My obsession is pretty harmless as compulsions go. I’ve been under its spell for as long as I can remember and I make no apologies. My adolescent self could rip through an entire pile of Nancy Drew mysteries within a few days and I frequently employed by under-the-covers flashlight after curfew. I kickstarted my kids’ obsessions for books with their own library card before they could even walk. And what DO people do on a beach without a book (or three)?
I confess. I’m a book junkie.
Through the years, my tastes may have changed but my addiction to the written word is still in full swing. When my super smart youngest daughter was still living at home, we craved our Barnes and Nobles Friday night soirees. Indulging our reading addiction was about as wild and crazy as we got. We’re just such badasses.
Every time the library called to tell me the book(s) I reserved were in and needed to be picked up, I’d do my happy dance. My kids rolled their eyes. It might have had something to do with the Jenga pile of books in my bedroom still begging to be read. What might be (slightly) worse is that my book case holds many back-up, wanna-be-reads and possibilities, patiently bi their time in the sun that never seems to come.
You can find magic everywhere you look. Just sit down and read a book. Dr. Seuss
In all these years, I never joined a book club because, well, I’m just that much of a renegade. Plus I need my freedom to choose. Don’t even get me started about going to a movie and comparing it to the book because the book usually wins. And how about when a really great story you haven’t been able to put down finally ends? What kind of author DOES that to people?
I like big books and I cannot lie.
Books wait for me to join them at the end of the day. They sit patiently, ready to both entertain — and put me to sleep. Some nights only few pages get read before sleep takes over; others, until I glance at the clock, I’d never know a hour and 8 chapters have passed Apparently, my eyes compete with my need to find out what happens next. I can’t count how many times my husband removed my glasses and said book from my sleeping form.
Can you admit to sighing with annoyance when someone asks a question at a critical part in the story? Does the word ‘bookaholic’ ring a happy bell? People who warn about the dangers of walking while you’re on the phone never saw someone book in their face. Now THAT’s scary.
Reading to the mind is what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison
Though I confess to being that bookworm who never passes up reading material I can download to my iPad (even if I’ll never get to read it all) I need to feel paper, people! My reading list changes as I do though I admit to having favorite authors like Anne Lamott, Anna Quindlan, Lisa See, Wally Lamb, Sue Miller, Janice K. Lee, Lisa Genova and Jaquelyn Mitchard. Yet, I’m always ready to feed my hungry curiosity for new writers of non-fiction and politics (yup, a lot of that these days) to thrillers, inspiration and okay, some honest to goodness feel good stuff. I The only thing that leaves me imbalanced is being between books. Just in case you feel the same, here are a few of my favorites:
How Starbuck’s Saved My Life – Michael Gates Gill
The Middle Place – Kelly Corrigan
The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
The Bright Hour – Nina Riggs
Hourglass – Dani Shapiro
This is How it Always Is – Laurie Frankel
Lilac Girls – Martha Hall Kennedy
The Last Telegram – Liz Trenow
Small, Great Things – Jodi Picoult
Before the Fall – Noah Hawley
The Girl in The Window – A. J. Finn
Once We Were Brothers – Richard Balson
It’s You – Jane Porter
When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
This is your Life, Harriet Chance – Jonathon Evison
The Day We Met – Rowan Coleman
Warburg in Rome – James Caroll
Though we have different tastes in reading material, my oldest daughter is a mini-me bookaholic. We both know that words can transport you to places and feelings you never knew existed. Books can be a life-altering experience, helping you become the person you were meant to be. They can change your mind, open your heart and awaken your soul. A book connects you with everyone who have held the pages before you and those who will hold them after you. A good book makes you miss it the second you finish it and drives you to talk about it to anyone who’ll listen. In books, you both lose – and find yourself.
If a book is well-written, I always find it too short. Jane Austin
Reading should never be taken for granted, but celebrated as a way to view the world. It molds you, adds character and understanding. You live a thousand lives through those whose lives you read and learn about. It’s a big world and, as Rick Holland said “The world belongs to those who read”. Cool.
I’m not in denial. I am totally comfortable with my book junkie status. It’s how I roll.