So, here’s the thing: I’ve always considered myself a bibliophile. Buying books is one of my guilty pleasures, and reading was my favorite pastime. I even used to have a really healthy habit of buying a book and finishing it before doing another. But then one day, I suddenly found myself stuck in a reading slump only days after hoarding books at a large-scale book fair. I haven’t fully recovered since, and that means everything I bought two (or maybe three) years ago is still quietly sitting on my shelf—unread and gathering dust.
Any proper person would pause their book-buying habits at least until they get out of the slump, right? That was my plan… keyword being was. Because upon knowing that Big Bad Wolf (BBW) is having its onsite return to Manila after a three-year hiatus, my plans of controlling my impulses went out of the window faster than a Hogwarts letter to Harry Potter.
It’s like that scene from “The Lion King” where Simba sees the stampede of wildebeests and he just can’t resist running towards them even though he knows it’s a bad idea—except instead of wildebeests, it’s books; and instead of Mufasa getting trampled, it’s my wallet.
But hey, can you blame me? BBW is a massive event that offers bookworms a chance to score amazing deals (I’m talking about discounts of up to 95%) on a vast selection of titles. And when I say vast, I mean they have everything—from bestsellers to obscure indie titles.
As much as I love the thrill of book-hunting, though, there will always be that nagging feeling at the back of my head. It’s the guilt of seeing my unread book pile, staring at me with their unopened pages and seemingly judging me for my lack of commitment. It’s as if they’re saying, “We trusted you to give us a good home, and this is how you repay us? By leaving us to gather dust while you go off and buy more books?”
So, to those who are in the same slump as I’m currently in, here’s a little tip: Acknowledge that the guilt is real. It’s not just in your head—it’s a sign that you care about the books you own and the stories they hold. But instead of letting the guilt consume you, use it as motivation to finally tackle those untouched books. Set realistic reading goals, maybe read one chapter a day or finish one book a month. Or if you need an extra hand, try a book club or a reading buddy to hold yourself accountable.
When you do go to BBW—because let’s be real, you’re not going to miss it—be mindful of your purchases. It’s okay to indulge in a few new books, but don’t forget about the ones waiting at home. Remember, it’s not just about the quantity of books you own—it’s about the quality of the stories you read. So, instead of focusing on the size of your book collection, focus on the joy of reading and the connections you make with the characters and stories.
And to all the books I’ve yet to read, I promise I will get to you eventually. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. And when I do, I will give you the attention you deserve.
P.S. The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale will take place at the PICC Forum Tent in Pasay City from June 24 to July 3 (10 a.m. to 1 a.m.) with the theme “Bad Does Good”.
Photo from Big Bad Wolf Books Facebook page