The other day I went into my local Dymocks looking for two new books. Now, before you say anything, I didn’t actually go in there looking to buy. I was just curious as to whether the books I was after were, in fact, in stock. Unfortunately, Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz is not stocked by any bookshop anywhere in Australia. So that one will have to wait until I am in a more permanent address. As for Incarnation by Emma Cornwall, that one had to be ordered from a Dymocks interstate. I didn’t actually spend a cent during this particular visit. Today, however, was a different story.
But my reasons for breaking my “sobriety” are completely legitimate.
An addict can always rationalise.
Waiting for me in my Fourteen-Step-Program is an Australian YA novel called Every Breath by Ellie Marney. What suckered me into buying that particular novel was the tagline on the poster that adorned the YA section at Avid Reader, a local nirvana for book addicts : “What if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door?”. Which is definitely a thought-provoking question. What if Sherlock were a teenager? So I pounced on the novel and ran to the counter before my common sense could kick in.
Needless to say, I am extremely excited to start the Every trilogy. But, before I even so much as crack the first page, I felt that I needed to go back and read the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories. A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me his collection of Sherlock stories just after we saw the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie But this was during a busy period of studying, assignments, and teenage drama so I think I got one story in and had to give the book back. Now, I have my own copy.
As an avid Sherlockian, I was faced with a dilemma that most of my fellow Sherlockians would be familiar with: Do you go with a $40 book that has every single piece of Sherlock Holmes literature included within its covers? Or do you buy the stories separately for $20 a piece so that you get a foreword written by Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Martin Freeman, or Benedict Cumberbatch? I knew what I should’ve done. But come on, what kind of Sherlockian would I be if I went with the cheap option?
My next argument centres on the fact that Incarnation revolves around the characters in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as well as Bram Stoker himself. How can I properly appreciate whether Emma Cornwall has done her job right if I haven’t first read her original inspiration? I can’t. So I had no choice but to go out and buy Dracula. Plus, I feel guilty that I have read so many books about vampires without first reading Bram Stoker’s classic. I also think I should read Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Thoughts?
I can live with the $30 I spent today. Not only am I being faithful to classic literature but I am opening myself up for a proper appreciation of the modern novels based on these vintage stories. What I can’t live with is what happened after I ordered Incarnation. I did what no recovering bibliophile should do: I looked around. And once I’d done that I found over a dozen more books that I need to add to my collection. Are you ready for this?
- Incarnation – Emma Cornwall
- Teeth – Hannah Moskowitz
- Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein
- Rose Under Fire – Elizabeth Wein
- The Red Necklace – Sally Gardner
- The Silver Blade – Sally Gardner
- More Than This – Patrick Ness
- The Bookman’s Tale – Charlie Lovett
- The Accidental Apprentice – Vikas Swarup
- The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
- The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
- Divergent – Veronica Roth
- Insurgent – Veronica Roth
- Allegiant – Veronica Roth
Not to mention that The Fiery Heart, the fourth of the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead, comes out on the 19th of next month. Plus Starling, the last of the Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy by Fiona Paul and City of Heavenly Fire, the last of the Mortal Instruments cycle by Cassandra Clare, both come out in the first third of next year.
I really don’t want to think about how much money that list with cost me in the end. It’s too scary a number.
- The First Step (infernalimagination.wordpress.com)
- Sherlock Series 3 Premiere Date Set! (courtneyforchione.wordpress.com)
- Knowing that new ‘Dracula’ is a winner won’t spoil fun [Buffalo News (NY)] (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula (examiner.com)
- Thoughts: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conon Doyle (roofbeamreader.com)
- A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (bookssnob.wordpress.com)
- The Marvelous New World of Holmes and Watson (lloydlofthouse.org)
- Free Sherlock Holmes: the Copyright Battle of Baker Street (theconversation.com)
- ‘Learn something new every day’ with Dymocks staff suggests new campaign (mumbrella.com.au)