Like most readers and writers of this blog, I LOVE books. Actually, it has become obvious to me as well as to my loved ones that I am addicted to books. If it were possible, I would probably snort books up my nose. I might even attempt some version of bathtub books, knowing it was illegal and the results almost certainly toxic.
What I am talking about here is the need to purchase and own books, especially new books, which is related to but different from the love of reading. People who simply love to read are also sensible sorts who have learned the cost-saving benefits of owning a library card. This is my downfall. I have a library card I seldom use. In fact, I have two, one for a neighboring county. No matter. If I really love a book, or even if I think I might sort of maybe like a particular book (crucial distinction), I have to buy it.
There are telltale signs of an encroaching book-buying addiction like mine, and as a public service, I thought I would share with you what some of them are, as in one of those “Is he cheating?” articles you see in women's magazines. If any of these scenarios seem familiar to you, you may be in the first stages of a full-blown book addiction:
• You tell your parents, spouse, or other person who cares where you will be that you are going to the library, when you are in fact again headed to the bookstore, where you will probably buy yet another book(s) you may never get around to reading.
• Book conventions for you are the equivalent of Ben and Jerry’s for the carbohydrate deprived. You have been known to leave your shoes and heavy clothing behind in your hotel room to make room for the extra books you want to take home on the plane.
• A box of books arrives from Amazon.com, and you sneak it into the house before anyone can say, “That isn’t another box of books, is it?”
• You flatten the empties from Amazon.com and hide them in the neighbor’s trash bin.
• You hide the newly purchased books in your underwear drawer.
• You've tried to cut your book buying to an average of one a week but find you can't.
• You pay cash whenever possible at bookstores so as to leave no paper trail.
• You refer to your local bookstore manager as your book mule.
• You would seriously consider trading in one of your pets or children for a lifetime B&N membership card.
• You have installed bookshelves to accommodate your growing book collection, at a cost equal to the GDP of a small nation, rather than donate any more of your precious collection to the library.
Sound like anyone you know?