Adventures in Reading

12-Step Programs for Book Lovers
August 12, 2007, 1:28 pm
Filed under: thoughtful | Tags: ,

I have a problem when it comes to obtaining books. Whether I am actually purchasing a book or checking it out from the library I become the proverbial child in a candy store, and simply do not know when to stop. The result: I usually return half the books I have checked out from the library unread, and I have multiple stacks of books I own but still have never delved into. There must be some place for me to seek help. The following is an average book binge week for me.

On Wednesday in an attempt to kill some time before the movies I stopped in at the library. I knew I had Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye waiting for me but went ahead and perused for a few more books. At work a recent bout of popularity has developed in the literary criticism section that surrounds books like Read Like A … . Now these books are not about literacy per se as much as how to guides to read like a professor, or a writer, or your grandmother (right, I made that one up). I am rather curious at what the books say about reading as I assume with any other skill reading too can be honed and improved upon. Unfortunately the library does not carry these books, but I found myself in the right section (that is, where the books would be kept if they did have them) and checked out Book Lust and More Book Lust.

Friday rolls around and I gave in and purchase Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen. This summer Anna Karenina has been singing her siren’s song to me. First while reading The Elephant Vanishes: Stories by Haruki Murakami one of the stories is about a woman who can not sleep. This woman isn’t an insomniac but is simply never tired enough to sleep. Part of her nightly routine is to read Anna Karenina and she reads the books over and over throughout the story. The following evening after I finished the story some friends were discussing Anna Karenina and I decided I really ought to read it.

Saturday was the large book splurge. The Friends of the Library group once a month host a book sell and this is a very dangerous day for me. While the purchase is never expensive (less than two dollars yesterday) I always end up with a stack of books that will most likely be used to collect dust, prop open doors, and for me to stub my toe on during nightly rambles through a dark house. Yesterday I ended up with: Hedda Gabler and Other Plays by Henrik Ibsen, Washington Square and The Europeans by Henry James, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Foucault’s Pendelum by Umberto Eco, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, and The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan.

I think it is safe to say that I have a problem!


Completely empathize with you. I just can’t resisting buying books and finally endup having many unread books in my shelf.

If you find a cure, do let me know :-)

Comment by archanaraghuram

I am a college student, so can’t really afford my binges. The best I have been able to do is to not allow myself into a used book store or a library or literacy club sale (normal book stores are easier to evade due to the price). But when I do…..

Let’s just say that a few months ago I left with a 30 dollar purchase at a sale that had paperbacks for $.50 and hardbacks for $1.00, and that just this last week I bought 26 books at a used book store that I hadn’t been in yet.

I think that I might have a bit of a problem….

Comment by hyper426

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