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Book Addiction

Updated on April 10, 2012

Bibliomania

I don't really know if this is a problem or not. I'm inclined to think that it is not, since it has not caused me to rack up a credit card debt, does not prevent me from feeding my family, and does no real harm to anyone as far as I can tell. Aside from a little neglect during my biannual Harry Potterfest, my children do not suffer as a result of my addiction.

So, with those 'facts' in mind I suppose it must be possible to say that some kinds of addiction are quite nice.

I have a book addiction. I'm a bibliomaniac. Or a bibliophile? Either will do, they mean virtually the same thing; -phile perhaps sounds more pleasant, whereas -maniac is probably more accurate in my case.

So, I have a book addiction, as I said. I could never substitute a real book for a Kindle book, because my joy at browsing through book shops, at touching books, opening at random pages, smelling the paper, gathering a stack of books to my breast and feeling the weight of the words, would be completely negated. And buying books from the comfort of my own home does not appeal to me - I have bought books on the internet, but only after exhaustive searches in real book shops. I like to go out to buy books; I even like to look nice when I buy books. The anticipation that I feel when I know that I am going to a book shop is much stronger than the excitement I feel when I'm going out for a special occasion. Last week was my birthday, and I celebrated with friends and family for the first time in years, but I felt marginally less excited about it than I felt about a trip into town the week before to go bookshopping. No offence to my friends and family, I had a lovely time - but I do love books more than I love people.

My dining room book shelves

Source
Excuse the mess!  It's getting a bit cramped, and there's really almost no room left for more books.
Excuse the mess! It's getting a bit cramped, and there's really almost no room left for more books. | Source

This is where most of my books repose. Sorry about the mess. But what you see here is evidence of books meaning more to me than my own children. These book shelves are the dominant feature of my dining room. More, more, more! My children have to find small space for their little treasures on these shelves. Sometimes their treasures will mysteriously find their way into the bin.

My bedroom book shelves

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Overspill. I had to build these in my bedroom once I'd filled up the dining room shelves. These soon filled up too. I have tried to get rid of books, because I have nowhere else to put shelves, but I've given away everything I possibly can - every book that remains is a treasure (actually, I've just spotted a picture rail that's not particularly important - that could have a long shelf above it).

Potential book shelf space

We don't need to see this whole wall, do we?  Some of it could be covered in books, surely?
We don't need to see this whole wall, do we? Some of it could be covered in books, surely? | Source

But you know what that will mean, don't you? If I put a shelf along that picture rail? I'll be able to buy more books. But look at this:

Source

This is what's happening now. It's reached crisis point. That new shelf will have to be made soon, or else books are going to suffer needlessly. They will grow in number, into towering stacks, teetering dangerously until at last they fall, cashing to the ground, bending spines (the horror!), dog-earing pages, possibly ripping (NO!), injuring any small children or cats who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. For the sake of the books (and possibly the children and cats) I can see only one possible solution ...

I must have a bigger house.

With a proper library.

Desperate times

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Once I did this ↑. I bought a book knowing full well that it was too big for any shelf in my house. But I had to have it, and now it sits on my desk, reminding me that January sales are a good time to buy gigantic books that you could not afford at any other time.

The worst bit about book addiction? I buy books faster than I can read them, so that out of roughly 700 books (that's not a huge addiction, is it? I bet a lot of people own many more books than I do) I have probably read about about 300.

I should bloody well read faster then!

On that note, I will go and make a cup of tea (Earl Grey's mine) and do some reading.

Do you have a book addiction

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Which is your favourite tea?

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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      That looks like my house only mine is worse. I have two big shelves in my living room, three in my husband's office, two in my office and one large one at the end of the hall and that isn't counting the books piled on my nightstand or on my desk. I would love to have shelves along the top of all of my walls to hold more books. You can never have too many.

      I don't love them more than my kids but they are a close second.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      Linda this was such a great hub! I had two thoughts! The first one is to open a lending library or a book store so you could enjoy getting more books. The second one was since you love tea I believe that you could serve tea as well as you lent out your books. I really think you would make a wonderful book store owner as you really do love books. I do love books too and may have two or three stories going at the same time but would never be able to run a book store, as I am directionally challenged and would never be able to find anything.

      Anyway..sorry to get carried away..Thank you for the smiles

      Sunnie

    • Feline Prophet profile image

      Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

      I am feeling very virtuous because I have finally stopped buying books...well, almost...because I have nowhere to put them. But your hub has given me some ideas....:D

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 5 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I have a book addiction too. Wherever I go, I keep on buying books on topics with interests me. Majority of the books I accumulated, I have not even read once. But still, I cannot stop myself from accumulating them.

    • najordan89 profile image

      najordan89 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Oh man, I don't have near enough room to fulfill my book addiction! My bookshelf is overflowing, I have them in my nightstand, and in my closet! lol

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      My kids are squashed into their bedrooms, our house is really very small for five people. But it's the book situation that makes me want to move. I'm not sure if I have my priorities right, but that's just who I am! Thanks for reading this silly hub Pamela :)

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Sunnie,

      I think I could probably do this. But I would have to have everyone sign something to say that if they bent the spines or dog-eared any pages they would have to buy me a replacement book. I just can't bring myself to make a book raggedy! But yet I don't mind buying secondhand battered books. I have some kind of problem in my brain, I don't know what it is.

      You've planted a germ of an idea, and I might have to give it some thought! Trouble is, we have to superb Waterstones book shops in my town, and I doubt I'd be able to compete with them - I'd probably still shop in them myself if I had my own shop!

