Sunday, August 19, 2007

I have a confession to make....

I think I'm a book-a-holic. This horrible realization came to me last Friday while I was in our local public library. The wonderful librarians set up a shelf off to the side where they sell books that have been taken out of circulation. I don't want to tell you how much they sell them for because I don't want the rest of you getting at my stash. Anyway, I saw a book I thought would be cool to read and dug through my purse looking for loose change so I could buy it. I seriously considered asking the librarian for a loan. I mean, I kind of know them since I'm there every week, but if you knew how cheap the books were you'd see how pathetic this all is. Instead, I sent my poor belabored 10 year old out to the car to get a dime that was in the coin tray so I could get this book.

I came home, put my new acquisition on top of the other books I have lined up to read and then it hit me. I have two books up stairs in my room that I'm reading. I have one downstairs that I read when I'm waiting for water to boil, cookies to bake, or the baby to finish eating, etc. I have one in the basement I read when I'm on the elliptical trainer. Not to mention the two books I have on reserve at the library waiting for me to pick them up. I think I have a problem.
My other symptoms are as follows:

1. I have a love/hate relationship with the New York Times Book Review. I love it because its like reading five books in the space of a half an hour. I hate it because I end up adding six more books to my list of books to read.
2. I actually get irritated that my favorite authors are still writing because that means more books for my list.
3. I have to take a rolling suitcase to the library to take home all the stuff I borrow. The librarian actually called me personally at home once to let me know that library was going to be closed for a holiday.
4. I can't listen to NPR without adding two more books to the list.
5. About 95% of what I say to my ever patient husband begins with "You know I read somewhere that..." He actually can't recall if he's read a book or if I read it and talked his ear off about it.
6. I don't read much fiction at all because it takes time away from other categories of reading like, oh say, "The History of the AK-47" or "Economics for the Common Man" or the story behind the Cocoa Nut Grove disaster.
7. I once considered hiring a babysitter when six books I ordered arrived all at once in the mail.
8. I will read the note or bibliography section in a book to find more books to read. I've gotten to the point where I'm recognizing a lot of the stuff I've already read.
9. This is perhaps the most tell tale sign of all. I avoid going into Barnes & Noble or Borders because I end up fantasizing about having a open end charge card and going nuts in the store ("Stop complaining honey! Just empty out the U-Haul at home and bring it back for the second load!!")

Now some of you might say, "Well at least you're not addicted to alcohol or drugs!" Honestly, I think both would cost me less money and time. I can drink a beer in 10 minutes. I've spent three solid hours in a chair reading. If I went to a 12 step group, I'd probably just end up discussing addiction-related books I've read.