This week a mobile book fair, known as the Bookfestival (Boekenfestijn), is in town and naturally I have been impatiently waiting for Saturday to arrive. This event is one of the highlights of my annual calendar, although my purse tends to feel a little light at the end of October. The bookfestival is the place to go for new books sold at very cheap prices (often cheaper than books at the local 2nd hand bookstores).

A giant hall filled with cheap books is dangerous place for someone like me, whose bookhoarding tendencies verge on bibliomania*. Out of my 1000 or so books I have probably only read half, but still I cannot help myself but purchase additional books, which I do plan to read but never get around to because of the other books I aqcuire in the meantime. Books give me pleaseure not only for the reading itself, but also for the atmospehere they lend a room (“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero) and for the joy they give me while buying them. Book-shopping is my sole form of effective retail-therapy. New shoes will never cheer me up like a new book does. When I feel down I like to sit in a chair with a view over my bookshelf because it comforts me. I might get up and pull out a book that is dear to me to look at the cover and breathe in its particular smell. Opening the book I will look up passages that have stayed with me and I will read them slowly savouring the words. I like to share my books by lending them but I am very reluctant to part with them for good, and this is even the case with books I am not particularly fond of. I have made some progress on this front during the past year (as you will hear in later posts regarding the Brussels Bookswappers Club).

In fact today’s post-bookfestival asessment reveals that the book-count is quite low in comparison to previous years, possibly indicating an improvement in my condition. But the final verdict on this will only be delivered tomorrow evening when I return from my second day of browsing.

To be continued…

*Other book-related afflictions include bibliophagy (book-eating), bibliokleptomania (compulsive book-stealing), and bibliotaphy (book-hiding/burying)
One of my beloved bookshelves on the right. Without it the room just would not be the same
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