I've met many people in this world addicted to a great many things: Alcohol, sex, cigarettes. Even love itself can be an obsession.
But very people have experienced or know of people who are utterly obsessed with books.
And therein lies the plot - I, honest to God, have a routine of buying a least one book a day.
Don't ask me how it started or why I have allowed it to continue for so long, but there it is. Nothing gives me more pleasure than entering a bookstore, taking a deep breath and inhaling the glory of the year of literature, all at my hands to experience, touch and enjoy. Fiction, reality and everything in between is laid out in front of me and I, like a tobacco addict, can't help but partake.
And it was bad enough before the advent of eBay and Amazon making books all the more accessible, no matter what your schedule is. I was both in a time where any book in the world, no matter how rare, is at your fingertips. I literally one night at one in the morning ordered a book online signed by the famous Hollywood Actress Tallulah Bankhead and it was one my doorstep the next day. On eBay, I had the find of a lifetime obtaining a book signed by Richard Nixon to Barbara Walters, with Barbara's own scribbling in the margins, preparing for an interview with the great politician. How can you lose?
I'll tell you how you can lose. Though I publish my books to have corresponding Kindle versions, I myself do not own such a device or one comparable. I buy books made of wood pulp and tears, some in various states of decay and some pristine off the shelf. They take up an immense amount of room, much to the dismay of everyone around me. But, over the years, each volume has afforded me some sort of comfort. Even holding a book has become therapeutic and smelling one is like the most divine form of aromatherapy imaginable.
This habit has steadily grown over the years and my collection has now plummeted up over the 2000 mark. But, and I want you to get this straight beloved reader, I am not apologizing in any way, share or form. This habit is one of the things that gives me sublime comfort and joy.
People that have no such relationship to obtaining books cannot hope to understand, just like the sober clergyman cannot understand the drunkard's sonnets of love for booze.
When it comes to the obtaining of knowledge, my motto is never apologize. I have learned so much from these books on my shelf that I shed a tear thinking about it.
A huge chunk of my bookshelf are biographies, so I share my room with some of the greatest minds and talents the world has every known: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Harper Lee, Gypsy Rose Lee, Joan Rivers, Carol Channing, Ayn Rand; the list goes on. Oh and humbly, I can't the fact that my books sit there alongside these greats. That always makes me smirk, y'know?
I'll never apologize for this habit because, unlike detrimental habits, this one does nothing but enchant and entrance me.
So, dear readers, I ask you to look at where you're sitting right now (yes, even you) and write me a comment of the most interesting book you can see in your line of sight.
And don't even think of lying, because I know there's one somewhere (under your chair maybe, covered with dust bunnies?)
So, readers, I'll leave you tonight with not words, but an imagine of just a small fraction of the books I hold so dear to my heart.