March 22, 2008 § 7 Comments

Hi, my name is Oh and I’m a bookaholic.

I am borderline out of control on buying books and magazines. I need them, crave them, love stacks of them, love writing my name on the inside page to own them.

And I have now added amassing blog links to read written by those who are writers and/or know writing.

I have reading material open while cooking dinner, while folding laundry, while watching TV (presumedly) late at night with HM. I have to replace the batteries in my booklight more often than I charge my phone.

When the going gets tough, I run to the bookstore and walking through its doors, I get the same feeling of sanctuary that I get in Notre Dame and St Patricks Cathedral and St Ambrose on the Hill. 

And once in the bookstore, I wander and touch the books on their shelves or in their stacks on tables and I read the covers of the magazines and I read every title in the Reference – Writing section.  It is my library, it is my solitude. It is my writing place where I put aside all agendas, schedules and notes tossed in my purse, and I clear my head and the ideas come. And I pick up books and trust that by the time I have to leave, I will have returned them to their shelves, in the proper place. (It is bad form to leave books lying around for someone else to shelve.) And yet, some do not escape purchase. If I go in there bookless, I do not come out bookless.

And I am so open to hearing about a book, learning about some title that somehow strikes a note in me, thus becoming a must-have.

Example: This morning was I was reading Janice Harayda’s blog, and she mentioned an Easter book. One that sounded particularly particular.  One that I vaguely recall seeing/having as a child. One that called to me from her blog page, which I left open as I, yes you guessed it, telphoned Barnes and Noble which is only 0.94 miles from my house.

I waited through the long telephone message and menu and held, waiting for someone to pick up. And lo and behold, it was the Children’s Section manager – what luck! And oh, what unluck – she didn’t have the book and it would take a week to arrive in her store’s location. She did, on the other hand, understand my need to have the book NOW!

I am calling the Des Peres store. What will I do with a children’s Easter book? I will love it. And someone who will love it will walk into my life and I will have it for that person, all new and pristine and ready to give. So I’d better have it. It just works that way with books.

I was in the bookstore Thursday (last) and picked up SPUNK AND BITE. Ohmigosh, I loved it, on sight. And two B&N giftcards were calling from the depths of my purse where I had stashed them in one of the myriad folds of my wallet. Get it! Get it! Buy the book! You need it! You have to have it now! It might not be on the shelf next time you’re here! Buy it!

I did. Along with a magazine about money management. And a coffee.

A week prior I had purchased a COPYEDITOR’S MANUAL (not the correct title, but you get the idea). It, too, is a thick luxurious book printed on good creamy paper and every page has something apropos to the document prodution I lead in my corporate life. It was a no brainer, a buy-and-leave. And people say to me, where do you find these books? um, I dunno. Hire me, hire me as a bookfinder and recommender.

Even as I share this with you, my mind is racing. Can I get to the bookstore today? Can I forsake making Easter baskets for the four adult children who will be at our Easter dinner table tomorrow, or is there something far more apropos for them waiting at B&N that I can wrap or otherwise dress up to give them?

I have to go for a walk. I have to think about flowers for the garden, about ways to give the living room a Spring look, about an article I want to write. Yes, I must think of other things – laundry, scrubbing the floor (yes, yes, some hatha yoga will replace this book lust), and I must not get lost in my own library upstairs that spans my office and the guest room and…I…must…not…go…to…the…bookstore.

Here, take my keys.


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§ 7 Responses to Bookaholism

  • You sound like me! I too LOVE books. What an addiction…

  • adlawrence says:


    …and please, keep up your writing 😉

  • oh says:

    Beverly and adlawrence – Thanks for your comments! I am in the midst of preparing a huge dinner party and even now, glancing around the room to see where I put the new Poets&Writers magazine and the VOGUE that came in yesterday’s mail. Surely my guests will be interested in seeing them? And the books scattered on the coffee table?
    Thanks for checking in…

  • Nova says:

    Oh… I am like you! I absolutely love reading, and have been known to shirk on all my duties and responsibilities (I have even called in sick to work) just so that I can read my books!

    I am looking forward to reading about some of the books that you can recommend. Maybe we can start an online book club. 😉

  • oh says:

    Nova, an online bookclub – great idea. Could we manage, keep it going? Worth a try. In the meantime, I am “dallying” among my books and trying to get caught up on magazines – The New Yorker and Granta. yikes. I will likely plunge into The Many Lives and Sorrows of Josephine B. Historical fiction is so popular right now but I am, I confess, interested in French hisotry, albeit “fictionalized” historical bio. Important to vary one’s choices, though.

  • Mark Foster says:

    I thought you might like to become aware of a natural living yoga festival happening on 31st August in the grounds of the beautiful Lanhydrock, near bodmin, cornwall UK.

  • Esteemed Oh,

    I rejoice that you gave in to your addiction and bought my “SPUNK AND BITE: A Writer’s Gude to Bold, Contemporary Style.” That you “loved it” triggered further tintinnabulations of joy. Readers such as you and your blog-mates are treasured, even if we writers must discover you through the shameful means of ego-surfing.

    With best wishes,

    Arthur Plotnik

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