Bibliomania and Time to Read


Not enough time to read. I’ve complained about this since I first learned to read. Lots of people have the same complaint, throughout history. And still, I receive those daily newsletters in my email inbox, with lists, absolutely lists of new books coming out. Amazon gives me those sneak peek of the first few pages and almost nine times out of ten, I’m hooked. I want to read it now, must read it now!

I have to admit that I’ve spent a lot of money on books (yes, I am an admitted bibliomaniac). Plus, I’m also very guilty of buying them and then stacking them on the shelves, because I’m already in the middle of reading three or four other tomes. Lots of visitors to my home look at the long walls of book shelves and ask quietly, how many books do you own? Answer – I don’t have a frigging clue. I’ve tried to inventory them, but I usually don’t get past the first few shelves before I find myself sitting on the floor, twenty pages into a book that I had forgotten I owned, while life and chaos around me reigns. This leads to stacks of books throughout the house, with a piece of torn paper, an old advertisement, even a piece of toilet paper (hmm, wonder when I did that?) as a bookmark to show how far I got before I had to stop because life intruded.

The other question that I get from visitors is how many of these have you read? Again, same answer, no earthly idea. You might think that I would at least get rid of the books once I managed to read it completely through, but no, you would be wrong. Now, I’m invested in this entity who took me on a fabulous journey of the mind. To sell it, to give it away would be like giving away a friend, an old comfortable friend with whom I share this history.

But I’ve been working hard on resisting the urge to click the “buy it now” link on Amazon or eBay. Instead, I started “the list.” This morning, as I read through more book newsletters, I added three titles to my list and noted with both pride and horror that my list had grown to 1,120 titles. I only started the list a short time ago.

But as I mentioned, I’m trying to retrain myself. Like any obsessive behavior, it’s a day-by-day kind of challenge. My last five books, I obtained through the library – two that they had in our county, and three that they got for me through interlibrary loan. And I thrive from having a deadline! So, knowing that I have to give this book back by a certain day makes me sit down and make the time to read it, before moving onto the next. It’s a hard reading life, but someone has to do it.

My bank account thanks me. My bookshelves thank me. And if you ask my daughters’ what my favorite thing in the world to be – they will still answer: books.

Author: creek2river

Cheryl Kula lives on a mountain in WV with her husband, Ted, and her two daughters. After years of assuming that her children would always have four legs, she is now a happy mother of two precocious daughters. Her first children's book is Play Day with Daddy.

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