Addicted to (Fill in the Blank)

What's Your Cannot Control Compulsion?

Addicted to

Robert Palmer sang of being “Addicted to Love.” Weird Al Yankovic parodied with “Addicted to Spuds.” Me? I’m addicted to books. More accurately, I’m addicted to book-buying.

Left unrestrained, I could buy books each day. Just this past week, I bought three books. I saw four more I wanted a lot and two more I ogled with serious — make that salacious — buying intent. I put all six books on my wish list. Some may see that as restraint, but I know the truth: a mere flick of a computer button and they’re in my shopping cart; then, bought, on my credit card bill, and on their way to me.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Addicted to …

Now, of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying books, but I buy at a pace that does not match my reading pace. I have so many books stacked on my nightstand that Handsome Hubby once placed a note there “Beware. Danger of Falling Books.” Ha. Ha. Little does he know! Regularly I do indeed perform mop-up duty cleaning up the mess after some wayward tome has come tumbling down and knocked over my water glass.

E-Reader and Books

To save bookshelf and nightstand space and also help my bleary aging eyes, I do read a lot of books on my iPad. But still, there is nothing as delightful as holding an actual book, don’t you agree?

As a middle-aged muddler, it isn’t a question of adapting to the new technology; it’s about loyalty. I love books. They’re my friends and I’m staying true to them. My kids and great-nephew laugh at “quaint” me. Young people have compact libraries, ones practically contained in the palm of their hands — all electronic and online. Not me. I’m into book sprawl!

Yet, I confess. For a professed book “lover,” I also abuse my books terribly. I bend the spines back so that the books stay open easily. I write in them with both pen and yellow highlighter. And I fold pages as well.

Once Upon a Time

… when I was young (oh, so young) and single and life was simple, I traveled a lot for work. I traveled so much working as a Special Assistant for the U.S. Secretary of State — 32 countries in one year — that I had all my bills sent to my mother to ensure they were paid on time. One month, after reviewing my credit card bill, she gingerly queried, “If you don’t mind me asking, do you think you have a book-buying problem?”

I laughed.

“Nobody can read as many books as you’re buying,” she persisted. “Your bookstore bills are quite high.”

In those days of no children and all those hours of flying around the globe, I was logging beaucoup hours of reading. These days, sadly, I log more hours dusting the books I buy than turning their pages. Sadly, I’ve become more a book-buyer than a book-reader. I’m more middle-aged, weary-eyed TV watcher than an avid page-turner. At best, I’m a one-book-a-week gal, which isn’t bad, yet it’s not my glory days of non-stop nightly reading.

But Still, I Buy, Buy, Buy

At least this addiction isn’t harmful — unlike my wild, life-long love affair with M&M’s. Those little colorful caloric devils have packed more pounds on me than I care to admit. And now that I’m older, well, shedding those pounds … Oh, you know how that story goes.

Viva Las Vegas?

In Las Vegas, if you go over your casino gaming (Gaming: that’s what the Vegas-speak for gambling) credit limit and owe money, they cut you off and won’t lend you any more money. Maybe I can work out a deal with my credit card company and get them to refuse book purchases unless I show them that the number of books on my nightstand meets authorized height safety limits.

Who knows? It’s an option. Because if I’m injured by falling books, then I cannot work. If I cannot work, then I cannot make money. And if I cannot make money, then I cannot pay off my credit card bill. If I cannot pay off my credit card bill, I cannot buy more books. So, it does stand to reason that the credit card company has a stake in this bedside safety issue.

On the Other Hand …

If I’m injured, think of all the extra time I’ll have! Think of all the time I’ll have to catch up on all the reading!

And Speaking of Addictions

Last week, Handsome Hubby suggested a “little” drive to break up our sheltering in place gloom. Little did I know he had an ulterior motive. He proceeded to drive 47 minutes in search of an elusive Krispy Kreme Donut shop. I say elusive because (1.) Krispy Kreme is HH’s favorite brand of donuts and (2.) For some reason, he has been stymied in his search for Krispy Kreme donuts since we moved to the SF Bay area seven years ago! We drove so long over so many windy roads that I (a.) got sleepy (b.)  got car sick (c.) had no idea where we were (d.)  was cranky (e.)  was famished by the time we arrived, even though I had eaten a big lunch and (f.) was grateful.

Have you ever eaten a Krispy Kreme donut? Well, I’m not a donut aficionado, but as a friend of mine once said, “Krispy Kreme donuts are worth the brag.” He’s right. They are that good. And while HH and I have had our dessert differences, when it comes to Krispy Kremes, there’s no debate!

And so, yes, to state the obvious. HH is addicted to Krispy Kreme donuts. But even though I’m addicted to book-buying, my first addiction is HH! (And you don’t gain any weight from reading.)

📚 🍩 📚 🍩 📚

Now, my dear middle-age muddlers, your turn. Fess up! What are you addicted to? Do tell!

Cartoon Credit: The New Yorker and Bruce Eric Kaplan

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