Quick comment on my book addiction 13

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I have a moderately serious book addiction. Almost entirely hardcovers. I think I own about 800 or so. I am what I refer to as a ¨buy-three, read one¨ shopper. Best Buy is a dangerous spot for me to walk into, like most men, but Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble are even more lethal.

Some of my strange book rules (I will loan books, but only if these are adhered to):

(1) no bending back pages to mark where you are in the book. Rip off a piece of newspaper or something. Seriously, is it that difficult to respect a good book and the effort someone put into writing it?

(2) no putting the book face-down, opened, on some table or such to hold the spot you are at. Screws up the binding.

(3) don´t lose or destroy one of my books. I have a pretty funny story about this one and one of my ex-girlfriends. Still love her to death for many, many reasons, but what she had to go through to not violate this rule in law school is one of the reasons she is a great person in my eyes. Too long to tell now – will update later.

(4) writing in or marking down passages of your own book that are important to you is acceptable. Doing so in someone else´s book is obviously verboten. Yes, I know its odd that I can´t bend back a page, but can write in the book probably makes little sense, but these are my idiocencratic (spell check later) rules — so deal with it.

(5) just because I like the book (or you do for that matter), doesn´t mean everyone else should. It is like my cooking. If I ask your opinion – I actually want your opinion. Don´t give me the pathetic, ¨I liked it.¨ Bow up and have an opinion. By the way — that goes for my blogs and other writing. Praise is wonderful. Solid critique is even better.

I read 3-4 books simultanously. Its the modern ADD thing in me. I have a really hard time reading just one. One goes in the car, so I can have it handy when I go eat lunch by myself or have a half-hour to kill in a bar waiting on friends that actually work till 5 p.m. at happy hour. One goes on the bedside table, for reading before crashing. A couple others are strewn about whereever.

I have at least twenty books on my bookshelves with bookmarks in them – reminders that my ADD nature ran out at that point, before I gave up (sometimes temporarily — I´ve started some books a half-dozen times before finshing them).

On the road, my book obsession takes on another aspect: I hate carrying around a book that I´m fairly close to finishing. If I´m about to board a plane or bus or whatever and I´m not going to have access to my book stash in my suitcase or backpack, horror of horrors if the only book I have in my hands only has a hundred pages left to read. What the hell would I do if I finished it and didn´t have quick access to another.

Better to just start a new one and save the started-on one for later.

200 pages left in Bruce Chatwin´s ´What Am I Doing Here´for this bus ride tonight. I think I´m fairly safe.

Happy Christmas (Chanukah or Kwansa or whatever) and Merry New Year everyone. I miss you all.

OK fine. I miss some of you.

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

13 thoughts on “Quick comment on my book addiction

  • Anonymous

    This is coming from the same guy who has issues with the lid to the coffee pot. Merry Christmas, I miss you…love the grandma driver.

  • Anonymous

    This is coming from the same guy who has issues with the lid to the coffee pot. Merry Christmas, I miss you…love the grandma driver.

  • Q.E.D.

    First, to grandma driver, I’m not sure how it works that you’re a guy (because of the grandma driver part of your post), but then again non-sexist languaganistas make it difficult to find a good pronoun … like when a writer figures a pronoun is necessary in the latter half of a sentence, he will work mightily to be non-sexist … and then will say something like “when a writer figures a pronounce is necessary in the latter half of a sentence, she or he will work mightily to be non-sexist …”To the Mobile Lawyer, have a safe holiday and when you find yourself with some time, and in the event you develop the inclination, I’m a little bit curious about the book titles you’ve packed into your backpack and how much the books weigh, in comparison to your other staples.

  • ScorpRush

    A) The multiple-book addiction may not be ADD….could be OCPD…;) You rock. Merry Christmas….do you have “Atlas Shrugged?” Might be a good refresher these days…looking fwd to the afterparty….PS–have you “succeeded” with the “private goal?” ;)) rush

  • Nomadic Chick

    You do have particular rules – does this mean you're eccentric? I tend to love hardcover antique books over new hardcovers. I always lend, and never mind bent pages, however abhor any notes in the margins. A worn down book means someone violently loved it for a period of time. I'll have no choice, I'm gonna have to Kindle it.

  • SoloTraveler

    Ahhh, I love hardcover 1st editions — and wish I had the money for a full collection of antique ones. And yes, I think in a few aspects of my life, eccentric might be an accurate description. Or just odd and inexplicable. 😉

  • Ray

    “I think I own about 800 or so. I am what I refer to as a ¨buy-three, read one¨ shopper.”

    So, you have only read some 266 of your 800 books? What are the other 534 for? So when you show people your book-shelf you appear smarter than you are?

    How about you get twenty proper books and stay focussed.

  • M. smith

    I’ve many of the same rules for the books I loan. However, I not only allow, but encourage those who borrow to write their thoughts in the margins. I find it provides insight into the person and oft times offers a perspective I may not have considered.

  • Michael

    Hi Michael,

    I’m Michael from near Belfast (N.Ireland). Started reading your blog recently.

    Going from the very start and had to comment on your book addiction. I too have loads of unfinished/to be finished at a later date/lifes too short to finish this s***! tomes .

    I also agree with the OMG its the last hundred pages sentiment. Finally wouldn’t say I had ADD but usually have 3 or 4 reads goin on simultaneously. Don’t make ya a bad person!!

    Your blog is really making me dream of a RTW trip when I retire (age 54) in 3 years time. Keep up the inspirational posts and pics

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