Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My name is Dera and I am a bookaholic

My name is Dera and I am a bookaholic. Is there a 12- step program for those of us who cannot stop buying books? Probably so, there is something for everybody. Well, I better join and quick. One of my sister members in my online book club, APOOO- http://www.apooobooks.com/, lamented today that she is a bookaholic. She spoke of the excitement, the giddiness of holding a book in her hand of one of her favorite authors, and then purchasing it, and the joy in knowing she now owns it. Many of you are very familiar with the feeling; I need not explain. Have you ever walked into a bookstore and felt like you could spread wings and fly. That is the feeling I got walking into the new Borders in Alameda a couple of weeks ago. It is huuuuge. Two large floors, wall-to-wall books. Time got away from me as I became engrossed up on the second floor, buried in the colorful travel and cookbooks. I even ventured over into the inviting children’s section, planning holiday purchases. And then they had the nerve to put a Peet’s Coffee cafĂ© over in the corner. Grab a cup of gingerbread cocoa and a book on a late fall day; it just does not get any better than that.

Are your shelves bulging with books and overflowing off of the bookcase? Are books in every nook and cranny throughout the house? You have a problem. If you cannot locate the book you are reading (because you carry it from room to room), are you yelling at someone, “Who took my book?” Even when no one else is there? Then you have a problem. If someone gently suggests that maybe you should have a garage sale or take your books to the flea market or church fundraiser, are you mumbling under your breath, silently cursing that person, who only means well and is really concerned about you? Do you look at them like they have two heads and act as if they asked you to give away your first born? You got a problem.

Despite the dismal economic outlook, are you still sneaking books in the house? Sure, I have made a half-hearted attempt to go to the library and make use of my library card for something other than videos, but it is 3 to 1. For every book I check out, I am purchasing three. And don’t let the book be unavailable? That’s it, Amazon.com, here I come. I have a problem. But those same people also enable you. They are always giving you book gift cards for birthdays and holidays. Every month, after I order a pile of books, I swear this is it, no more until next year, and then I do it again, claiming just one more. I have a serious problem.

Well, they say the first step to recovery is acknowledging you have a problem. I acknowledge it. But I think the purpose of a 12- step program is to rid you of your damaging vice. And when I think about it, I guess there are worse things. After all, I got this honestly; I inherited it and it appears I have passed it on-- to an extent anyway. So, it is 1:00 am and I’m still up wondering what I am going to get with this Amazon.com gift card someone just sent me. Let me see, I only have 1,250 books on my wish list. I have a serious problem. Somebody stop me!

My name is Dera and I am a bookaholic.


Angelia... said...

I too am a bookaholic and there is no shame in my game, read I must, I will cut out some other things before I give up my books...won't happen!


Beverly said...

Hi Dera -

You know I am part of your group. Have tried the 12-step bookaholic several times and always backslide. The longest I have been "clean" is about three weeks.
Since Amazon.com has been my dealer of choice - you know there is a problem when UPS stops by several times a week.
And yes children do pick up their parents habit and their children are picking up their the "habit" also.
But we are glad we are not breaking the generation cycle on reading!

'Cilla said...

Ever wonder where bookmaniac came from?

A co-worker gave me the name after watching my weekly delivery of Amazon packages. He never saw the packages that were sometimes delivered at home from books-a-million or Black Expressions. I still receive calls from local independant book sellers when new arrivals come in.. (It's wonderful when book dealers have you on speed dial) I have discount cards from every major book store. It has gotten so bad that I was questioned by a police office, two years ago, who caught me behind the 7-11. He thought i was checking out the back door when I was acutally borrowing milk crates - you see I couldn't afford to buy new shelves so I had to use the crates. (I did paint them all black so that they would look like a book shelf when stacked together.

Yes.. I am a proud card member of the bookaholic club.

Yasmin said...

LOL...Love it what a great post on being a bookaholic. Sis, you got it bad...but there are worst vices right. ;) So what are you going to use your gift card on...what book are you going to buy?

Cheryl said...

Dera: I too am a Bookaholic. In the month of October I received a total of 15 books, I thought would last me through the balance of the year. I was wrong... sob... I challenged myself and not only did I read all 15 in October, but had a few days with nothing to read. Gasp, what's a girl to do.

Lena said...

Well, I know I have book issues, and they aren't going away anytime soon. I remember way before their were Borders or Barnes & Nobles mega bookstores with little coffee shops in them, there was this one bookstore in a shopping center called The Old Mill in Mountain View. In the summer, after my mother would pick us up from my grandmother's house at the end of her workday, usually on Fridays, we would go to the bookstore there, and sit for hours with hot chocolate and a good picture book. That's my earliest childhood memory about books.

JC Martin said...

Hey Dera,

My name is Jennifer and I too am a bookaholic. I've tried many times before not to purchase a book, but I get pulled into the book stores and any store that I got in that has a book department see me in the section before I leave to go home. You are not alone and you aren't hurting anyone. We could be addicted to things that cost us money and our health, but we aren't so, I will stick with it.

Dera Williams said...

I'm with you Angelia, I will give up some things, but books never.

Beverly, I was allowed to read anything from our bulging bookcases so yes, it is inherited and passed on. :-)

LOL, you got it bad Cilla. I try to limit my ordering to once a month but truthfully, I get books all month long, either freebies or review books.

Hey Yas, thanks. I'm going to get a Chris Botti CD (my other vice), The Accidental Santera and Red Light, Green Light by MJH.

Whoa Cheryl, I see you actually read all the books you order. I have books that will get read one day but I keep ordering more. While I read a lot, I cannot possibly keep up with what I have coming in, not with my time constraints.

What a beautiful, precious memory Lena. You know I don't remember bookstores, honestly. My memories are of going to the library at a very early age and peering over the librarians desk to get my books. :-)

I agree Jennifer, there are worse vices. My book buying is balanced because I get so many books free.

Ladysilver said...

Hi, My name is Lashonda and I am a bookaholic. I am so glad that so many of you understand me. I always say I could be addicted to worse things. My daughter who is a freshman in college asked for a good book in her care package. So yes I passed it on as well.

I remember beign young and begging my parents to go to the bookstore that was next to the Marshalls they loved to shop at. I loved that book store. I do not remember a Walden or Barnes and Nobles until I was like 18 years old. I miss those little stores, they always remember you.

Dera Williams said...

Hey Lashonda, as you know you were my inspiration for this blog. :-)

Linda Chavis said...

What they said

Southern Diva said...

You know I am so there with you Dera. I would rather buy a book than something to eat. Seriously. My friends have teased me about this for years. And you know I love to eat! LOL

Good job.

Dera Williams said...

Thanks for your support Linda and
Djuana. Isn't there a writer who said he would rather buy books than food?

'Cilla said...

I am testing ...don't mind me today