Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Food or Books?

Just now I am reading Jules Verne: Inventor of Science Fiction by Peter Costello.

In 1848 the young Jules Verne and his friend Edouard Bonamy went to Paris. An impoverished student, Verne struggled to keep his expenses down to 40 sous per day, a budget recommended by his careful father. Between them, the two young men had only one evening suit and one pair of dress shoes. Consequently, they had to take turns going out in the evening to the elegant salons of Mme. de Jomini, Mme. de Mariani and Mme. de Barrere.

But for Verne the real hardship was not having enough money to buy books.

At the beginning of December Jules was telling his father about buying a complete Shakespeare and a set of Scott. He got nervous shudders when he stood outside a bookshop, so great was his desire for books of all kinds. He went through 'all the torture of unsatisfied passion' when he could not buy them. He had been unable to resist the well-bound edition of Shakespeare and had to live on dried prunes for three days. (p. 39)
My goodness -- what utter disregard for the digestive system!


aimee said...

I can totally relate. My personal motto: "I spend my money on books. With what's left over I buy food and clothing." Seriously! :D

Marie said...

oy, I know what it's like to be tempted by wonderful books I really can't afford. Luckily we have libraries- that helps a little bit!

Enbrethiliel said...


No library for me, unfortunately. =(

I will prioritise food over books, but not clothes. Definitely not clothes. I am still wearing the styles of two years ago because my wardrobe suffers while my personal library grows and grows and grows.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I know what you mean. I've always tended to wear my clothes until they're too shabby to donate to a thrift shop. It leaves money available for more important things.

I LOVE YOU said...
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