Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mamakat: Vices

 Mamakat's Prompt:   What is the one vice you can't give up?

I used to have a lot of vices. Chocolate. Drinking. Pens. Dancing. Fried food. Loud music. Mosh pits.  One by one, either by choice, or by the recommendation of my physician,  I've put aside most of these overindulgences.  I may have the occasional chocolate binge, but I can mostly walk by the candy aisle without a glance.  Moderation is my mantra these days, and if I can't be moderate, then I have just gone cold turkey.

Except for buying books.

I am a book junkie. I simply love the feel of books in my hands. The feel of the hard edges, the binding. Sliding my finger across the text. The smell of the paper.  The ruffling sounds of the pages as I turn them.  It really doesn't matter what the book is about.  I just have to have it.  I have travel books. Foreign language books.  Graphic novels. Cookbooks. Textbooks. I have purchased Fix-it and Do-It-Yourself manuals-as if!  I have enough books for a small town library.  Just in case. Screw looking stuff up on the internet--I want to hold the secret to building the perfect insect collection in my own hot little hands.

All those books cost money, of course.  Finances were thin for awhile in our house, so I tried to just go to the library.  I thought perhaps it was having things to read that was the fix for me.  Nope.  Then I tried going to the half price store, until I realized that I was buying twice as many books because they were cheaper.  Eeek! 

I finally had to face it: I cannot go into a store without buying at least one book. I tried to stop.  I tried to just not go to bookstores at all.  Borders probably went out of business because I banned myself. It was tough love. And it was pure futility.   Do you know how many stores have books?  Home Depot has books.  Best Buy has books.   Pet Smart has books.  The grocery store has books, too!  They're like magnets, pulling me inexorably toward them, even if I've never been in that store before. 

In the grand scheme of things, however, are books such a horrible vice to have?  I've thought about it for quite some time.  I can't see myself in a 12-step program for bibliophiles.  If one even exists.   I can't see my doctor telling me to stop reading books because they are bad for my health.  He actually even recommended that I buy a book when I was there for my last visit.  He even wrote it down on a prescription pad.  I wonder if my insurance covers Sugar Busters

My addiction to books is just something that I have to learn to accept about myself, instead of feeling guilty.  Moderation is the key.  I need to set a goal for myself, just like a diet, and work on getting there as best as I can.  Slow steps, perhaps some visualization exercises, some yoga, or meditation might help.

Wait--aren't there books on that?


  1. Hi, my name is Tiffany, and I'm a bibliophile too. And I don't just collect books, but handmade bookcases as well. I have two made by my Grandfather and two my by own Father. Books are an all sensory addiction. Touch/feel/smell/taste... well, only if you're my daughter...

  2. I could spend hours just looking at the books in WALMART!! Bookstore shopping are reserved for the rare mommy alone evenings. I have a Kindle because I don't have room in my luggage for all the books I read while on vacation (I travel with 3 kids... I barely have room for my underwear!) and I love it, but if I LOVE a book then I double-buy it. One for the Kindle and one for the bookshelf. Finances dictate that I read most my books from the library but if I read one that I LOVE then I have to go out and buy it. I get hair cuts about twice a year because I'd rather spend my hair cutting money on books. Who needs cute hair when you can buy books??

  3. Somehow I feel like my need to own books is ok now that I know you have it too! I did part with some that I really didn't want/need (barely a dent) and sold them to the bookstore...they give you twice as much money on trade that if you take cash...I think we know where this story went!

  4. Wow - there's a word for what I have? I have so many books - and so many books that sit on my shelves waiting for me to get to them. Still I keep buying books, downloading books on my kindle and books in my amazon shopping cart waiting for me to click buy now.

    Maybe we should form a support group.

    ~ Lisa


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!