I recently did an on-line course on "Memoir Writing". The following is an assignment I completed about my addiction:-
I have an addiction a true addiction. I confess it, I embrace it and I am proud of it. I guess that means that I may never pass step one, in the so called healing process, but that’s all right by me. Call it pride, but I don’t care I have no desire to change.
“My name is Jennifer, and I am an addict, a book addict. It has been about 30 minutes since I last bought a book”. This is part of my personal blog called, "Amazon Anonymous”. http://amazonanonymous.blogspot.com
I am not sure if it is gluttony or greed but I have an insatiable appetite for books, this addiction has expanded to include audio books and an electronic gadget called the Sony Reader 505. I have so many audio books I have six ipods all laden with audio books over 1,200 books for my Sony Reader, and my hard copy library? Well I’ve just stopped counting.
I buy books on any topic, on every topic. Ask me I probably have a book, or audio book, or both on the subject.
Last week alone I received 42 printed books in the mail and bought another 53 audio books. It's impossible to read them all as there are only 24 hours in a day, but I still keep buying.
When I get a new purchase I tear open the box with glee. Look through my books, smell them and have visions of reading them. I then sift delicately through the pages, run my fingers across the words and breathe in the smell of new print and paper.
Everything in my library is cataloged, manually and electronically. I have a bar scanner that scans the bar code on the back of books and CDs so it’s recorded straight into my system. I then double check the information to make sure details like the artwork, edition and binding are correct.
I just have to hear about a good book and I begin to salivate. I will then search far and wide2 to find that book, to the point of being obsessive. Today I got “Speak Memory”, a biography by Vladimir Nabokov. This version is on cassettes. It seems this book never made it to CD and my favorite download shop Audible.com doesn’t have it on catalog.
You can get the book between 10 or 13 bucks but I willing dished out $120 for a second hand copy of the audible version on eight dusty, suspect cassettes. Nevertheless, I am very proud of my purchase.
My appetite is insatiable so much so that I constantly hide books from my husband. I Stash books all over the house as if they were always there. In my addiction I learned to be creative, migrating into the world of digital and audio books.
It’s not my lust, gluttony or greed that shocks me it’s my pride. I have this thing about my library. All of my new books are specially stamped with my special embosser stating "from the library of Jennifer **********" I brand each and every one with my mark. They are mine, all mine!
I'm like that little leprechaun with his pot of gold, I refuse to share. After suffering mishaps with borrowers defacing, damaging and sometimes even losing a book, I have drafted a new policy, I do not lend.
I have tried to psychoanalyze myself why such an addiction and if I endorse the theory of Sigmund Freud (yep, he’s in my library) if can be traced to my parents.
I remember that as a punishment my parents would take away my books. If I really misbehaved or didn’t do my chores, they would say, "For that, no school tomorrow". This was my personal ninth chamber of hell, which had me:- “Weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Which brings me to death; I wonder if my loved ones would bury my books with me? You know, like the Egyptians. On second thought that won’t work, I want to be cremated and I am anti-book burning.
I guess when I think about it, that is, my little book problem, I have to admit that I do display elements of the seven deadly sins. Pick any one you like. I confess. I’m guilty as charged.