There’s a saying from a man I’ve forgotten. He said:
‘Show me one’s private collection of shelves, I can tell you all there is to know about that person.’
Bibliomaniac vs bibliophile
Bibliomaniac – someone who loves collecting or buying books.
Bibliophile – someone who loves books, read them from cover to cover and digest the philosophy or gist of the book into his/er life.
I was, once, convinced that I am a bibliophile. But as I looked at my shelves and pointed out some books I intend to read but never get to it or books I read but never finished or books I finished but never understood some of the contents, my confidence wavered. I realized that I’m far behind an epic bibliophile. But I resolved that I’m satisfied as long as I don’t fall into the trap of bibliomaniacs who believe that they are bibliophiles.
Books and Dreams
Every single book on my shelve came with sentimental values to me. I usually wrote down the date and where I bought it. Sometimes, I even wrote down with whom I bought the book. If it is a gift, I jot down the event. I can give reasons to every book I bought – the content value, the font type, the letter size, the texture of the cover, the smell of the papers, the introduction of the writer, someone’s or some blog’s recommendation etc.
My dream house, when I was a kid, always features a big library – full of books heard and unheard, popular and not so popular, found everywhere and rare. This idea was inflicted by my favorite fiction The Shadow of The Wind (still my favorite after years). The idea of donating books and funding libraries around the globe really fascinates me – like Red Stevens in the movie The Ultimate Gift.
Nowadays, my mind dances around the idea of
‘how do we produce a legacy of book readers (or bookworms, as many people like to call them)?’
since reading is not yet a popular habit that Malaysians can be proud of. Furthermore, the statistics produced turned out to be doubtful. My guess is even as the number of book lovers increase, the gap between book reader and non-reader widens, resulting in the stagnant average number of books read by Malaysians per year.
But then I think…
Screw unreliable statistics! And begin the process of cataloging my personal collections (which I intended to do since a year-or-so ago =P).