got lost in the long corridors of bookshelves, eager to touch the treasures hidden in there, to feel the different textures of paper, to open the covers carefully, and inhale deeply. Oh, how intoxicating the scent of paper was!

Over there… A book caught her eye. It was big and had a gorgeous cover. Many books had gorgeous covers, of course, but there was something special about this one. The book was calling her over. She hadn’t come here in order to buy anything. She only intended to be around all that loveliness for a while. And then, after spending a few minutes with herself in the precious calmness, she would go away. But that book! It was still there challenging her to get closer and take a peek. It was so shiny and tempting. And it was showing off arrogantly as if it was a living creature being aware of its beauty. Yes, it was exceptionally beautiful with the cover resembling a work of art.

She was helpless. All her tenacity of will had left her at once. She thought she would easily withstand any book this time, but she had to see THAT book. Certainly, she would simply read the back cover blurb and put the book back on the shelf. Wrong. She was totally gripped by the summary.

She already felt it — the excitement that seized her every time she was about to buy a new book. She knew she shouldn’t have done it and yet, she opened the book and scanned the first page quickly. Then, her perfidious habit of always smelling the pages. The well-known fragrance of ink and paper filled up her nostrils. Ah, what a pleasant dizziness! She didn’t want to let it go.

A minute later, she was still standing there, with the book in hand, gradually getting back to reality. “Come on, girl! Put this book back and get out of here!”, she muttered. Just one last glance and she would obediently lay it back on its wooden bed — back on the shelf, back to the piles of precious paper.

She looked at the alluring cover and understood instantly. It was too late. She had been defeated. Implicitly and unceremoniously defeated. Her passion for books had brought her here. Her passion for books had made her weak and humble. Again. She realised her absolute inability to overcome this weakness. She tried to resist no more. There would be a purchase.

Her fingers instinctively tightened their grip. She had to possess this jewel, she had to take it away now. Her determined steps resounded victoriously as if she had just won a battle (but yes, it was a battle, a battle with her own self!) and she hurried to the pay desk. There was no trace of hesitation left. She pulled out her credit card and gave it to the cashier, smiling. Her common sense was now crying in despair (was she ever going to stop with this incidental shopping of books?!), her heart was merrily singing in her chest.

But why should she worry at all? If not today, she would buy the book in a month anyway. So there was no reason to feel guilty. Actually, it was the perfectly right decision to make. And how much better her home library would look like now. She smiled at the thought.

She went out of the bookshop in a great mood. It was a cloudy grey day in October and it was about to rain, but the sun was sparkling in her eyes. She was happy. She had a new book to take home…

That woman was me… Was she you, too? :)

Originally published at on August 15, 2016.