Okay, I Admit It…

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.”

“Oh.”

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…

54 Comments

Filed under Cartoons, Humour, Life

54 responses to “Okay, I Admit It…

  1. Lori Beaton

    You’ve described my symptoms perfectly!!

    Like

  2. I suspect that bookaholics of the Never Say Spy series such as myself all eventually succumb to “grelief” (that warring mix of emotion achieved upon finishing Book 12 and trying to withstand the *grief* of being deprived the jonesin’-for-more company of Aydan, Kane, Hellhound, et al. for an indeterminate period) while simultaneously feeling the *relief* that one might manage… theoretically at least… to at last bathe, eat, sleep, and work like a normal adult).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I finally put my kobo down long enough to read this week’s blog and comments.
    I have to fess I do like my hour or so commute to work has helped me rediscover my love of reading. Book #12 helped. I am on book 6 of 7 book series and although a smidge silly I’m really enjoying it. The to be read physical books is bigger than ever, my kobo delights in telling me that I have read books on it for over 1,066 hours not bad really.

    So like you I think I have to stand and announce to the room hello my name is Karen and I am a bookoholic.

    Ok I suppose I should get back to my book after all you can’t leave a heroine in peril even if she does have esp fingers.

    Like

    • Welcome to the bookaholic club! But now I have to know: What did you mean to type before you got autocorrected to “…esp fingers”? I’m imagining a heroine with ESP in her fingers, so she has to touch people to activate her extra-sensory perception…? 😉

      Like

      • Yup that’s what I was meaning. I finished book six and dove straight into the last book, well last as far as I can tell.
        They are a series by L J Charles and each book has touch as part of the title, they are enjoyable.
        Im currently sitting at 1074 hours read I find it a little bit worrying to think that kobo keeps track of the hours I read

        Like

        • That sounds interesting – must check out the series! And wow, 1074 hours of reading – that’s impressive! I checked to see if my Kindle Paperwhite tracked my reading hours, but it doesn’t. Probably just as well… 😉

          Like

  4. Well if one is to have an addiction yours sounds like a good one. Your cartoon is hilarious. I’m with you though no cattle prod. You have to draw the line somewhere.

    Like

  5. Carol Borchardt-Wise

    Book addict….Bookaholic…maybe a group called B.A. (Bookaholics Anonymous???) I’ve never really thought about it quite in those terms, but Bookaholic..oh yeah, I suppose I will have to come to grips with the term…it is SO me!! I become so engrossed in my books that I enter their world and become a part of their plots. Then…that pesky pile of laundry starts intruding, or the dust bunnies start begging to be vacuumed up. It starts as just a whisper, then, well, it just gradually becomes a cacophony, eventually refusing to be ignored, much to my dismay! And oh yes, there is that hungry husband who starts circling like a vulture, his stomach growling like a lion, intruding on the periphery of my ‘book world,’ trying to pull me back into the dimension where other things are waiting to be done, namely fixing his supper! In all fairness, I have to admit that he is a very patient man and accepts the love that I have for becoming totally immersed in my books. You may ask why he doesn’t just fix himself something to eat. The woeful truth is that he is permanently banned from my kitchen. Though he has tried, it is a gross understatement to say that he is totally inept in the kitchen, or maybe one could say “a total disaster” that never ends up producing anything edible. The disaster zone he has been known to create in my kitchen takes far more time away from my reading than if I fixed him a 7 course gourmet meal. He once burned frozen corn in the microwave(our kitchen was odorous for a week…and 25 years later our kids still relive that event, with great guffaws, at every family gathering!) His attempt to grill steaks resulted in an unrecognizable, leathery object that we could patch our shoes with! So one can hardly blame him for risking life and limb by interrupting my reading in hopes of getting a meal cooked between chapters. He bought me my first Kindle Fire. He is a smart man with a decent grasp on the concept of self preservation. After all, he did recognize the value of buying me a Kindle Fire when they first came out a few years ago. A strategic defensive move I’m sure, to prevent my multitude of bookshelves from over running our entire house! I live for a good series, impatiently awaiting the release of the next “episode,” wanting nothing more than to once again immerse myself into the lives of my favorite characters.
    This could be a serious addiction if I did not have such control….yes, I said control! Control enough to resist the calling dust bunnies, control to resist that ever growing pile of laundry, and control enough to resist almost anything that interferes with my quest to read!!

    Like

    • Right on – you’ve just enlightened me! That’s my true problem: I don’t have enough self-control to resist the calls of the real world.

