There are ten books on my bedside table. I don’t usually count the books in my “getting to it” pile, so that was a bit of a surprise. There are a further sixteen in the library downstairs, but I suspect those will die with spines uncracked. Then there are the e-books. I have five waiting on my Kindle, with a further three on the library app.
Knowing I have books waiting gets to be a bit much at times: they feel like a weight, not a pleasure. I don’t enjoy the thoughts that arise when I stir the “I’m overwhelmed” pot. Surplus anything agitates me. Not enough to stop me from buying books, however. Books giveth, they’re my first love, and they’ll probably be my last. I consider the money spent on book acquisition money well spent, even as I cull hundreds for sale and donation. “What’s the point?” my parents regularly ask. They don’t get it or me, and I’ve tried. The point is love: I love books, and having them around me fills the holes in my soul. They’re a safe escape, a place to go when my life and feelings seem like too much.
Books can, however, also take away. After all, a life lived in books is a life not lived here.
Perhaps I could consider a shopping moratorium until I’m caught up?
I think my soul’s rejection-scream was heard in Madagascar. My inside voice thinks we’re a lunatic even to consider it, but inside voices have a narrow vision. They, too, will become one with the Borg. Inside voices aren’t concerned about operating from a factual foundation. They’re id. And my id wants books. Even when I’m short of funds, money, and space, tsundoku (“doku” for reading and “tsun” for letting piles grow) is how I roll.
It’s not all roses and kittens: things aren’t good for us because we love them, and with books, I overconsume. The unread tomes sit, gathering dust, pleading for my attention and nudging at my guilt. At least I add the new books to the bottom of the pile: product rotation is vital if you want to prevent premature expiry.
I finished the most recent Nora Roberts novel a few days back. That it took more than one sitting is somewhat dire: I usually munch through those things without pause. I’m still her number one, non-hobbling fan, but this was not her best work. Again. It’s a problem I’m having with my favourites. They’ve been tremendously captivating and prolific, but the quality has started to wane. I hate finding a new author: non-fiction it is, if only because I have fewer pending reads in that category. I think I’ll pick Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie’s “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: how the toxic chemistry of everyday life affects our health.” I’m interested in the toxicity. Besides, I haven’t had a raging case of hypochondria in some time now: I’m due.