Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Buried Alive.....But What a Way to Go!

When I was growing up, I heard my mother say, more than once, "I'm afraid I'll die before I read all the books." 

Now, that sounds crazy, I know, and I didn't understand what she meant at the time. I'm getting a much clearer picture of it now though. 

My name is Karen and I'm a bookaholic.  I love books, not just to read, but to have and to hold. I like to own them.  I cannot seem to pass up a good book or a good bargain on books.

It used to just be magazines. I would subscribe to as many as 7, maybe 9 different publications all at the same time.  I read them in the order they came in, stacking them on a specific shelf in my office, so I'd know which one to read next.  No cheating allowed.  

I had no time to read real books because if I stopped to read one, (as I did as a treat from time to time) I'd fall behind in the magazines. I hate reading magazines that are a month in arrears, especially if there is a holiday involved.  There would always be some craft or recipe that I would have loved to have made, but found it too late. 

If I bought books, (and I was always buying books), they were non-fiction on the topic of whatever I was interested in at the time. I have a library full of books on Writing,  Photography, Tai Chi, and Painting.  This is fine as it's not necessary to read all of these books from cover to cover. They can be accessed when you want to solve a problem or learn something new. I likely have too many painting books now, but will often put sticky notes as flags on various pages in 3 or 4 at a time, to give me hints on how to handle whatever I'm thinking of trying next. I'm never sorry to have invested in books. 

I promised myself that I would stop subscribing to magazines for a while, as I really do enjoy reading a good story that lasts for a few days....or sometimes weeks, depending on how busy I am.  The library had moved to a new location clear across town, so I started gathering ones I'd like to read at home.  I belonged to a club where they would mail you four new ones each month. Sometimes I wasn't keeping up with those very well, so I'd quit, but they would offer me a "Welcome back" package that I just couldn't resist, so I ended up with a box full that are waiting to be read.

In recent years I've been winning a few books each year from either Goodreads.com or the publishers themselves. This year I've been extremely lucky and have won a lot more books than usual. I do get those read as I tend to review books I win. The thing is, in the meantime, I have picked up a few that I wanted to read at yard sales, and then one of the local churches held a huge book sale and I got a whole lot more. Well hey, they were selling them for a dollar or so. How could I pass up a bargain like that?  Books can entertain me for quite a while for that small investment.  Besides, have you seen the price of books in the stores today?  I'd have to mortgage the house to feed my habit!

Then I discovered that Amazon and other sites sometimes offer digital books for free. I downloaded a few of them.  I now have several of those stored too, waiting to be read. Luckily I also discovered that I'd really much rather read books with real pages, so I've pretty well stopped accumulating the digital ones.
Suddenly I realize I have a problem.  I've become a book hoarder.  I have more books now than I can handle, even if I sat and did nothing but read for an entire year. I have not even started these ones I got from the church book sale.

I finally understand how my mother felt.  I'm going to die before I read all the books.....likely even just the ones I've accumulated here.

1 comment:

  1. Well dear friend, let me be among the first to say you aren't allowed to die until you've read all the books you have to read, and before you get to the end, you and I are going shopping.