      Linda.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Oh dear, I'm so sorry, FP!

      I stopped buying books for a few months last year because I ran out of money. It felt amazing to buy that first book after the fast.

      Linda.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      You're not alone, Anamika :) I keep telling myself that I will eventually read all of them ... we'll see.

      Linda.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      najordan89, I have a large stack gathering dust under my bed that I didn't dare to photograph for fear that the Environmental Health Authority might see the photo.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Hi Linda, I love this hub, I'm sure I'm addicted to books and always have been and at any given time am reading several books at a time such as...and imagine my delight when recently I came across a large second hand bookshop where you can sit for as long as you like and read anything on the shelves... and drink Earl Grey tea...

      From one bookaholic to another well done! Up and awesome, cheers

    • profile image

      Shiv S Kumar 5 years ago

      Glad to read your hub. I am also a book addict who is trying to control it, but unsuccessful till now.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      I used to have hundreds of books but I gave the vast majority of them to a charity shop when I moved. They were picked up by this really grumpy volunteer who said, " I hate collecting books", (Presumably because of the weight).

      I don't really read paper books any more so I don't feel the need to be surrounded by them any more.

      Thanks for that entertaining memory of what I used to be.

    • philrobinson profile image

      philrobinson 5 years ago

      When I left the UK to go and live in Malta, I gave up all my books to charity, car boot sale and the dustbin. I didnt have enough suitcases to take them with me!

      Now building the collection back up in Malta through Amazon.com.

      Incidentally, Im a 'real' book fan, not an ebook. I have to have the feel of the book in my hands, not a screen.

    • profile image

      Subway7 5 years ago

      I'm an unapologetic book addict.I will hit the streets in search of my next fix (book). When my skin starts to crawl nothing will relieve it until I'm perusing the shelves of my favorite bookstore. My family supports me,but they cannot always understand why I rather read than go see a movie or spend money on more books rather than clothes. Well, I tell them, when I read the movie is in my head. About 2 years ago I switched over to an e-reader because I simply must have my books everywhere I go and because of my back pain issues carrying around a ton of books everywhere is out of the question. I go to bookstores to search for great new treasures then I download them to my e-reader. I'm a lot like many of you, addicted to buying books even when I haven't gotten around to some already purchased. I simply must keep my supply of "can't wait to be read books" topped off, this keeps the potential withdrawal symptoms at bay while I carry one through life with this most wonderful, glorious addiction. My name is Rodney and I'm a book addict.

    • profile image

      Subway7 5 years ago

      I'm an unapologetic book addict.I will hit the streets in search of my next fix (book). When my skin starts to crawl nothing will relieve it until I'm perusing the shelves of my favorite bookstore. My family supports me,but they cannot always understand why I rather read than go see a movie or spend money on more books rather than clothes. Well, I tell them, when I read the movie is in my head. About 2 years ago I switched over to an e-reader because I simply must have my books everywhere I go and because of my back pain issues carrying around a ton of books everywhere is out of the question. I go to bookstores to search for great new treasures then I download them to my e-reader. I'm a lot like many of you, addicted to buying books even when I haven't gotten around to some already purchased. I simply must keep my supply of "can't wait to be read books" topped off, this keeps the potential withdrawal symptoms at bay while I carry one through life with this most wonderful, glorious addiction. My name is Rodney and I'm a book addict.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Your interior decorator is BRILLIANT! No better way to fill the hieghts or your walls and the depths of your soul. Bravo. You have done this right. And when you are asked, 'Have you read all these?" smile and say "YES".

      Mockingbird Books (mckbirdbks)

    • ZacLegoManiac profile image

      ZacLegoManiac 5 years ago from New York, NY

      As a book addict myself, I can relate. I recently moved across the US from the west coast to the east coast, and when I did, I gave up all of my books. My favorites, the ones I re-read I put on my kindle, but the rest I donated, or sold back to used book stores. It was horrifying, but liberating to not hold on to the past.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Sorry for taking so long to reply!

      I can only imagine that as being a horrifying experience, moving away and having to get rid of book; but that's because there are so many books on my shelves that I haven't read yet and am looking forward to. I smelled burning yesterday - it was alright, someone was having a bonfire outside (hope they weren't burning books!) - but for a second I thought my house was on fire, and the first place I glanced was to my bookshelves to see if I would be able to grab my favourites before leaving the house! My children I completely forgot about!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Linda, I am always so glad to see others with rooms of books overflowing. When I visit some houses and see no books, I think there is something missing there. Of course, with the advent of ebooks it's going to be harder to judge. Ebooks are convenient, but books are the best at making a statement in my eyes. You're the best. Great read.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 4 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      When my new bookcase arrives I will have to write a hub about it!

      Ebooks are great, I'm sure, though I don't have any at all. But imagine living in a house with nothing to look at - people comment a lot about enjoying my house (which is just so messy!) because there's plenty to see in it. Isn't that a kind way of telling me to tidy up?! But I take it as a compliment, it must mean that we're a fairly interesting family.

      Thanks Cyndi.

      Linda.

    • Jalapeno10 profile image

      Jalapeno10 3 years ago

      So true. Ebooks are great but there's just something so comforting about holding a real paper book in the hands and curling up with it. I think e-books and kindles are more convenient for traveling when on a bus or something, or for a quick look during the day. When you're going to settle in, it seems to call for a proper book. Great hub!

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