      Your husband sounds like a very smart man – the Kindle Fire was definitely a good move! I’ll let you in on a little secret, though… (Males of the world, stop reading right here; females, this is important!) Guys have a secret code that they never speak aloud on pain of being ejected from the brotherhood: “If you do it badly enough the first time, you won’t get asked again.” This is why they burn the corn and wash our white silk blouses with their work jeans. It’s just a clever strategy to avoid cooking and laundry. The only question is how many microwaves and silk blouses we’re willing to sacrifice while training them… 😉

      Like

      • Carol Borchardt-Wise

        I see your point, Early in our marriage I seriously wondered if that was the case 🙂 However, there is not another household task that he does not willingly tackle. So I figure that if he’s gone through the effort to give a consistently Oscar-worthy performance on a stage set with our cooking apparatus for every moment of our 46 year marriage, for the sole purpose of not having to cook, then perhaps he has earned his desired result, and I will gladly take a short break from my reading to cook for him, as long as he can wait till the end of a chapter 🙂 He does, after all, wash a mean sink of dishes!!!

        Like

        • Your husband sounds like a great guy – no wonder you’ve kept him around so long! My Hubby makes four meals very well: Spaghetti, chili, stew, and macaroni-and-bacon casserole. They’re all quite delicious, but since I can’t face the thought of eating the same four things over and over, he only makes guest appearances in our kitchen. That suits me fine – I enjoy cooking anyway, and when I don’t feel like doing it, he takes over. 🙂

          Like

  6. Duane Beard

    Hi Diane, Too funny! (from a fellow “bookaholic). Keep smilin Duane.

    Like

  7. jenny_o

    Right there with you – reading is my favourite activity bar none … luckily my husband likes to read as much as I do and we both read everything that comes into the house. No zzzztttt for us!

    Like

    • That’s wonderful! But it must make it difficult to schedule activities when both of you are engrossed in books. 😉 Fortunately Hubby loves books, too, and he loves his TV just as much. If I’m reading, he gets to indulge his addictions, too!

      Like

  8. Madalyn Wylie

    Just what happens to me with a new series. I read Aydan Kelly #1 and before I was finished I got #2 and so on until yesterday when I finished
    Kiss and say good spy. I just cannot get enough. Keep up the good work
    Diane. I’m enthralled.

    Like

  9. Michael

    What a conundrum, by writing a response I’m only feeding your habit, by not writing a response people might think I don’t care and am willing to allow you to suffer. On the upside, acquiring a fix doesn’t take a visit to a dealer with an exchange of money and small packets of pure heaven, or so I’m told. It’s a simple trip to the library. Registration is often free and a near endless supply of sweet sweet nectar to consume. Added bonus, getting your fix in the comfortable confines of the library walls and not reclined in some alley with only the exit sign of some cheap booksellers back door to read by.

    I’d suggest a support group, but the last one I went to kicked me when I brought a six pack, I offered to share. So can’t really say whether they work or not.

    Good luck Diane, if I should ever find you on the street begging for pamphlets or brochures you can count on me for a copy of War & Peace or maybe Moby Dick.

    Like

    • Aw, thanks! It’s good to have friends!

      I can see it now: A old crone crouching on the sidewalk raises a dirty wrinkled palm to passersby. “Hey, mister, can you spare a paperback? Or even a couple of pages…?”

      “Go to the library, you bum!”

      “B-but… I’ve read every book they have. Twice…”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Or an old guy, beaten, bruised, broken, tied to a chair under a harsh spotlight in a darkened room. Blood drips from many wounds.

        Bad guy: Your refusal to cooperate is, shall we say, disappointing. You know, of course, that there will be additional, um, consequences for your glaring acts of rebellion, do you not?

        Some, er, random guy with a wheezing, rasping voice: What consequences? You’ve already broken every bone in my body. Twice. And that wasn’t enough to break my will! I’d tell you to do your worst, but you already have. You got zip, scum. So either shoot me or gimme a Band Aid.

        Bad guy: We shall see, old man. Ludwig! Delete his Kindle app from his phone!

        Old man: (Gasp!) No! You wouldn’t!

        Bad guy, now sporting an evil grin: And then cancel his subscription to BookBub…

        Old man, hyperventilating, obviously near panic: NO!! NOT THAT!!

        Bad guy: …and Read Cheaply! You see, old man, I know how to deal with some random guy who thinks he can defy me!!

