An Unrepentant Addiction Redux

So in honor of National Library Week, I’m going to repost a bit of a previous entry about my love of books. Believe it or not this obsession with books even outweighs my obsession with all manner of horror films. I know, I know, but it’s true.

So when my son was little, and then again with my daughter, we’d make the weekly trek to the library, dufflebag in hand, prepared to raid their shelves of as many books as I could physically carry out to the car by myself.  Oftentimes it was quite the struggle out to the parking lot (and then again into the house) and to an outsider it probably looked as though my bag was filled with bricks what with the way it bent my back. And trust me, this was not an exercise made in vain either…we actually read every book we stuffed into that dufflebag, usually before the week was over. Our bedtime ritual was quite a lengthy one given the fact that we had to read 5 or 6 books each night. Keep in mind, we had books of our own…stacks and stacks of books. But we soon exhausted our own supply and since I didn’t have a money tree in my backyard for trips to Barnes and Noble, the library was a weekly fixture for us. Of course they’re older, but my kids retained their love of books…as have I.  And my house shows it.

Now, if you’ve ever been at home watching network TV in the late morning/early afternoon, during The Price is Right, Family Feud, or any old school soap opera you’ve no doubt seen those cheesy coffee commercials where a woman wrapped tight in a pastel shawl has her hands cupped around a steaming mug of French Roast. Without a care in the world she looks out the window of her breakfast nook just contemplating how wonderful of a morning it is. She’s in no rush at all to start the day and just basks in the comforts her caffeine and nook are providing her. How silly, right? Well…

I want that! Not exactly that, but close to it. The only thing I’d change about those commercials is that instead of standing around like a zombie I’d be curled up in a decked out bay window seat with a good book in my hands. It’d be a requirement.

Books, reading, literature…appreciation of the written word is the lifeblood of my house. I may not have the breakfast nook or the time to laze around in the mornings or a sprawling vista of oaks and elms rolling into the distance from my backyard, but I do have the book part down. They’re absolutely everywhere; stacked on nightstands, scattered around the bed, piled on stairs, and littering the kitchen counter. Hell, it’s not rare at all to find a book under my bed covers because I fell asleep reading (again). My daughter’s room is practically a library in and of itself.  Even the spare room isn’t safe and has more than its share of bookshelves.  We’re hopeless addicts (a nicer way to say this would be bibliophiles) to novels, tomes, epics, thrillers, horrors, mysteries, best sellers, unknowns, contemporaries, and classics. It’s all fair game.

This addiction doesn’t make for the tidiest house in the world but certainly an entertaining one seeing as how you can literally stumble across a good story at any given moment. While the rest of the Barnes and Nobles are going down quicker than the Titanic, I may be single-handedly keeping the one near my house in business. Every time I go in there with my daughter any cash I may be fortunate enough to have in my pockets is quickly transformed into a bag of books.   You can never have too many, right? At least that’s my understanding. It’s simply impossible for us to window-shop in a book store.

On top of the whole Barnes and Nobles temptation problem I have, there is another one closer to home.  The downtown area of my neighborhood is reminiscent of Mayberry (showing my age here).  And right smack in the center of the main drag next to the coffee shop is a used/rare book store. It’s large and dusty and unorganized and the guy who runs it looks like he hasn’t stepped out into the light in decades.  But it’s a treasure trove to me!  I could seriously spend hours in this place.  And have.  I enjoy everything this hole in the wall offers — the smells of the old books, the joyous wonder of searching through the shelves to find some rare book I’ve never seen before or perhaps one that I remember from my childhood or maybe a classic in its original print rather than the abridged edition.  They’re all fodder for my unrepentant book compulsion.  And did I mention it’s right next door to a coffee shop!?  Nirvana.

One day I may have a house that has that beautiful vintage inspired reading nook complete with a cushioned window seat and surrounding bookshelves in an oh-so-cute and artistic arrangement.  Until then, though, I’ll enjoy the hard and softbound jungle that is my cluttered home, which really, in itself has become the greatest reading nook of all.

