I’m turning into my mother. THAT is not the problem. The problem is that I’ve inherited her book addiction. I truly think book-addiction is a genetic condition. And it affects millions. And no one talks about it.
As kids, my sister and I would just be waaaalking down the street with our mom…and we would come across a bookstore…and we knew we wouldn’t be going home (or to the Gap) for a loooooong time. Time to settle in on the floor, or if we were lucky, in a chair (once Border’s started making it okay to stay in a bookstore for more than 10 minutes).
We got wise and would scout out bookstores along our chosen path. As we approached the store, we would start talking and walking faster, gently pushing our mother along the sidewalk, hoping she wouldn’t see the books in the window. That worked, sometimes.
Our mom even got a job at a bookstore one time – at Brentano’s – which is always funny to think about the “this book has been flagged” episode of Seinfeld….but it didn’t last too long. She was more interested in reading the books than stocking the shelves, and I’m pretty sure all of her paycheck and more went back into keeping Brentano’s afloat a few months longer than it otherwise would have.
I used to be the kind of person that would read one book through at a time. I HAD to finish one book before starting another, and only once did I ever give up in the middle of a book and not finish (Wuthering Heights: wanted to like it, but so boring; maybe I should try it again).
Somehow over time I started adding an extra book here and there – one on my Kindle, one on the bedside table (fyi the same one’s been there for like 4 years….I WILL finish it: The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCollough), one next to a recliner in the living room.
Now I have at least 4 books going on the Kindle alone, not to mention all the physical books in the shelves that I haven’t yet read. My 12 year old self would have felt very overwhelmed by all this. And yet…I keep buying more books. Memoirs, essays, novels, histories, cookbooks. I’ve even somehow agreed to borrow two books from a complete stranger I met at a bar…I mean, we did talk for hours…but still.
Anyway, it makes me happy, so what. Different days call for different types of books. Sometimes within the span of the hour before bed, I’ve read one chapter in each of three different books. Sometimes I open The Greater Journey when I need to fall asleep quickly (jk it’s not that boring. but it does make me fall asleep).
Okay, here’s an abbreviated rundown.
The Valley of Amazement – Amy Tan
Bad Feminist: Essays – Roxanne Gay
Get in Trouble: Stories – Kelly Link
Think Like a Chef – Tom Colicchio
My Drunk Kitchen – Hannah Hart
Hidden History of Detroit – Amy Elliott Bragg
Also my Kindle Wish List is super full and I watch it almost everyday. If a book price drops, well then I just have to buy it, right?