Six days ago I ripped up my Amazon credit card. I vowed I would not buy books for ten months. I modified that vow yesterday. I will not buy books unless I pay cash.
My husband says it's cheating.
I don't know. It's a pretty tough vow. It means I have to walk into a bookstore and pay the cashier if I want a book. It means I have to look the cashier in the eye whether I choose Balzac's A Harlot High and Low or Victoria Holt's Mistress of Mellyn. It means I cannot hide behind a credit card but must handle MONEY.
The cashier at B&N was clearly shocked as he had never seen money in my Gilded Hand before. It is a bit of a shock to have to go to the ATM. The bus driver watched me struggle with quarters yesterday. I clearly belong in a future world.
The amazing thing is my mother never had a credit card. I would never have had one, either, if I hadn't briefly traveled for a business.
At bookstores I'm tempted by displays. Yesterday I perused Heather Gudenkauf's These Things Hidden, a novel displayed on a bookshelf in front of the balcony and a comfortable chair. It seems to be an issue novel narrated by a young girl who has spent five years in prison for some undisclosed crime. I didn't purchase it, though.
I have enjoyed Michael Frayn's novels and plays, and his memoir, My Father's Fortune, looks like something I'd like to read. I didn't buy it. It's against the vow.
Michelle Moran's Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the Revolution is fascinating. I love wax sculptures and would like to know the story of the museum's origins. Anyway, I like Moran's novels of ancient Egypt. But I have plenty of historical novels at home.
I really, really, really want to read Sofia Tolstoy's Diaries. But not now. I'm reading Antonia Fraser's Must You Go?
So, a few dollars spent on coffee and a snack and I'm ready to go home. Thing to Remember: I delight as much in the browsing as in the buying.