It seems like I should own it... But should I?

In the last couple of weeks I have had holiday. Lovely time off work lounging in the sun type holiday, followed by lovely time off work, child back in nursery, proper grown-up time holiday. The second type involved a ridiculous amount of time spent in bookshops, thanks to day trips to Hay, Worcester, and a long mooch through our very own Malvern. And I noticed some things.

I know.

Prepare to be amazed...

First thing I noticed: 

An unusual amount of Stephen Donaldson's books in charity shops.  It's not rare to see one or two - usually you can find one of the middle novels in the "Thomas Covenant" series.  But last week there were complete sets of his work, both "Thomas Covenant" and "The Gap" sequences. I don't really blame anyone for wanting to dump their "Gap" novels into a charity shop; I like Stephen Donaldson, but I couldn't get on with these ones at all.  But it did make me wonder - why the sudden increase in second-hand stock? Why has everyone decided, apparently at the same time, to dump their SD works? I've done a quick online search and there's no obvious scandal that seems to have prompted this... I wonder whether it's the beginning of a bigger fantasy backlash? Expect to see a load of George R R Martin fiction heading to your local Oxfam bookshop soon...

Second thing I noticed:

I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at books that were either the same edition or a bit like books my parents own. I stared at them and wondered "Should I buy that? Maybe I NEED a massive hardback about gardening. Maybe I SHOULD possess an Observer's Book of Dogs".
And then I thought about how I had hardly ever seen my folks flick through these books, and it occurred to me - for the first time ever - that perhaps they had submitted to the same weird urge that was now possessing me. That maybe some nostalgic prompt had made them feel as though their bookshelves were incomplete without it, when actually it's unlikely they'll ever reference the thing and it will instead sit gathering dust.
Either that or they were gifts that they were too polite to ditch.

I resisted the urge. I do not own any new books that I may never need.  Instead I purchased a number of books for the small child, a nice set of the Oz books and "What Katy Did Next".  Which I already own. But this one matches my copy of "What Katy Did".  So now you know.

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