Why I stopped buying books from booksales

So after ruminating on this book for a little less than a month, I finally finished The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka this afternoon.

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I admit I am a slow reader; while I love to read for information and recreation, I still find time to process the words I take in. Yeah, for me it’s like food. I would normally stare blankly at the pages and imagine what is it that I just read. Sometimes, I even blurt the dialogues out loud. With proper corresponding emotions. Of course I do this when people are not around.

But things are different this time with this book. I read slow, yes; but it is not usual for me to process a 55-page prose for a month. So, how come did this happen? I guess it’s vital that I mention the story first.

Last December before I went back to the province for vacation, I decided to buy something to read at a book sale in UP which was situated at the month-long bazaar in front of the Parish Church. I rummaged through the stacked books and found a neat copy of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I was delighted to see a Kafka among the books (Side note: it was a required reading for one of my classes which I was not able to read) and I was also itching to read his works so I may understand the “kafka-esque” concept in writing. Fortunately, it was priced P99.00 so I bought it immediately.

Not knowing that I would find this upon opening the book:

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There are marks inside the book! I actually do not mind owning a pre-owned book, but…this? The owner’s name is even there. Plus, sorry for this, her penmanship was hideous. Don’t get me wrong, my handwriting is worse, but I do not dare write pen marks on my books’ pages.

It was terrible.

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I wanted to return the book, but I was already on board the bus going to the province. Since then, I found it hard for me to focus on reading (and enjoying) Kafka. I hated the feeling that it was inevitable for me to read her notes and comments about the story. It was a total spoiler.

Another thing that irks me about used books is the folded pages. I mean, why can’t they use bookmarks? Even a dry leaf can stand as a makeshift bookmark.

So, there. To simply put, I lost appetite to finish it so I only opened it when I’m inside the train. and also, I promised to refrain from buying books from sales–or at least I’ll try to scan them first before paying.

Similar experience, anyone?

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