        Old man, slumping against his bonds, eyes swollen almost shut, teeth gritted, shakes his head slowly: …alright…fiend… …you…win… I’ll write that review for you… …just don’t reduce me to reading a newspaper…

        Like

  10. Valerie Richmond

    I have downloaded 482 books on my Kindle and have read more than half since Christmas. Who puts one down unfinished? One of the very great perks of living alone;l I sit ensconced in whatever I am reading, occasionally look out the window at the North Shore Mountains and realize that I have the perfect life. Work when I schedule it, walk my daughter’s dog when she lets me and cook the very occasional meal when I am desperate. And read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh! I wanna be you when I grow up!! Okay, okay, IF…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, wow! A couple hundred books since Christmas? Heaven!

      Reading is one of my great joys; but I have to divide my time between reading and writing. I love both equally so it’s always a struggle! I usually don’t read much while I’m in the process of writing a book – writing is too time-and-intellect-consuming to allow me much spare time/brainpower for other stories. But as soon as I publish a book I dive into a reading binge, which is the stage I’m at now. I’ve given myself the rest of the week to read everything in sight, and then I’ll get down to work on Book 13!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Drae

    I “LOVE” series books, especially if it is a GREAT series (the SPY series as an example). They are like sitting back and “invading” the characters personal lives. If I find a new series that I like, then I can’t wait to get to the next book even if I realize I will run out sooner if I don’t put them down once in a while. I download them to my tablet (via Amazon’s Cloud) and that way I can keep up while waiting in Dr.’s offices on my smart phone. I have to keep charger cords located in various parts of my house just so I can keep batteries charged & I can keep reading. So far I haven’t put one in the bedroom. This way when it runs out of battery I know it’s time to go to sleep. Housework & laundry get done by the reward system — I can read when it’s done. (Good thing I live alone and don’t have anyone “supervising” me.)

    I used to read a lot when I was younger, but as I got older my eyesight became a little worse and the printing in your average book got a little harder to read to any extended time. Imagine my joy when the Kindles and tablets came out and I could adjust the printing to any size that was comfortable. Now I believe I’m reading more than before.

    So keep up the good work and keep us up to date on the adventures of Aiden, Hellhound, John, Stemp and all the other familiar characters in the SPY series.

    Like

    • Thanks, Drae! Like you, I love the adjustable print sizes on the Kindle. Ever since my eyes decided they were middle-aged, I haven’t been able to find a reading-glasses prescription that lets me read for hours and hours without eyestrain. The larger print is such a relief!

      And I’m chuckling over your reward system – I do exactly the same thing! 🙂

      Like

  12. Dawn C.

    I hear ya on the bookaholic deal! My son is always telling me to stop reading – LOL! Once I get started on a series, I can’t stop until all books are read. You are not alone in this bookaholic thingy!

    Like

    • Hooray, another bookaholic! I think we need T-shirts.

      Imagine what a quiet, peaceful place the world would be if it was ruled by bookaholics. Then again, civilization would probably crumble around our ears while we were engrossed in our books. 😉

      Like

  13. Donna Gillespie

    I love to read and can stay up into the wee small hours to finish a book. My favourite authors I reread time and again and some of my paperbacks are 40 years old and lo and behold if anyone tried to bin them. My reading pile is on my Kobo and is sitting at over 199 mostly new to me authors and when I find one I really like I have to buy the series so my pile never seems to go down.
    My husband would probably like the electric shock treatment but not the divorce that would go with it.
    Looking forward to the next book, keep up the good work.
    Donna G

    Like

    • Thanks, Donna! You made me laugh with the ‘divorce’ comment! A smart husband knows how to quit when he’s ahead. 😉 And my to-be-read process is the same as yours – if I get onto a great series, the series goes to the top of the list until I’ve read them all.

      I have some precious ancient paperbacks, too – the kind where you read them carefully in sections because the pages have all detached from the spine and each little cluster is crispy with age. The thought of someone trying to throw them away… well, that might turn out to be hazardous to their health!

      Like

  14. The crowd speaks in unison, more or less, “Hi, Diane…”

    Yep, you’ve got it bad…too. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve switched to e-books of late. Had to. Er, let’s just say for logistical reasons. Uh, well, *mostly* e-books.

    On a related subject, earlier in the summer, my wife finally got my attention.

    Wife: “Doesn’t that beeping mean the battery is getting low on your laptop?”

    Me: “What beeping… Oh, that. Yeah, guess I need to plug it in now, huh?”

    Wife: “Couldn’t hurt. And that big blue warning message at the top of the screen would probably go away, too, if you did. Just sayin’…”

    (Yeah, I’ve got her doing that now. Still funny, though. Just sayin’…)

    In the guest bedroom that I’ve rather grandly designated as my office, I’ve installed a continuous row of shelves all around it up over the doors and windows. Always wanted to do that, and it’s just as effective as I thought it would be. And it was just enough to hold everything. Well, except the books that were on the shelves by the fireplace in the living room. And in the bedroom between those nice book ends that friends gave us. And the other ones here and there. But the big shelf around the room was just enough.

