I just got a book that I ordered at the weekend from some marketplace seller on Amazon; and I am not very pleased about the honesty of this seller. I am aware that what I bought is second hand but I genuinely expected that this person should, at least, be honest about the condition of the book. The description of the paperback was “very good”; yet in fact, the book is almost dog-eared: some of its edges were a bit torn though I have managed to fix them by glueing the damaged areas. The front cover was also folded from the bottom to nearly the middle, which I later dealt with it by putting Sellotape over it to prevent it from pulling apart.
As a book lover, I find this quite unacceptable and it definitely set me off. I know that I come across as fastidious, but this is just one of my traits. If there are things related to reading materials, whether books, magazines or even newspapers, I always take very good care of them. When I read a book or a magazine, I caress it and consciously open it gently as I am too afraid that I might accidently make a crease at the spine, which is sometimes difficult to prevent. And that I can accept, if it is my own fault. On the other hand, I find it hard to swallow when some bookseller lies just because they want to make a couple of quid. I only want people to be truthful when they do business. Every month, I spend a great deal of money on books, usually around £50. These days, though, I try to find bargain prices; some are perfectly satisfactory, but others are not, like the one that I received this morning. I do not mind buying used books as long as their condition is not too bad. But for some writers who I admire dearly, such as Mr. Murakami, I would never dream of buying their work second hand.
All of the books on my bookshelves are very well taken care of. If, one day, something terrible happened to me, for example, if I suddenly disappeared completely from this planet, I want my niece to inherit my beloved books, albeit she is now only around six years old and has not got a clue how to read English, let alone Thai. It will benefit her greatly in the furture when she grows up. If the worst comes to the worst, and none of my books reach somebody I know, I hope they will be in the safe hands of people who cherish reading as much as I do.