Thursday, October 23, 2008

No Self Control!

Somewhere in the world there should probably be a 12 step program for people who are totally out of control in a bookstore...there, I said name is Connie and I have a problem...or Bless me Father for I have sinned...(that Catholic upbringing) Today is "banking Thursday" the day I set aside to do all the company "errands", personal errands and errands of mercy! It started out innocently enough, the bookstore is next to the post office and I did have to get that book by Mark Twain for book club...books are alphabetized by author so naturally I HAD to look at other books on my way to THE BOOK...

I love everything about books...the colors of the book spines, new crisp pages to turn, that new book smell or that old book smell from the thrift store. I cannot bear to pass a bookstore or library without going inside and having a look around. Fortunately for me, the library is free and lucky me since we own property in two counties...I get library cards for BOTH areas! There are certain books, though, that you simply must purchase...ones you are sure you will read again...ones you absolutely cannot wait until the library gets their copies or until your name comes up on the waiting list...Sadly, I am in no better shape financially if I avoid the bookstores and choose online book purchases...not quite the same as touching the books, flipping through them, reading short passages...Simply put, I have an addiction where books and reading are concerned...I can only think of a few other things that I would rather do...give me a rainy Saturday and you can find me curled up with a mug of something hot and tasty and a book.

Secondary to the book problem is the ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh I haven't read that glossy magazine yet problem.

I am pretty sure this problem is heredity as my mother relies on me to keep her well stocked with books (she doesn't drive) and my daughters have inherited this proclivity from me and it's looking like the grandchildren have the same affliction...We don't understand people that don't read! What is wrong with them???? They are missing something in their DNA for sure. My husband is a non-reader, that is to say he does not read recreationally. A typical conversation between us would be like this

Him: "What are you reading"

Me: A book

Him: " What's it about"

Me: "Why don't you read it yourself" (In other words, I would have to stop reading to explain this to you so leave me alone)

Him: "Aren't you going to watch (this ridiculous, boring, blah, blah) t.v. show with me."

Him: "Are you watching this?"

Me: "Hmmmmmmm....oh yeah sure I am"

Him: "There is a parade of pink elephants running through the living room"

Me: "That's nice honey"

Him: "I'm going to bed"

Me: "I'll be there in a minute" (after I read 27 more chapters) or "let me get to a good place to put my book down"

So at my 12 step program for people addicted to reading and books I will have to admit that today (just today) I purchased the book club book, two hardback books and one magazine...did I mention I was addicted to magazines as well...oh oh...scratch that I think I am addicted to the written word in all forms including writing and blogging...oh dear! My rationale and justification for said problem is a) it doesn't hurt anyone, b) I am learning stuff, c) it keeps me quiet and off the ledge, d) I don't have to feed my books or put gas in them, e) I have many friends with the same "problem" - we call it a book club, f) you have something to do while you wait for things

Now this is what I call Livin!!!

I was thinking of an episode of "Twilight Zone" that was completely freaky...Burgess Meredith plays a character that absolutely LOVES to read and he wears extremely thick "coke bottle bottom" glasses...poor man gets nagged incessantly by his wife and his boss about his reading....well the end has arrived for everyone except old Burgess and he is on the steps of maybe a former library with thousands of books all around, he is practically orgasmic over his good he begins to sort and stack the books, his glasses fall off and he steps on them...rendering him incapable of seeing anything...poor man just breaks down. I feel your pain brother...without my glasses I can't see to read either. All the time in the world and all the books in the world....sad music playing in the background....

So, I was thinking if you rode a subway or a bus or a train to work...would that be a golden opportunity for reading or am I totally naive on that point? I live out in the "country suburbs" and have to drive myself in to the City (we "ain't" talkin NYC or Chicago type City) Do you share my malady? So what have you read lately? Any great recommendations?

P.S. The book club selection I purchased is "The Diaries of Adam and Eve" by Mark Twain


scchesleys said...

Your comment thing is weird as well! I also don't know what people who do not read do for fun. Mike doesn't read and it irritates him when I'm "lost" inside a book. Reading is like breathing for me, I'd die without books.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Christy. and I'm a reader. My husband, my children, We ALLLLL have it BADDD. Connie, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! Thank the Lord for libraries, though we too give into the bookstore urge way too often. We ALWAYS justify it -- we are ding something GOOD FOR US! Just not great for the pocketBOOK (hardy har!)

ANYWAY, loved this post - can totally relate. I have become increasingly captivated by non-fiction. The book I'm currently involved w/ is all about animal behavior and it is FASCINATING. The Parrot's Lament by Eugene Linden. Highly recommended!

Jayne said...

Love it! Tell me why you'd want a 12 step program to overcome one of the best things going! It's one addiction that helps rather than hurts; in fact, it helps the user and her friends/family/contacts/coworkers. About those glossy magazines, I've started going to the library for those in an effort to economize a bit.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Yes, a lot of people read on commuter trains and buses. If you have to drive, do you do recorded books? I know lots of people who do that as well.

Unfortunately, I do a lot less reading now that I'm a professional writer. I use up a lot of my reading energies doing research. It's a killer aspect of my job.

Pippa said...

LOL, Connie, me too, me too! And I've bred a little voracious reader as well. My son can NOT walk past the local bookshop. There is only one way and that is IN! Just Tuesday there was a book exhibition at work and I thought, "I'd just look." Ha! Walked out later with FOUR books under my arm. In a month I'm cash-strapped. Go figure, I reasoned reading is more important than bread.

Love, love, love the picture of the bed ~ I want one like that!

(: love!

Hayden Tompkins said...

Omigod, I think we're related! I love books, LOOOVE books, and equally love bookstores.

"Somewhere in the world there should probably be a 12 step program for people who are totally out of control in a bookstore..."

That's why I just started hanging out in them. I could read the book right there! I admit, however, that if I haven't finished a book by the time the store closes - I will buy it.

I can't stand leaving a story unread.

Anonymous said...

hi. i'm natalie. and i'm addicted to reading. i would rather read than do most anything (except eat ice cream or mashed potatoes).

i love used book stores and independent book stores...but admit to shopping in those big B stores too.

i can reread my favorite books a million times...and love books that make me laugh. bill bryson is my favorite author.

you might enjoy 'a walk in the woods'--i know that in your tribute post to your brother you mentioned that he hiked the AT...and bill tries to. but he's a bit unfit. :) it's humorous and educational.


Anonymous said...

This is great! Describes me to a t!

Connie said...

Looks like we have enough "members" for our addiction group :)

Ruth, I do listen to some audiobooks occasionally.

CWG: I have read Bill Bryson and several other "outdoorsy" type books. Have you read the Evanovitch books? She depicts Trenton NJ with great hilarity! I know they follow the same pattern etc. and are predictable but funny as heck.

Dishy, I may have to read that book just based on the title!

Renee said...

I too am an addict. I would like to join your 12 step program (but I don't want to be cured, I just want to be social and talk about books).


Rosezilla said...

Oh, man, we are all bookaholics in our family! That's the one thing we always had money and time for. Every time I have to paint a room and move them all I wish we were illiterate, but otherwise, it's great. My hubby is going to build an enormous bookcase that will take up an entire wall, so that will help corral them a little. I read my favs a billion times, but lately I'm hankering for something new. Only it can be way old, just so it's new to me! I'm kind of in to Dickens right now. Just read Nicholas Nickleby and really liked it. I have a magnet my hubby gave me that says "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

Anonymous said...

It takes me a while to get into a book, once hooked that is it.... I have to finish it. The sink fills, the children go hungry... but there are times when I pick a book up, read the first page and then discard it... it has to grab at the first instant. I envy you ... :o)