Thursday 25 August 2011

My Name is Christine...and I'm Addicted to Books

My husband knew when we met that I liked to read, he just didn't realise how much I liked to read. He thought I was a book a week girl, and really how bad could that be?

When we moved in together, the problem was hidden by my illness. For two months I didn't read a single book, and in hindsight that should have been my first hint that I needed to go to the doctor. When you've constantly add a book on the go since you were a toddler (holding a book upside down still counts, you know) then suddenly not caring about reading should have set off the panic alarms. But I had just finished my final college exams in history, a subject well known for its heavy reading list, and we presumed that I was just burnt out. Anyway, even if I had suspected that something was seriously awry, I was feeling way to lethargic to actually do anything about it.

I was married and on honeymoon before I read another book. I was on medication for inflammatory arthritis by then, and felt clear enough to read Breakfast at Tiffany's (I was honeymooning in New York, it was the obvious choice). I only bought one book there, and a magazine of short stories. Again, very strange for me, but I didn't realise it at the time.

Back home, with a fibromyalgia diagnosis finally under my belt and some effective medication, I began reading again in earnest. I discovered young adult urban fantasy, and started writing my first novel. Slowly, my reading climbed up to its pre-illness level, and our Ikea bookshelf began to fill up. So much that we had to buy a new one. Books were stacked on window sills, on my bedside table, and on my office desk. So much so that I started to do that tell-tale addict activity: hide the signs of my purchases.

I was reading a book a day, or at least every two, so I stuffed all the paper bags from bookshops into the green bin when my husband wasn't looking. It's not that he would mind, he's very easy going, but because I was embarrassed.

He recently asked me to consider throwing out my books. I gave around a dozen to a charity shop, and called a halt to it there. He brought up the subject again the other day, talking about how much space my books take up. I now have a couple of cardboard cartons full of books in the cupboard under the stairs. However I pointed out, reasonably enough, that I let him have his Warhammer models on full display, so he needed to be respectful of my collection. He left it at that, though he does seem overly keen for me to get a Kindle. To help my hands, apparently. Hmmm.

14 comments:

  1. Hello! I love books, but I'm not quite at your level yet.. I got a Kindle for my birthday in April and although I was dubious at first - now I wouldn't be without it! A marvellous invention and great for hiding a serious book addiction ;o)

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  2. Oh, there was a point where I was almost at the same level as you. Many moves necessitated a lightening of the load, though, and each time I've had to give books away, it's been with extreme reluctance. I dream of being rich and famous so that I can have an entire room in my home devoted to books - i.e., my very own library!

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  3. If my budget wasn't limited, I'd be right up there with you on the book front!! I've wanted a Kindle for so long I think I've stopped buying as many books as I usually do (even with the budget) so I can have those books when I finally get it=) I'd say go with the Kindle! You still get to read your favorite authors AND support indy authors as well=)

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  4. ...Get... rid... of... books?! THE HORROR!

    Although I sort of have more books than space. I had to buy storage boxes so I could get the books out of my cupboard and have a place for my clothes!

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  5. I have the book problem too. I keep telling Hubby that I need to read faster. Hubby is just as bad as me, which does alleviate the packrat guilt. Though, I did tell him we should consider purging what we will never read and selling to a used bookstore. That way we get credit to buy MORE BOOKS.

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  6. Bookshelves are cheap insulation - use that as a defense next time he insinuates that they take up "precious" room. So long as you're reading every book you buy then it's not like he should complain. Flip side-if they're sitting unread I would think about curtailing future buys.

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  7. I'm addicted to books too!

    Just wanted you to know I left you an award on my blog today so be sure to come by and grab it :)

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  8. I have a super hard time getting rid of books. It's impossible! Hence the bazillion book shelves I have in my house.
    Anyway, I'm in your campaign group, wanted to say hi.

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  9. I love to read too. I have family who wants me to get rid of my books (they donated a whole bunch without my permission) and I refuse. I ended up re-buying some favorites taht disappeared from the used books store. I read about a book a day. Fortunately, I can re-read a book over and over again!!!


    Heather

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  10. You've already seen my book problem, which has only gotten worse because Borders is going out of business here, which means I've been crazy book buying. Eep! Sounds like you have way more books than I do though!

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  11. I am so glad to see that I'm not the only one with a book obsession! My parents have been kind enough to keep boxes and boxes of them in their attic until I stop state-hopping and find a place of my own, but they are starting to pressure me to do so more often than they pressure me to get married and settle down--and that's saying something!

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  12. I love books too. I can't devour them as fast as you can though. I started getting the ones I didn't need to own at the library, but that only cuts the new book intake down by half.
    We are in the same young adult urban fantasy campaign group. Nice to meet you.

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  13. A kindle or other digital book reader would be very good. My husband and I have the same problem with books and book shelves, although it's my husband that has too many bookshelves :)

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  14. Hehe your husband sounds like mine. I let him keep all of his video games and video game figurines on display in the living room. My books aren't going anywhere!

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