The literacy site

25 thoughts on “An Unrepentant Addiction Redux

  1. I also share your addiction. I get nervous when I near the bottom of my “to read” list. When we redid our living room, we made an entire wall a bookshelf. The contractor commented that we would never fill it up, but it houses about 1/3 of our books and we are always getting more.

    So now that your addiction is out, give me some book recommendations!

    • Yay! Another addict. Come on in! I’m really jealous of the bookshelves, I would love to be able to do that. I long for a home that has one of those full wall bookshelves in every room or else a room designated as the library that I can pile full of books! The books I read vary so greatly! One day I’m reading Agatha Christie (can’t go wrong there!) and the next I’m reading Stephen King (love his stuff!). Right now I’m reading Hyde by Daniel Levine and Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough. I just finished The Map of Time by Felix Palma. I recommend all of those because even though I’m not finished with Hyde or Mayhem, they’re difficult to put down (so they’re good!) and The Map of Time was excellent. I also like Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series A LOT. I cannot wait for those to come out and pre-order them through Amazon. If you like crime thrillers that are not your typical crime thrillers those are for you. Great female lead who is both strong and vulnerable at the same time which I love to see in a book. On the more serious side, I also just read an in-depth biography of Oscar Wilde which was really, really interesting.

  2. You are describing my house too! Piles of books on the floor in front of the bookcase by my bed, shelves of books everywhere – Once asked to understand addiction, I described it as not having five books waiting for when I finish the one I’m reading. And not being able to pass a bookstore without going in…

    • Exactly! I cannot pass up a bookstore AT ALL. It’s ridiculous really. Doesn’t matter where I am, whether it’s a huge store like Barnes and Noble or a small shop in some town somewhere…if we’re travelling anywhere and I see one, I have to go in.

  3. I love this post (and your blog, btw 🙂 ) Every once in awhile I look at the piles of books on the floor and think, “You know, that is really not a respectful way to treat books” and so I re-shelve them. But then I realize cleanliness and perfection are overrated and that stacks of books also add to the hominess of a home.

    Oh, and congratulations on raising reading kids!

    • Thank you for reading and thank you for the kind words! I agree, books do help make the home more cozy (at least that’s what I keep telling myself!). I try to keep mine neat and organized but it never lasts for long…and quite truthfully, I like seeing them around in various places throughout the house.

  4. wonderful post – fun addiction (ha!)_
    🙂
    and this was my fav part

    “has that beautiful vintage inspired reading nook complete with a cushioned window seat and surrounding bookshelves in an oh-so-cute and artistic arrangement….”
    ditto for moi!
    ~yvette

      • yeah, but it sounds like the one you have now is pretty great too – “the hard and softbound jungle…” 😉
        and one day, I want a wall big enough to display one hundred works of art – some works form my kids, but also pieces from local artists and other paintings I have collected – just a great wall of art – hmmmm –
        well have a good night….

  5. Yup, that’s me! No-one, and I mean no-one, ever wants to help use move!

    At some point in the next few years, after our two most senior furbabies are gone, we have to downsize and move. The current place just keeps going up in price (rent) and the stairs are killing me, but for now we stay because they let us keep our furballs. (Who themselves are costing a fortune in age related care.)

    But just thought of having to get rid of any books is enough to make me cry. Wah! Time to win the lottery so I can have all the pets (and reliable, caring helpers to assist in looking after them), and all the books I want! 😉

    • I hope you do not mind me chiming in on this comment (I am on the feed for this post and so this just showed up in my inbox – and well, this reminds me of when we moved and the movers were griping about the boxes and boxes of books. At that time my number was in the thousands – and maybe still is, but I have reduced by 60%. It was not easy, but I did it – and it helped that I donated a good chunk to some Educators – but whew – I can really relate with “Wordsgood” = movers hate books. – they are heavy!

      anyhow, I also have to share how my collection got so large. Barnes and Noble of course for us too – and the bargain racks – slice of heaven to see the one in the hallway and then in the store – sometimes a bag load for twenty five bucks.
      Also, amazon has all these books for a penny – or under one dollar – and then with shipping we are looking at five bucks! now that is cool. ]
      And in our area, we have used book stores – with five dollar and under books – and two years ago found the best deal of all – the fifty cent book store. Oh, and back in the 1990’s I considered it my duty to help libraries unload their books for the small fee they were asking – some were gifts – but most were for us.

