I have a serious problem. I love books. I know I have written about this love affair before, so this is not a new revelation. However, I am finally admitting what I should have long ago: I may have a book obsession/addiction.
How did I discover this? Was it as I walked around the library today, grabbing books to check out with what limited time I have? Was it the moment I ran out of space on my 4+ bookshelves? Was it the day I spent 2 hours searching for a book online because I just had to read it RIGHT NOW? Surprisingly, none of these is true. The revelation came as I was trying to figure out how many and which books to take on a short trip. I tried to rationalize taking 5 books on a 3 day trip, part of which I would be driving. How in the world would I read 5 books in that short amount of time? Wouldn’t I be enjoying wherever I was visiting instead of reading? It hit me: I have a problem.
This problem began before I can even remember. My mom told me that I loved books very early on, something I have pushed on my babies as well. I remember reading a lot in grade school, so much so that I used to get in trouble for reading instead of doing my actual work in school. I was eligible to skip some grades for reading and English, but my parents did not want me to leave my classmates behind. This continued into teenage years. I used to love going to the bookstore or library to “hang out.” Yes, you read that statement. I liked parties, football games, dances, and other events, but I also loved browsing the bookstore for hours with a coffee or reading on the library floor. As I grew into an adult, reading remained a constant. I mean, my Bachelor’s degree is in English – need I say more? I am known to always have 1 (or 3) books on me at all times, and I will read nearly everywhere. My goal everyday is to take care of my family, do my work, and find time to read.
Part of my problem is that I can read so fast and comprehend so much. Andy talks about how unfair it is that I can read an essay in record time and remember the whole thing. It’s a great skill to have, so I try not to take it for granted. It means I can read a lot of things. I also tend to read more than one book at a time, something that seems to frustrate many people. I can remember each story and plot, yet I can bounce back and forth between books. I’m not trying to brag; I have come to realize that this is a rare skill.
So here I am – Rachel, book reader and addict. Do you classify someone an addict when it becomes a problem? I do find that I am irritated and frustrated if I cannot find time to read during the day. I become so involved in books that I can become irrationally angry or sad about the characters or plots. I become especially angry when a book that is a “must read” turns out to be a dud. I LOVE the smell of a used bookstore. I do spend way too much money on books and comics for our entire family. However, I justify this by looking at them as an investment (please see my previous blog entry about my life goal of having a library in my house, complete with stairs on rails and shelves upon shelves of books). So call me an addict, an obsessive, a freak, a nerd…..it is my problem, and I’m okay with it.
Current reads: Accused by Lisa Scottoline, anything by Karin Slaughter, The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty, and Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Yep, I have a problem.