    For a while.

    So I put up another long shelf the whole length of one wall just under the big shelf. Perfect! And room for both knicks *and* knacks, too! Just right!

    Well, for a while.

    So up goes another on the opposite wall. And that was just enough! Well, it used to be, anyway. The whole Kindle thing sort of makes sense. Just sayin’…

    Like

    • Ooh, I love the ‘above-the-doors-and-windows’ idea – great use of formerly dead space! Our physical books are still in boxes upon boxes upstairs, awaiting the finishing of the second floor and the construction of (many) floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. But even then, space will be tight.

      These days I rarely buy physical books unless I’m completing a series from one of the ‘must-buy’ authors I’ve been following since before I started buying ebooks. Everything else goes on Kindle, even some of the ‘must-buy’ authors I’ve discovered since I started using the Kindle. I have over 500 e-books, and at least as many physical books. I don’t even want to think about how traumatic it would be to lose them. *shudders*

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, trauma is the word. And cloud storage is my friend. And thumb drives. And data DVDs. And a safe room.

        “Of course I’m paranoid. But am I paranoid enough?” A favorite line from a Tom Clancy book. Red Storm Rising, if memory serves. Paranoia can be a useful tool, at least occasionally.

        Like

      • el Tea

        That shelf above the doors and windows sounds great to me. But I once got a tour of one of the biggest and nicest old homes near my house. It was updated in the 70’s to be quite trendy while respecting the graciousness of an old Victorian style mansion without the mansion. The owners were gourmet cooks, judging by the hanging copper pots and other kitchen things, but all the dining took place in the kitchen because the dining room had been converted into a library. Not the library of manor homes however. There isn’t enough bookcase room when you only fill one or two walls. No, every square foot of wall was covered by book shelves and the remaining space had freestanding shelves back to back with just enough walkspace to get through. There were no chairs in the room, just books. They left some seating in the living room -with nice reading lamps, of course. Good that they had their priorities in order.

        Like

        • Wow, now that’s a REAL library! Imagine being able to get lost in the stacks inside your own home. 🙂

          We downsized some of our book collection when we moved and we rarely buy physical books anymore, so hopefully we’ll be able to get away with perimeter bookshelves when we finish the second floor. I can hardly wait to get our books back on shelves!

          Like

      • Just an FYI, here. Since the shelf was right over the top of the doors and windows in the room, I found shelf brackets that could be mounted to the wall above the shelf, with the actual board suspended below. Nothing shows, and nothing gets in the way of anything. Works well for my application. Home Depot has the ones I used. Part number follows:

        Everbilt 7.25 in. x 7.25 in. White Over Under Shelf Bracket
        Model# EB-0051-8WT

        They’re thin, so they become invisible when books are placed against them on both sides. Stud finder, level, tape measure, pre-drilled holes to prevent splitting, good Torx-head deck screws for the wall, small and unobtrusive machine screws and nuts for the shelf itself.

        I like Torx-head screws. The tool bit never ruins the fastener or slips out, so no scratches or gouges on the wall. Phillips-head screws are hit and miss at best, and slotted screws are an instrument of the devil. Square-drive screws work, too, and I’ve used them successfully when Torx screws weren’t available. Personally, I like Torx. If for no other reason, the drive bits seem to last longer. It may seem a small thing, but when a tool bit fails, the next thing that happens is a gouge in whatever the broken bit bounced off of before you could get your finger off the trigger.

        Also, I bought 1 x 12s for the shelf, but I cut an inch and a half from the width and glued and nailed it to the ‘front’ edge of the wider piece so the edge wouldn’t sag under the weight. I used a bracket on every other stud (32 inch spacing), and they’re holding up a LOT of books and staying straight. Coulda gone with 1 x 10s with 1 x 2s for the edge, but the 1 x 12s were LOTS better lumber than the others. Your mileage may vary.

        Like

  15. You are not the only bookaholic out there. There could be an earthquake and I wouldn’t notice if there was a book in my hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I would love it if my to-be-read pile shrunk to ten books. I could learn from you. I’ll pass on the electric shocks though. 😄

    Like

    • Yeah, I’m opposed to the electric-shock solution for many reasons, including the fact that our electric bill would go through the roof if I had to get zapped every time I was reading. 😉

      But it’s so nice to have time to read again – due to our move and the associated chaos during the past 10 months I only managed about one book a month. I was in major withdrawal!

      Liked by 1 person

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