Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Addiction and the Two-Month Promise

As many of you may know, I am an addict. A book addict. And a recovering book-store owner.

I have a lot of books. A lot of books.

And yet I keep buying more. And more. Now, as addictions go, this is not a bad one. Cheaper than many addictions, and more intellectually wholesome. But still, a compulsion is a compulsion. Now, the heart of this addiction is, of course, reading. I don't merely collect for the sake of collecting. And I pretty much have to have a book on the go at all times. If not, I feel discombobulated, weird, unsettled. Leave it too long and I'd probably get the shakes. A compulsion is a compulsion, and withdrawal is withdrawal.

Now, I have no interest in stopping reading (nor could I, most likely). But I have decided to attempt a two-month book-buying hiatus.

My sister inspired me. She's also a book nut, and somehow went six months without buying a book. My wife, when hearing this, turned to me and asked, "Do you think you could go six months without buying a book?"

The answer, of course, was laughter. The sheer impossibility of entertaining the mere thought...

But I also just had a birthday. My wife bought me two books, and I received three book gift cards, which in turn netted me another eight books. So, ten books. Shiny, lovely, full of the most perfect paper (book paper is the best paper).

So I started thinking. Six months? That's like trying to climb Everest without so much as attempting a toboggan hill first. But two months? Just until Christmas? With all my books, I certainly shan't go without great books to read. Could I do it?

We shall see. I will attempt it: The Two-Month Promise. I will not buy a book for two months.

I figure the odss are like, oh, 22-1. Against. But if it was easy, it wouldn't be worth anything. Right?


Jessica Bell said...

Ha! I'm the same. It's kinda scary. So many unread books on my shelf because I buy way more than I can physically get through. I tried this not long ago. But it was more enforced when I was having a rough time with cash. But now that i'm back on my feet, well, I STILL KEEP BUYING. Gah!

Bryan Russell said...

Better than heroin, I guess.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Two months? You could do that. Just note the books you are missing and when you get more gift cards for Christmas, wait until after New Year's to purchase them.

Taryn Tyler said...

That does sound hard but I bet you could do it. Two months sounds like a good bite-sized junk to start with especially with a newly replenished supply. Don't stop buying books for good though. They are pretty amazing things.

Kathy Russell said...

You can do it, Bo!

I'll be your sponsor, if you start craving a "fix"! :D

& Yeah, that's why I put the brakes on. It was feeling compulsive (addictive), which means I'm not in control of it or myself. Reading is excellent. But reading to block out something else... not so much. I can feel the difference, if I'm paying attention.

Donna Hole said...

Does a free Kindle download count as buying a book?


Bryan Russell said...

A free book is manna from the heavens.

Nate Wilson said...

I had the same suggestion as Alex. But since I strive for originality, I'll propose this alternative instead: Ask your local library to buy all the books you'd normally get yourself. You still get to read, the author still gets paid, and the library gets more checkouts. Everyone wins!

Sher A. Hart said...

Ha! I had to see why you made that remark on my blog. Winning a book isn't buying one, after all. But since too much reading keeps me from writing as much as I ought, I feel your pain. But if you are writing a dystopian or any SF, then reading Susan Kaye Quinn's books is research, right?

Mira said...

Well, first I completely support you in this experiment, Bryan! :)

I do have a question: Is this about the money? Or is more about the feeling that you HAVE to buy the book?

If it's about money, you could get a kindle, or kindle app for your phone, if you don't already have one, and start looking at free downloads, there are tons and tons of them, as well as books priced anywhere from a dollar to three dollars. There is no question that e-books are cheaper, and if your app is on your phone, then you are never without a book!

Or, you could re-read favorite books. :)

If it's about the feeling that you can't stop, and you want to explore what is hidden under the compulsion, than I salute your bravery, and totally support you! You go, Bryan! :)

Either way, best wishes with this! :)

Bryan Russell said...

I don't have a phone. I'm occasionally struck by Ludditism.

It's kind of the money... not that I'm sending myself to the poor house or anything, just that I already have so many fantastic books that I want to read, it doesn't make sense to endlessly be buying new ones. I guess I want more of a balance between the buying of awesome and the reading of awesome.

Matthew MacNish said...

You are nuts. Good luck.

Mira said...

Bryan, that makes sense, looking for a balance.

Great goal, I totally support you - good luck! :)

p.s. you can get a kindle app and probably a Nook app on your computer. :)

D.G. Hudson said...

If you don't go looking, it's easier to avoid buying. Try it. If I look, there's always something.