Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Lust - Is There Any Cure?


Books. Piles of books - piles of books everywhere and I still want more. I have been a compulsive book addict since I was a child. As an only child (and very happy to be one thank you) I spent a lot of time escaping into the pages of books. Between books and paint and crayons I was set! I can't say that I remember my parents reading to me - but I am sure they did. I'm not sure that Mother was an avid reader, but my Father was. He too had the "pile of books everywhere" addiction. My favorite Uncle - James - one of mother's brothers, had entire small outbuilding, complete with wood stove, fitted with shelves an there were filled to overflowing with books. Of course, there were piles of books on the floor in front of the shelves too. I loved that small room - the smell of the books, the quiet of the place - all intoxicating to me as a youngster.

At one point in my life, as I climbed the career ladder that I once thought was so important, I moved a lot. Every move groaned under the weight of the boxes of books, but whenever I unpacked in a new place I felt more at home because my books on the shelves. Like good friends they were there to comfort me and help me to escape any reluctance I might have had adjusting to a new city, new job and new people.

A couple of years ago, through some odd quirk of fate, I began to become a book blogger. I needed another blog - or another commitment for that matter - like I needed a hole in the head. I tend to over-extend my obligations and then run around like a headless chicken when one deadline or another approaches. Oddly enough I have found a surprising amount of comfort and enjoyment reviewing books. I find the community of like minded tome addicts very appealing. It used to be that I had a plan. I always borrowed fiction from the library and only bought non-fiction titles - arts, crafts, history - books that would always hold appeal and inspiration. Now I find that when a favored author publishes a new book I simply "have to have it" to read and review; I cannot wait to get my hands on the book, to feel the paper and smell the ink. Those words, I am sure, make DH cringe - hopefully, he never looks here!

I am so grateful to the authors and publishers that graciously provide me with review copies of books now. It's like Christmas whenever one arrives at my door. I am honored that they feel confident enough of my reviews that choose to send me books to add to my piles. I review books that I buy too of course - they are all worth the time it takes to recount one;s enjoyment of the book and to honor the author's time in writing the book. I enjoy being able to send books on to other people that I know will enjoy them as much as I have. That helps assure me of not feeling TOO guilty about my giving in to my passionate book hoarding tendencies! 

The saving grace for my embellished book budget (ohhh bad word that!) is that I can be sure of 'trading' the book in for another by various means now. I can, of course, give it to a friend whose passions run as deeply as mine do; I can trade it on one of the various 'book swap' sites like PaperBackSwap; or I can re-sell the book through a seller like Amazon. Someone these options seem to assuage my conscience just a bit. 

I have also relatively recently discovered the huge joy of audio books! I NEVER thought that I would enjoy audio books. Never in a million years. This is another good example of why one should never say "never". I SO enjoy audio books now - they have taken the place of music for me at many times. I love them at work when I am doing some boring, routine task that allows for split attention. I love listening to them in the car rather than to the blare of the radio. I even have favorite narrators now. The right narrator can make or break the enjoyment of a good book!

Recently, DH gifted me with an IPad for my birthday and I am enthralled with how lovely it is to read books on this super cool device. It's great to tote books this way to read on the ferry when I go to "America" to shop (I live on an island and going to the mainland is an all day outing sort of thing). I had previously tried a Kindle and just could not fall in love with it. I thought at the time that perhaps the DX model would have made me happy - but I thought it imprudent to spend upwards of $500. on a JUST a book-reader. The IPad , on the other hand, is just so much more - it's really a tablet computer, albeit light on regular computer type programs. I have already proudly added title to display on my IPad's "book shelf". Now I get to also have virtual piles of books! Some people think that book lovers will, ultimately, turn away from what they call "dead tree" books but that won't happen to me I know. Never. I love the smell of the ink and slick or sticky feel of different papers. I like to judge the typeface choices and run my fingers over the raised portions of some beautiful covers. No, virtual books will never change my love for 'dead tree' books - it's just one more way for me to enjoy piles of books.

After all of these years I am still enthralled by piles of books - whether virtual or real they all make me smile. 

Do you love piles of books?
Can you think of your life without piles of books?
Could you ever adjust to a virtual pile of books rather than a real life pile?
Have your tried Audio book? What do you think of them?
Do you own a reader? If so which one? What do you think of it?
If you don't own a reader wold you ever consider buying one?

1 comment:

JJO said...

I also am also a lover of books (perhaps this is an only child sydrome, of which I am). When I was employed I went the route of audio books as I traveled by car some 50 miles dailey. Now retired, I lusted after a Kindle, but waited until the Nook came out. It has internet access, something that Kindle did not, and as I could not afford an I-Pad, the Nook is the best alternative (though, I do envy your I-Pad).