Hi, my name is Diane and I’m a bookaholic.
My addiction has serious effects on my daily life. I always need to have a book within reach, and I get anxious if my To-Be-Read pile dwindles to fewer than ten books.
Oh, I pretend to be “only a social reader”. I pretend I could put down that book once I’ve started it. Sometimes I even succeed; but then all I can think of is getting back to the book. I lie awake in bed, staring at the ceiling and fighting the book’s siren call. Sometimes I manage to fall asleep. More often I slip out of bed and finish reading in the dark and secret hours of the night.
Whenever I finish a book, I feel a lessening of the need… but only until I glimpse the next book. Then the urge is stronger than ever.
I fight it, to no avail.
“Only one per day,” I promise myself. “That’s normal, right? That’s only social reading… okay, two books. Two per day, that’s still okay. I can do a full day’s work, have an early supper, and if I start reading by six I can be in bed by eleven. Midnight at the latest.”
But then I find a series.
Soon I’m reading three or four books a day, immersed in the guilty pleasure. Meals go uncooked; laundry undone. I forget important appointments and have to find excuses for why I didn’t show up at my accountant’s or dentist’s or doctor’s office.
I feel ashamed. Other people can lay down their books. Some people only read a few pages before bed and then stop. Why can’t I do that?
Because I’m a bookaholic, that’s why. An addict.
And no, I don’t want a 12-step program, thank you very much. Just back away and let me read, and nobody will get hurt.
The other day I finished a book and went to look for Hubby in the workshop, but he was nowhere to be found. I checked the garage, too. Nada.
I’d seen him leave, so I wandered around outside for a while but I still couldn’t find him. When I went back into the house, there he was.
“When did you sneak in?” I demanded. “I was looking for you outside.”
He gave me an ‘are-you-nuts?’ look. “I walked right by you twenty minutes ago. I couldn’t have been more than six feet away. You were reading.”
He laughed. “We need to rig up a cattle prod connected to a timer, to launch you out of that chair when it’s time to stop reading.”
“No,” I disagreed, with perhaps a hint of menace. “That’d only piss me off.”
“Okay, how about an electric-shock cushion hooked up to one of those alarm clocks that comes on gradually? It would start with a little tingle and then build up until you noticed it.”
“Um, no. I’ve had that TENS electrical treatment for physiotherapy. If you turn it up gradually you get used to it. I’d just end up getting slowly electrocuted.”
“No problem; we’ll use a current-limiter.” Hubby grinned. “This could work.”
But I’m not convinced…