Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Confessed Book Addict

Reading is my love. I simply could not imagine a world where I couldn’t read, buy or not collect books. Reading allows me to go to new places, meet new people, experience things I haven’t learned or things I didn’t know. Simply owning books is not enough, I want what’s inside. I read to be entertained and enlightened. My desire to learn and read about the subject is what propels me along. I keep a dictionary close by while reading to look up words that challenge my vocabulary.

First off, a good novel is like going on a journey to a far away place. It’s a mental trip that takes you to places and sometimes an era that I’ve never been to or had the opportunity to experience. For example, in "George and Rue" by George Elliott Clarke exploits the social conditions of poor black men living in a poor black community on Canada’s east coast. Clarke refers to as "a displaced Mississippi" and gives readers a historical view of Africadian (Africadian is a term that refers to African and Acadian, and denotes black culture in the maritime region, particularly communities in Nova Scotia) life during the early to mid-20th century.

I read mostly fiction, preferably historical fiction, or a fictional account based around a true event. I like to see how the writer(s) make the book work and see how they dealt with a problem or getting a reader to turn those pages. A book provides a good sense of clarity when you read about an experience that you may have gone through and at times it’s very therapeutic to read how others may have handled the same situation. Sometimes I am the CHARACTER.

I try to get some reading in at least every other day. It’s something I do in my leisure hours, and something I take my time doing. I have vowed to read at least one of my unread books per month. I’m doing good to read 2 books a month! I read a few chapters per day, and I read myself to sleep at night and when I finish a book, I spend another few days reviewing it in my mind and on paper, absorbing any lessons learned or morals to the story. This is probably what distinguishes me from avid readers. I must still be in my infancy stages of becoming an avid reader who reads continuously and maybe several books at a time.

I find it fascinating that people can become addicted to books. But this is indeed a "magnificent obsession". I’m a book addict, but at least I know it. I probably could head up the National chapter of Book Addicts Anonymous. There are worst things to be addicted to. There’s nothing like the rush I get walking into a bookstore, library or used book sale. It makes me shiver thinking about it. I could never think of reading all of my books before I buy new ones. I own 560 books and I’ve read only ¼ of them, so far. I don’t care how many books I have, I will always buy new ones. It’s just something about having my OWN books that makes me an addict. I don’t want to be cured of my addiction, but I must learn techniques for managing it.

Ways to manage my addiction:

  • The library – cheap. This doesn’t work for me because my reading methods are leisurely and I end up owing late fees. I prefer checking out audiobooks, it’s a quick fix to reading a book and it keeps me calm while driving.

  • Used books sales – is the most genius source of information that can garner a fine copy for as little as $1.00.

  • Used bookstores inside library’s – this is a wonderful treasure I recently discovered.
I’m not going to do anything crazy like pledge not to buy more books, but I vow to read the ones I have. I’m a book addict and I don’t care who knows it!

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