I wouldn’t call it a full blown addiction. I’m not hiding boxes of shoes in the back of my closet, waiting for a better moment to mention them to my husband. I’m not driving home from KFC with a bucket of chicken, ostensibly bought for my children, sitting on my lap, scarfing down a leg of original recipe as the grease oozes down my chin. I’m not sneaking into bars in the middle of the afternoon or hitting the gambling websites at 3:00 a.m.
I like books as well as the next guy, maybe a little more than some. As a child most of my reading came from the library…what a great idea! Books, like television programs, were made to be enjoyed but then you moved on. There was generally no reason to actually own them.
But in recent years I’ve discovered easy access to really cheap books and now I find myself inundated. First I stumbled upon the twice yearly book sales at the libraries. For best selection, be there when it opens on the first day. For better bargains but less selection, go during “half price Sunday.” We have a book section at the Restore that occasionally turns up some interesting volumes. And it’s always in need of straightening up, which provides plenty of time to peruse. When one library branch was relocating, they sold off a LOT of their books, and if you hit it on a day when a subject matter you liked went up for grabs, it was like Christmas.
I came to the realization that my book collection was becoming unwieldy. Fiction, non-fiction, reference, hard cover, paperback, coffee table, best seller, cooking, crafting, architecture, humor, devotional, self-help. It was getting out of control.
To get a handle on the situation, I purposefully didn’t attend the library book sale last weekend. And I was brutal about gathering up a substantial number of my collection to donate when I stopped by the library yesterday.
But when I approached the book donation box, I found a sign that announced the leftovers from the weekend’s sale were free for the taking at another entrance to the library.
Boy, did I fall off the wagon. At first, trying to maintain my decorum, I casually mosied on over to the site. But after my first armload of books, I moved my car to be closer to the source. I started eying my fellow scavengers to see what they were finding. I even helped myself to a stack of old records which I have no way to play! (Got any decorating ideas for the album covers?)
The surest sign of a hoarder: When I got home, I stashed the majority of my take in the spare bedroom, so I wouldn’t have to do any ‘splaining to my husband. My take for the day? Sixty-eight books and 19 records.
Maybe it is a full blown addiction.