In my youth, I spent most of my money on small, impulsive purchases. They were fun at the time, but most of them didn’t survive very long. I was interested in short term excitement rather than long term investment. This isn’t bad thinking for a kid, but I do think of this as a valuable lesson learned: in my still-youthful-but-a-bit-older current years, I now know the benefits of buying thought-out items that will last.
But I still struggle a little bit, because boy-oh-boy do I like the excitement of buying something.
I’ve tried to only buy books that I know for sure I want – books that I know I’ll read numerous times – and am in the habit of going to the library when I feel a book-binge coming on. Because as a teenager, I would buy any book that looked alright, which resulted in owning many light novels that were simply ‘okay’. (No, they did not survive the decluttering stage.)
A few months ago, I was in the bookshop, there to buy a poetry book I had been wanting to read for a while, and managed to leave with two books instead of one. I thought the spontaneous purchase was worth it, but after owning it for two months and struggling to get past the first chapter, I knew it was one of those times I had fallen into my old ways.
But you know, God is full of redemption, because yesterday I picked up that book and it turned out to help me in writing an essay for university.
The book in question is Poetry Notebook 2006-2014 by Clive James. Clive James, a lover of poetry and a well-known writer of poets and their works, has compiled a collection of his thoughts.
An essay for my English Unit delves into several poems of Yeats, and Clive James has actually read Yeats (unlike me) and has written about Yeats (unlike me) because he’s made a point to understand Yeats’ poetry as best he can (unlike me).
So there you have it, campers: my regret has become a pleasant surprise. Hopefully my lecturer agrees.