My Obsession with Books

If you know me at all, you'll know that, although I rather enjoyed books as a kid, I had long since given up on reading when I got into Junior High and my distaste for books continued from there. I don't know what it was, but I was just never motivated internally or externally to go find books I really enjoyed. There were the occasional few, but I certainly didn't devour them. That was, I didn't until I finished writing a dissertation, moved to a different country, and, I hate to say it*, read the Twilight series.

My husband will tell you that while we were dating (for five long years), he often lost me to the television. He would, in fact, be correct. I had a TV obsession for a very long time. If I'd had a DVR, I probably would have been watching TV at least 5 hours a day. But, thank goodness, I didn't. Still, I had DVDs of TV shows delivered and managed to hole up in my apartment for entire weekends at a time just watching those.

I'm somewhat of an introvert by nature, I'll admit that. In fact, after moving to the UK, I think I've started indulging that aspect of my personality even more. The weather is rather conducive to wanting to stay in, and, well, sitting at my computer in the nice, warm flat is a tempting prospect that I normally give in to.

On top of that, I am away from my beloved American TV shows. That's not to say the British TV shows aren't good; there's just not as many of the kind I like to watch and the season lengths are quite a bit shorter**. So, when I first got here, I had a lot of time on my hands (my boss gave me an entire month off after I defended) and not a lot to do. This is where Twilight comes in. I'd seen the movie on the plane on the way over here. Then I decided to test out my new gadget, my Kindle 2, by downloading the first book. Shortly thereafter, I had to fly back to the US for a conference and read the entire book on the plane. I just HAD to download the other three. I spent every spare moment at the conference (in sunny San Diego, no less) sat*** in my hotel room reading. I kid you not. You can ask several of my colleagues who I'm sure think me nuts.

Since this is quickly turning into a book, I'll try to end with this. After that, I had an obsession. I needed to read. The very thought of not having a book with me at all times squeezed like a vice on my chest. I felt incomplete. My husband was ecstatic, because I stopped bugging him about putting a TV in the bedroom and, instead, bugged him about letting me use the Kindle. When it was his turn to use the Kindle, I checked out books from the library. Then, when they library didn't have the books I wanted, I started buying them. Oooohhh...the horror! We hadn't planned on buying books here, because they will cost a fortune to ship back. But, they're my babies now, and they will be shipped back!

It's gotten so bad that I have about 10 purchased books staring at me as I type this, begging to be read. I have another twenty or so that I can't way to read again. Then, I have eight books sitting on top of the bookcase needing to be read because of looming library due dates. And, there's another four waiting to be picked up. On top of that, I have over 100 books on my To Read list.

This may sound commonplace for lots of people. But, not for me. Ask my parents or any of my English teachers growing up^. Sitting here, writing this, I have a huge craving for walking over to the couch and curling up with my current book. But, I'll refrain for at least another hour, because I have several more important things to do, like search for more books I want to read so I can add them to my Christmas wish list.

* * *

* I only say that, because of the "everybody's doing it" mentality that I strive not to have, but tend to fail miserably. Plus, the farther away from it I get, the more some of the things about the characters annoy me on a personal level. However, I read the whole series twice in about a week and a half, so I obviously didn't let my personal hangups stop me from enjoying the story.

** I also haven't quite figured out how seasons (or series as they're referred to here) work. If anyone in Britain reads this and would like to enlighten on the timing of new seasons/series of popular TV shows here, please email me.

*** Hazel, if you read this, that's for you per our conversation on how much that annoys me. :)

^Especially my Senior English teacher to whom I confessed my penchant for using CliffsNotes throughout the entire class and still getting good grades. It's horrible, and I regret how lazy I was. But, it was what it was... I did read at least three books in their entirety that year, though.


Emilia Joyce Plater said...

Hey, I haven't read a single book so far this year for English class, and I'm in the "honors" class. I just have no desire to read Tender Is the Night, haha.

Outside of class, though, I'm trying to rekindle the love for reading I had when I was little. I don't buy books, but maybe someday I'll make the transition like you did :)

Great post!

CupofDice said...

Thought I had responded earlier :(.

Very good, and I like the descriptions of the men hiding their grief.


I didn't start reading religiously till I was about 14, after a flirt with one YA lit about a kid in the 60s and an Ender's War rip-off (i think) called The Artificial War.

Harry Potter sucked me into reading fantasy, and soon I was an epic fantasy addict, looking for my next hit.