      In closing, the best thing about the fifty cent book store is getting extra selections that I would not normally peruse. and then later, taking a bag of 5 or 6 books in a large tote bag to dive in and explore – well a few of the “just to check out ones” were life changing.

      okay, that’s it from moi – but I truly enjoyed your post – and the comments. 🙂

      • Nope, I don’t mind at all. Actually, this is exactly how I met Gretchen, chiming in on someone’s else’s blog to comment on her comment! 🙂

        I’m shutting things down for the night, but will be back in the next day or two to more fully reply and to have a peek at your blog!

        *Waves Hi to Gretchen.*

      • I love the bargain rack at the Barnes and Noble! And I use Amazon way too much for my own good for books…they have great prices though. It’s probably better that I don’t have a used book store that sells by the bag. My mom used to have one in her neighborhood and I was there all the time. You could get books for 25 cents or a bag for $3.00. The used book store in my town calls itself “rare books” so while you can find some cheaper books there, they are by no means a truly reasonably priced used book store. I have found the most interesting books there though. Ones I would never find at the library or Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

      • well thanks Wordsgood (and I am checking out your blog too – 🙂 )

        and Wendy, I have so enjoyed this post. Some of my books are a piece of who I am and a few of the week worn ones have memories that I feel- and I know the gems that will be on my bookshelf in retirement! Certain ones to never give away….. ever! O_o

        and did you say “sells by the bag” – oh my gosh!!! now that would be hard to resist. but what fun – and like you said, a great way to explore titles you may not otherwise pick up.

      • Yes indeed! By the BAG! It was either $3 a bag (softback) or $5 a bag (hardback) but it was a grab bag, you couldn’t choose what books were in there…you just chose a bag that looked interesting to you and bought the whole kit and kaboodle whatever might be in there. I actually found some very interesting reads doing that. Books I wouldn’t have given a chance otherwise. And I know what you mean about certain books…there are many (probably too many) that are on my forever own list that I won’t give away.

    • I know what you mean! Both with furbabies and books. It’s hard to find an affordable rental with pets in tow. I’ve donated some of my books before to manage the amount that I have and it was heartbreaking (I know, I know, I’m such a nerd). We moved ourselves so I know all too well the weight of a box of books! LOL

      • Yup, it can be very hard finding a place that takes even one pet, and we started out in this place with four and a couple teenagers! Kids are out, we lost one of beloved furbabies 4 years ago, and now two are quite literally near the end of their lives.

        Having to downsize in the near(ish) future doesn’t bother me too much. It’s knowing I will never be able to have multiple fur babies again. My health just won’t let me give any future ones the lives they deserve. 😦 We’ll always keep a kitty, but I’ve only ever been without a dog once. Longest 6 months of my life!

        But yeah, the next move we are definitely going to hire movers. I will cull my books, but I refuse to get rid of the ones I really like…which just happens to be the lion’s share, lol. ‘Tis hubby and his toys that are going to need a major downsizing. Right now they have over run our house!

      • I know what you mean…it’s difficult to be without a dog. I’m sorry about your health and wish that it was better for you. I’m just like you, if it weren’t for my animals I wouldn’t mind downsizing at all. I used to be “attached” to my belongings (antiques), but not so much anymore (just my books!).

      • Awe, thank you! Blushing a bit here. 🙂

        Yeah, I can live without the stuff, but I’m really not looking forward to no dog. I’ve always had dogs so it’s gonna be weird. 😦 I’ll have to make up for it by smothering kitty with even more worship, which I’m sure he won’t mind in the least!

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