Antwerp Book Festival

So, one thing you need to know about me, is that I love books. I used to read a lot when I was in primary school. I would go to the library every week and bring back heaps of books and just sit in my corner and read. That’s all I did, reading. When I grew older, my interest in reading and books in general disappeared – guess I had other, more important teenage stuff on my mind.

But that all changed in my last year of high school. My Dutch teacher, who was actually kind of an ass, got me back to reading. He taught everyone in class about classic literature. Whether it’d be famous Belgian, English or Russian authors, we all had to cram them in our heads for what probably was the most feared exam by all seniors that year.

Although I didn’t really like the classes, I just couldn’t wait to run to the library or bookstore again and purchase all these books that I’ve been learning about! This feeling got even stronger when I discovered the new and upcoming blogosphere, where I discovered even more books I wanted to read. After a while I finally purchased the first books in my new ‘literary life’ : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by J.S. Foer and Special Topics on Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (can’t wait for her new book Night Film to come out!). And many more were to follow.

And that was the start of my now humble collection of books. I hope one day I can fill an entire Billy-bookcase (specifically this very nice special edition).

Now to get to the actual point of this blogpost: I went to a Book Festival in Antwerp on Thursday, where book publishers sell their stock at lower prices. Last time I went to one of these book sales, I scored pretty good. So that’s why I decided to hop on a train to Antwerp and get as many books on a budget of 20 euro’s. Here’s what I brought home with me:
Books 1

1. Frida Kahlo, een vrouw (Frida Kahlo, a woman) by Rauda Jamis: a biography of the famous Frida Kahlo.
2. Eén voet verkeerd (One foot wrong) by Sofie Laguna: hadn’t heard about his author or book before, but for some reason I was drawn to this book.
3. Heldere Hemel by Tom Lanoye: this book I actually got for free. Visitors got send a voucher which you could trade for one of the selected books at the counter. Most of them were crap (which was expected) except for this one. Tom Lanoye is probably the most-read Belgian author in Dutch-speaking regions and has published a lot of award-winning stories. So I was pretty excited to get his most recent piece of work.
4. Don Quixote by Cervantes: after hearing my Dutch teacher in senior year in high school rave about this book, it’s been on my to-read-list ever since.
5. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: another classic I’ve got to know at high school, this time in my senior French class. I know I’m actually supposed to read this in French, but I don’t think I’d be able to fully understand it after not reading, speaking or hearing French for four years now.
6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: another classic that’s been on my to-read-list.
7. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: can you believe I’ve never read Alice in Wonderland? Or seen the Disney-version of it? Shame on me, I know!
8. This Side of Paradise & The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald: two other classics on my list.
9. The Great Comedies and Tragedies by Shakespeare: this collection just deserves a spot in my future Billy-bookcase. Probably won’t read it overnight though.
10. Lying Together by Gaynor Arnold: didn’t know this author or book either, I was just drawn to it for some reason. You see, you can’t be picky at these book sales, you just get what you like and hope it will be good.

All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with my purchases. I walked out of that Expo with a huge smile on my face (which no rain shower could wash off that day). But I am definitely on a book-buying-ban. You’ll understand once you see my growing pile of books I still need to read:

Books2

Yes, I know. I just keep buying books and don’t have time enough to read them all. But now I will wait to expand my collection until I’ve read all of these pictured above (well, except for when Night Film comes out in August – but that’s my only exception!). I’ve read the parody Fifty Shames of Earl Grey today (which was meh) and tomorrow I’ll start reading Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I will read them all!

How about you guys? Also an avid reader? How big is your to-read-pile?

Catch you later!

Janice xx

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