Sheer egoism

prosperoGeorge Orwell said that there are four reasons why people write: political purpose, historical impulse, aesthetic enthusiasm, and sheer egoism. This weekend I indulged in a lot of egoism.

Yes, I went around bookshops looking for my book on the shelves. And I started taking photos of it. Here it is, for example, sitting on the shelf in my local bookshop, Prospero’s Books in Crouch End. I won’t show you the whole album – like holiday snaps, they all look a bit the same after a while. I think you get the idea.

OK, so it’s not very cool. It’s not something I could picture Salman Rushdie or Iam McEwan doing. But I enjoyed it!

Edit: As well as being uncool, it’s also turned out to be an expensive habit. With all that looking in bookshops, I ended up buying The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, and Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I hope the novelty wears off soon, otherwise I’ll end up buying more books than I sell.


  1. claire 2 March 2009 at 2:05 pm

    My illustrator friend does the same. Takes pictures of his books in the bookshops. You’re not alone. 🙂

  2. Anne-Marie 2 March 2009 at 10:58 pm

    It’s your first book – who can blame you?! I’d probably do the same. These days I never go in to a bookshop “just to look” because I always end up spending money. I only visit bookshops if I intend to buy. Congrats on your book, by the way. Looking forward to reading it [I hope we’ll be able to buy it here in New Zealand soon].


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *