Hooked on Books

I’m addicted to books. I buy them, put them on my night table or coffee table…but I never read them. At best, I’ll glance at them, leaf through a few pages, and then shove the books onto the shelves wherever there’s available room.

A habitual browser and buyer at a nearby Barnes and Noble, at least once a week I venture to the store. Can’t stay away from the place…if I do, I go into withdrawal mode.

Donation houses such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army are other frequent habits. Clothes? Forget it. I head straight for the book sections to peruse the latest additions.

Of course, I’m hooked on those library book store sales: Three paperbacks for $1.00? Hook me up! Recent hardcover novels for $2.00? Gimme my fix!

So now that I have all these acquisitions, you’d think that I’d index them by genre, color or author, right? Wronnnnng. Size does matter in this case…or cases. More often than not, they’re placed in descending order according to how tall and small, but that’s as far as I go. Basically, I just jam them in if there’s even a sliver of space.

Thing is, I love books: paperbacks, hardcovers, textbooks – you name the type and it adorns the shelves. Beautiful binders, colorful classics and amazing authors, I enjoy looking at them on occasion and that’s where it ends – I look at them.

One reason is they’re so dusty from remaining unread that removing them would launch me into a series of sneezes more numerous than books in the Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew series combined. Other books are so fragile that withdrawing one would harm the integrity of the binders…both its own and its ignored neighbors.

Admittedly, some are there to simply make me appear more worldly and intelligent. Though attempting to decipher them would call for additional tomes in the form of a dictionary and a Dummies book.

Hey, I have one section in order…a philosophy section.  Nice looking editions, works by such great thinkers like Descartes, Hume, Plato, and Dangerfield.

Magazines don’t help matters. A stack of them can prove to be an unsteady perch for cats or a cup of coffee, though one or two do make a nice placemat. So all is not wasted. 

I keep telling myself I’ll rip out the important articles and toss the rest but that doesn’t work. I’ll rip them out and place the articles somewhere I can’t find them…like between a pile of unread books waiting to be jammed onto the shelves. And by that time, I’ve lost interest in the articles or wondered why the hell I ripped out the pages in the first place.

I do use some publications for research to check out the author’s style, while some of the pictorial books provide great escapes or kick start some wonderful memories. I just can’t part with them because like an old movie, they’re woven into my personal history…a comfort, a pleasure and a treasure I won’t toss away.

Some previously read books remain, taking up real estate because they were a joy to read as a youngster…but unread for years. I’m worried that at my ripening age I might find them boring, or not as memorable as when I first broke the seal on the binder and curled up on the couch to joyfully zip through the pages.

Yet, I’m thankful I have my books and you know something? It’s an addiction I’m happy to live with.


  1. Books are the best! I hope they don’t become “a lost art” someday!! Thanks for teaching me a new word today, “tome”!

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