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Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Disease



I have a disease.

I don’t know if it has a name. But I’ve chosen to name it “Biblio-Obsessivo-Purchioso Disease” or “BOPoD” for short.
Definition: An uncontrolled OBSESSION and love of BUYING massive amounts of books.

I’m sure that there must be a REAL word for the state of being completely obsessed with books – specifically OWNING books. Perhaps if Tina Fabulous were to look in the coveted Oxford Dictionary, she could find the word for me. But for now, Bopod will have to do.

Here’s the deal. I own a lot of books. I own so many books that I don’t know how many books I own. They are everywhere –literally in every room of our home. Downstairs there are at least four bookshelves stacked –double stacked –with books. “Double stacking” is the art of stacking books in a deep book shelf with one row against the back and another row in the front – thereby covering the books in the back so they’re no longer visible –making it impossible to know where a book is at any given moment because you just can’t see them.

Not only do I own too many books. I can’t stop buying books. Yesterday, our mailperson delivered a package from Ebay –a book I HAD to have because just two weeks ago Crossings Book Club (one of many book clubs of which I am a member) sent me two books (their member’s selections of the month) and one of them was a sequel. Oh no! I hadn’t read the first book in the series yet –better hurry and order the first book. After a thorough search online, I found the best deal on Ebay -only $1.00 (plus $4.07 s/h). A Bargain!! The book is in NEW condition. Had I purchased it elsewhere, I would have paid at least $12.00 for the book alone. Ha – I deserve a pat on the back for “smart” shopping!

I used to live in Pittsburgh and worked in the neighborhood of Oakland which is where the original, HUGE, Carnegie Library is located. The Carnegie Library houses more than 3.3 million volumes. THREE POINT THREE MILLION!! Amazing. Our little small-town library has slightly over forty thousand. You may understand why I complain every time I go into our little small-town library, with it’s antiquated card catalog and check-out system which doesn’t include computers to track books in house or those borrowed. But, I digress.

Also, in Pittsburgh, I lived in close proximity to several large bookstores –Borders, Barnes and Noble, Family Christian Stores, not to mention the dozens and dozens of independently owned bookstores and used bookstores. Where I live now, the closest Borders or Barnes and Noble is at least 50 miles away. (I’m not kidding.) I used to love to go into the bookstores and spend hours at a time just browzing. (This was before I was married and had a child – there is no time for such frivolity today!) To be around books more, I even worked at Barnes and Noble and Family Christian Stores –just for fun. My “real” job as a Medical Technologist at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was grand –but didn’t get me anywhere near books – although I did often volunteer to go to the medical library when we needed to do research on an uncommon disease or disease process. But again, I digress.

Today in the mail, I received two of many regular offers I receive on a daily basis inviting me to join another book club. I found myself perusing the pamphlets, drooling over the titles, planning which ones I can purchase with my “buy 6 books for only $2” deal. Then calculating how much money in shipping and handling fees I’d pay and figuring how much I’d have to spend to “fulfill” my commitment and deciding that if I withdraw my membership immediately upon fulfilling my membership commitment, I can save a WHOPPING $3. Or if I choose NOT to join the club –I can save even MORE because I will have never purchased anything in the first place. But then –I wouldn’t be feeding my addiction.

I forced myself to write down the titles that I’m interested in from the pamphlets so that I can take the list to the library and borrow the books instead of buying them. Of course since our library is small –I will most likely have to wait several weeks before the library will be able to locate the book from another library and have it sent via inter-library loan. In the meantime, I could’ve bought the book – had it shipped to my home – and have it read three times! See – this is WHY I own so many books. Our hometown library is just too small.

And did I mention that I haven’t read HALF of the books I own because I don’t have the time? Yet I just keep buying more! What’s up with that?!

Okay…I’m going to end this post and go read one of the four books which I borrowed from my friend Dawna.

I told you it was a disease.

5 comments:

Sara said...

i hear ya sister! i LOVE books and while i think libraries are the bee's knees; i really long to own all the books in the world.

tina fabulous said...

bibliophile- one who loves to read, admire and collect books, often nurturing a large and specialized collection.

Birmingham Girl said...

It is indeed a disease. This family has it. Sara failed to tell you that her first job was in a book store because she loved to be around BOOKS! I had to start getting my books from the library (we actually have computers at ours) because there is no more room for books in this house. Part of my husbands routine every day since retiring is to go to Borders, get a coffee and read. He's a daily regular there. They are on a first name basis with him. I like BOPoD..it sounds...bookish!

KayMac said...

This is no disease my friend. It is a virtue!!! I read that in one of MY many books!

dawnaj1958 said...

Amen to y'all. I LOVE books. I love sequels, I love romances, I love happy endings. I love books that make me grow, books that make me learn history, things that make me learn new vocab.It's a bona fide adiction and totally wonderful. Since I was a little girl I have loved books. I love to read and reread good books. Fiction, non fiction...it doesn't matter...just has to be realistic and clean. Watch out Deb, I'm coming out to check out your supply. I'll sign them out and leave my first born for collateral. Hugs..Dawna