Surely I’ve touched on this subject in several posts already and any avid reader knows exactly what I’m talking about but it deserves another nod – buying/acquiring/displaying books is an addiction. I’ve always justified this vise though – could there be a less harmful addiction – money aside anyway?
Admittedly, this addiction was much more enjoyable when I was 16 and had a credit card on my parent’s account. A weekly Chapter’s purchase ranging from $20 to $80 either went unnoticed by my parents or perhaps it was appreciated. Becoming a mature, independent adult though, I’ve had to find other ways to support my habit and lately I’ve turned to stealing. My favorite place? My father’s nightstand.
This place is a literal cornucopia with selections ranging from the most recent Harper’s magazine (conveniently dog-earred if not highlighted) to business lit to American essays to poetry. As I scour the stack of books spilling from the already over-sized nightstand onto the bed, onto the floor and onto the reading chair long since abandoned as a place to sit, I realize that my father’s habit far exceeds mine. But then again, so do his earnings.
On a recent visit home, the five-finger discount proved especially fruitful. I piled my arms full with titles such as: Sway by Ori and Rom Brafman, The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence, Essays of E.B. White by E.B. White, The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley and Nicole Krauss’ History of Love.
Quite pleased with my cache, I headed for the door. I was quickly intercepted by none other than my father who quickly took stock, removing the Essays of E.B. White and The Red Queen but not without replacing them with an edition of Money Sense and The English Major by Jim Harrison.
As I climbed into the car, piling my new books into the back seat, Andrew only shook his head in somewhat mock exasperation: “where are we going to put these ones, sweetheart?” No response was necessary though, I just grinned and climbed into the front seat with a couple of new reads in my hot little hands. I guess addiction is hereditary.