Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Confessions of a Book Addict

I have an extreme addiction for books. It started when I was a child. My mother would complain “How can you wash dishes and read a book at the same time?” Actually I found it quite easy. The water taps (faucets) were the old fashioned kind that were raised up high and had a perfect place to rest a book on the cross bar. When it was bedtime I spent my entire childhood holding a flashlight under the covers so that I could continue reading my current book selection. When going to the toilet I would sit there for at least half an hour, entranced with the book that I was reading. I would get so engrossed in the story that I would forget to get off the toilet.
You get the idea :-).

I moved to Western New York eighteen months ago and was traumatized when I realized that I needed to let some of my books go. I had books on just about every topic that one could imagine. Each one was my favorite. The year before I moved I systematically downsized my book collection. I decided to choose twelve books at a time and take them, several times a week, to the local library where they had bookshelves lined with free donated books at the entrance of the library. I felt very satisfied as I watched people browse through them and one by one they were selected by an avid reader and transported to a new home. What better place was there to dispose of my books?

I gradually donated more than a thousand books and I gave away seven bookshelves to friends. Now don’t be misled by my story. I still managed to transport hundreds of books with me, which needed to be placed upon eight bookshelves in my new home.

I made a personal pledge that I would not purchase any more books until I had read every book that I owned. This project could take a lifetime. If there is a new release of a favorite author I reserve it at the local library and this has been working very well for me. I have occasionally relapsed into my addiction and purchased a book that I felt that I could not live without.

During the holiday season I received a $20 gift card for a local bookstore. I had been carrying it around with me for a while and decided to make a trip to the store.
I was torn between choosing a book or a CD. I had seen Bill Strickland on television being interviewed about his latest book 'Make the Impossible Possible'– Also, I wanted to own the latest release of John Legend. (Did I mention that my addiction includes audiotapes and CD’s)?

I enter the book store and am immediately immersed in the sea of books all waiting for me to pick them up, browse, and buy. I glance at the books artfully posed at the entrance of the store – the latest best sellers by well-known authors. No, I am determined and I pass them all. I am on a mission to select one book only and I know the title. I go to the customer service counter and ask where I may find the book. The customer representative looks in the computer and tells me that they do not have it in stock but she could place an order for me that could be picked up in a week.

Have I mentioned I am a book addict? I want the book and I want it now!

I decide to go to the music department and look for the John Legend CD. Same thing there. They have sold out and can order me a copy.

I feel disappointed and decide to browse the shelves and make another selection. Wait a minute – I recently started a blog. I am such a novice that most of the time I have no idea what I am doing. Could there be a book about blogging? Well, the answer is yes, there are several. After a lengthy, careful selection I found a book called “Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them” by Bob Walsh.

To my fellow bloggers – I had no idea! This thing is enormous! I discovered that what I was starting to enjoy as a daily pastime is also enjoyed by nearly 60 million registered bloggers worldwide, with 30 million who write daily.

When I push that little 'publish post' button I have no idea how many people are reading what I write. So far I have forwarded my blog to family and personal friends only, or so I thought!
I have so much to learn about blogging but I am enjoying the journey. I will report back on my progress at a later date.

As an adult I no longer have to hide under the bedclothes to read. Oh, what do I do when washing the dishes now? That’s easy to answer I have an audio cassette or CD of one of my favorite authors playing. Hey, some things never change and I refuse to grow up!



Shakti said...

Hi Peacesojourner,
I sort of stumbled upon your blog while looking for Emily Dickinson and this post sounds like someone is describing me!! I can so identify with the need for books. incidentally, all my rooms including the washroom has books.
What can I say but keep reading!!
A fellow booklover.

Ashanta said...

Hi Aunt Lesley! Merry Christmas again :) This my first time reading this blog entry and I, too, feel like you could just as easily be talking about me. I was just talking about this with my mom today and I was telling her that the rise of the Kindle application for both my phone and computer have created more space in my apartment. I also just talked to a friend and related to her how I never imagined a day would come where I would be reading so much from my computer or phone, not too long ago it seemed preposterous.