11 jul. 2011


I bought about 15 books so far in Spain. It is always a dilemma to be in a bookstore with thousands of books one could buy, and then come out with 5 or 10. There is the expense, of course, and also the weight of carrying them back home through multiple airports--Santiago, Madrid, Philadelphia, St. Louis. The choice of particular books is almost always impossible. I give myself an hour or two and whatever books I happen to be holding in my arms are those I will buy.

Books are expensive, seemingly, but also cheap in relation to their use. Imagine a cup of coffee that costs 1 euro and a book that costs 10. Once you drink the coffee, it is gone, but the book you can keep for twenty years and read multiple times. While it costs 10 or sometimes 40 times more than the coffee, the book is almost always more valuable. A euro spent buying books is immensely more cost-effective. It almost seems wrong that the same currency can be used for both consumable items and books. The existence of currency makes incommensurable things seem more or less comparable.

3 comentarios:

Clarissa dijo...

Is there a chance you'd share the list of books?

Jonathan dijo...

This morning I bought these:

Tocarnos la cara, by Belén Gopegui.
Estudios sobre la poesía de Lorca, ed. Luis Fernando Cifuentes.
María Zambrano, desde la sombra llameante, by Clara Janés.
Mella y criba, by Ida Vitale.
Ensayos unidos, poesía y realidad en la otra América, by Eduardo Milán.

One novel, one book of poetry and three books of criticism. I bought another 10 the other day.

Jordan dijo...