I can quit any time I want...

OK, so I have this little habit…and I’m sure that those of you who know me best aren’t really surprised…

It started when I was a little kid. A guy…let’s call him Frankie D…was my hook-up…he’d give me a little bit every now and then, just enough to keep me coming back.

But soon, that wasn’t enough. I’d be combing through my grandfather’s stash, or my uncle’s stash, just to get a fix.

Then came high school…and my first job. It was a crappy fast-food job, but it brought some money in. Said money, of course, generally went right back out, to my new source. Some called him Steve, some called him the King.

Then, eventually I started needing more than the King could supply. I began getting my fix from anywhere I could…from the guys at the mall, or at school, or even at the public library…

And now that I’ve had a real job for a while, it’s getting worse and worse. I’m up to spending about $50 bucks a week just to keep myself stable…

It’s just getting out of hand. I’m sneaking hits at work…my habit is keeping me up to all hours of the night…

I blame my family and friends. They’ve all known for years, and did nothing to stop it. In fact, they’ve all enabled me to get far more than I otherwise could have, by lending me some when I couldn’t afford it, or flat-out buying it for me.

So, anyway, I’m out at the mall tonight, and I feel the familiar siren call of…the Bookstore. I’ve already got stacks of books I haven’t read yet, not to mention others that are bookmarked about halfway through. But, I had just finished the first book in a series and felt the need to pick up the second (The Runelords series, by David Farland. Pretty darn good). As I’m walking in, I notice that there’s a new Steven King book out. OK, so that’s two books I’m in for…

After checking my rather long list of authors that I look for new books from (Terry Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, etc, etc, etc), I spot a Dave Barry collection I don’t have and decide that I should renew my attack on the Xanth novels…so I wound up exiting with 4 new books. Thanks to my 10%-discount card, my bank account was only $40 or so lighter. But on top of the $100 I spent two weeks ago, and the $75 I spent a few days before that…this is getting out of hand.

Way out of hand.

Help.

I can easily forsee the day that I need to move into a larger apartment just in order to have a place to store all my books.

So, am I overreacting here? Is this remotely normal? Do I need a 12-step program?

Ah, forget it. I’m going to go read a book.

All your book are belong to us.

::D&R::

Hey, ever heard of a library?

My SO and I are exactly the same. We just can’t walk by a bookstore without going in. He generally has at least 4 books on the go at once whereas i tend to tackle them one at a time. But god help us when we get a flat together - it’s going to be a maze of rows of books teetering precariously, through which we tiptoe gingerly for fear of upsetting the god of book stacks.

To help the bank balance, we generally try to shop at second-hand bookshops and charity shops. It’s amazing the gems you can find in those places, and the charity bookshops are dead cheap. For some reason, they always seem to be full of Asimov books though.

Also, don’t you find that you can’t go anywhere without a book? If i’m stuck in a train station or on a train or waiting for anything at all, i break out into a sweat at the thought of not having a book to read. Must… occupy…my… mind.

The library’s all very well… but i want to keep my books! I need them round me so i can stroke them fondly and kiss them goodnight. Well, maybe not. But i like being able to pull out an old Pratchett at will and have a little giggle to myself of an evening.

Fran

All due respect, Tzel, but a library simply will not do. Part of the disease is the need to own the book. To have it nearby whenever the urge strikes. Plus, I am an underliner. And a dog-earer. I can’t help it. Sometimes certain things just speak to me and I have to physically note it. And I lose bookmarks all the time.

My problem has not reached the terrible level Dyno’s has, but only because I have horrible college professors who force me to read their books. I have managed to limit my leisure reading to Christmas and summer vacations. I want to graduate just so I can finish the 3 books on my nightstand.

Well, yeah, I’ve heard of the library. Burned a hole in my library card, even.

But it’s just not the same. What good are books that go away when you’ve finished reading them? Plus, there’s the whole time-pressure thing when you get a book from a library. No good being forced to read a book before your two-week deadline is up…detracts from the enjoyment, somehow.

If I buy a book, I cannot put it down until I’ve read it. The whole thing. Even if I’m up all night. I can’t put it down. I buy a lot of books. I have a lot of sleepless nights.

I’ve got 15 stacked up in my “to read” pile at the moment. It was 13, but then I happened to walk past a used bookstore on Tuesday, and before I knew it…

The only thing that saves me is that I’m a fan of really big, dense books – the bigger the better. When I’m browsing through the store, it’s the enormous tomes that catch my eye – Tuesday I was sorely tempted by the multi-volume “Dance to the Music of Time” series [just thinking about it in this thread, I had to go take a look at it on Amazon…hmmm, it’s available. Twelve novels…that could take me a little while, anyway…must…stop…] If I pick up a book that looks interesting, but too small, I’ll often throw it back, like a fish. Or else I’ll read the entire thing in the bookstore. I got thrown out of B. Dalton one night a week or so ago because they were closing and I was still reading.

I used to think that buying books online would never work for me, because I need to be immersed in them, smell them, touch them, read the opening, maybe a few chapters, before deciding to purchase. I even have books that I revisit numerous times in the store before taking the plunge. But last holiday season I decided to make some book purchases online strictly as gifts – only every time I bought a book for someone else, I ended up adding in one or two for myself (saves on shipping, you know.)

Then there are the Straight Dope book recommendation threads, which explains the large percentage of my pile devoted to spiritual history, not to mention my current book, Darwin’s “Descent of Man.”

I can’t do the library thing, either. I need the thrill of ownership, along with the ability to read whenever I feel the urge, to carry the book around in a bag stuffed with everything from glass Snapple bottles to VCR’s, and [book purists avert your eyes] to leave behind the inevitable food stains (not to mention the wrinkled pages resulting from those unfortunate encounters between book and Snapple).

I have come up with one source of new fixes, if not a cure for the addiction. For every occasion on which a gift is offered, I ask for a bookstore gift card. Ah, the joy of $175 worth of splurging at Borders.

I remember reading an article about handbags in which one woman was quoted as saying, “The secret to life is to always carry a book.” You can be too rich, and you can be too thin, but you can never have too many books.