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E-Libris: Shopping Fever (or, How I Almost Went Broke When I Started Buying More Than a Book a Day)

The title of this fortnight’s installment should tell you everything, isn’t that so? Let’s just start in a more formal way, then:

My name is Fabio Fernandes, and I’m a book addict.

So far, no biggie, right? That’s what all of you must be thinking. After all, if you are reading this column (and by now you really should know what this column is about), you must love books, so that makes you, dear reader, a colleague, an associate, an accomplice, a sister or brother in vice.

If you can see yourself in me, then you recognize the symptoms: the dry mouth, the sweaty palms, the accelerated heartbeat every time you pass in front of a bookstore. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good one or a rattrap, a used bookstore with a veritable treasure trove so far hidden from other eyes (for naturally only you, and nobody else, could see the value in that, yes, that dusty Charles Eric Maine pocketbook or, say, a rare Chad Oliver first edition, or even that one fairly recent Karen Traviss’s Wess’har novel you needed to complete your collection…)

You know what I mean.

Therefore, you will already believe me when I say it’s not different in the world of e-books. Not at all.

So I’m on the internet, browsing the usual suspects: Twitter, SF Signal,, The Book Depository, Wizard’s Tower Press, always in search of good stuff. And, as you know, there’s always good stuff. There’s always excellent stuff.

Then, one thing led to another, and something funny happened on the way to my e-reader.

At this precise moment (I’m writing these words at Tuesday, July 19, 2011), I have 418 books in Kindle format, against the 393 of last installment. Do the math: that’s 25 MORE books than two weeks ago. Almost two books a day.

Let’s start again, shall we?

My name is Fabio Fernandes, and I’m a book shopping addict.

I have no shame in being a book addict – but I find it a problem in being a book shopping fiend. You buy not only because you need, but because it’s there. Without having to go to the brick-and-mortar bookstore (which still have its charms, I can assure you – I love Livraria Cultura in São Paulo and Forbidden Planet in London, two of my favorite addresses in the whole world), I feel free to browse the cyberspace in search of my favorite books – or those novels of whose existence I was not even aware, but now that I know of them, how can I not have them? (This is a rhetorical question!)

At this very moment in time, I can’t afford it anymore. I will have to hit the brakes hard at 200 mph, so to speak. In order to survive, I will have to buy only one book a month (maybe two or three, but that’s the addiction speaking) to set my financial record straight.

But that’s not the end of the world (I guess). On the other hand, I will finally be able to focus and do better two things: reviews… and writing. (I have a novel in the making, after all, and even the research books – I’ve been buying lots of them in the past few months! – need to be read carefully.) So, if you’d be so kind, say a little prayer for me. (And, if you happen to be a publicist or an author, consider sending me an e-ARC. I would appreciate it hugely. Thank you!)

About Fabio Fernandes (21 Articles)
Fabio Fernandes is an SFF writer living in São Paulo, Brazil. He has several stories published in online venues in the US, the UK, New Zealand, Portugal, Romenia, and Brazil. He also contributed to Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's Steampunk II:Steampunk Reloaded, Southern Weirdo: Reconstruction, and The Apex Book of World SF Vol. 2.
Contact: Website

8 Comments on E-Libris: Shopping Fever (or, How I Almost Went Broke When I Started Buying More Than a Book a Day)

  1. A few of the SF Signal irregulars today on twitter have dubbed the phenonemon of buying too much for your Kindle the “Hester effect”, since Patrick first identified himself as doing so.

    I do it too…I don’t have the numbers of books you do, Fabio…I’ve only a couple of dozen…but I buy them all the time. Like you.

    I’d love to see  Livraria Cultura  if I ever get to São Paulo all the same.

  2. I can relate entirely to that – consider me Patient First of the Hester Effect (since Patrick, of course, is Patient Zero! 🙂

    But, seriously, Paul – it’s a good thing you don’t have the number of books I do. It’s marvelous but it can also be a curse. I love books and I love buying them – funny thing is that I don’t know if that is really a pathology, since I don’t have this sort of shopping behavior with anything else (thank you Saint Leibowitz! 🙂

    Re Livraria Cultura: if you ever get to be in São Paulo, I’ll be more than happy to show you around – including, of course, ALL the stores of Livraria Cultura (there are currently 6 or 7 all over the city, most of them in malls, but the central one, in Avenida Paulista, is a megastore – a feast for the eyes!)


  3. I feel your pain. It’s way too easy. Curse you, 1-Click!

    We need a 3 day waiting period.



  4. I totally agree with you, Mike! A 3-day waiting period – and a 3-month no-shopping-allowed period if we fail to comply (which will naturally make we all want to commit e-seppuku)

  5. Well, if you need more money to buy new books, I’m sure I can find a good home for those rare Chad Oliver first editions…

  6. Jeanny Garcia // July 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm //

    I myself am addicted to books. It got so bad we had to house them in a spare bedroom filled with book shelves on every available wall. I live in a 900 sq ft city loft. Needles to say any real-estate is valuable, so my fiance gifted me with an e reader (kindle). This solved the limited space issue.  

    I <3 LOVE this Kindle but the ease it provides has put a serious financial dent on our budget. I easily spend twice as much as I did pre-kindle. The kindle now has it’s own piece of the budget pie graph, right along with groceries, insurance, clothing etc. It has become a necessity!! lol

  7. Hah! NO WAY anyone is getting me apart from my preciousss….. I m-mean, my Chad Oliver first editions! *getting a grip*

  8. Spot on, Jeanny. Kindle has not only become a necessity, it has become a part of our budget pie graph – and it has come to stay. But it’s not as if winter has come, to borrow GRRM’s best-known dictum – we just need to learn how to balance it. I still don’t know how it, but I will learn to.

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