As a girl who grew up wanting to be Belle because marrying a Beast for his library always seemed like a no-brainer to me, somewhere along the way I realized that the only way I was going to get remotely close to that dream was if I built my own book heaven. A dream that eventually grew into an obsession, an expensive one at that too.

I realized my book-buying frenzy was getting out of hand when I finally picked up the courage to face my TBR pile a few months ago – I had to clean out my room, it was unavoidable really.

I had over 70 books lying around in my hostel room, unread, brand new. I had bought all of these in a span of one year. A year in which I’d read only around one fifth of that amount.

So – many – books

The TBR Pile guilt is real.  And it hit me hard.

I’ve always been prone to these ‘little’ book buying sprees – completely harmless when you don’t have the money to spare for it and have grown up in a port city with no proper bookstores. These sprees were limited to my visits to Dhaka – etcetera, Words and Pages, PBS… always the Bookworm.

Baatighor” happened in college. All my complains about Chittagong not having a proper bookstore – well they went away for good.  This is where it all started. The weekly visits, the impulsive buying sprees.

Then I moved to Dhaka, got a job, had more pocket money too. Things only got worse when I discovered Pathak Samabesh – a 5 minute walk from university.

I’ve stopped. I’ve been clean now for 3 months now after I came to terms with the fact that I didn’t have to be scared about books going out of stock, or never finding another book in this country or my favourite bookstore going out of business all of a sudden (Words and Pages was awesome ok?).

If Bookworm’s daily posts plaguing my news feed about how they have a gazillion more cartons to unpack are a sign, then bookshops in this country are finally here to stay.


by Afsana Khan