this is how books rule my life

I have failed tests before, but nothing fills me with a more profound sense of failure than leaving a bookstore empty handed. While this doesn’t deter me from reading or buying books, I do feel a bit like a fraud when I look at my three bookshelves and count the tens of books that I have not yet read. (1) is why I left the library book sale today with a copy of French Women Don’t Get Fat, and (2) is why I left always-easy-to-find copies of The Trial and Slaughterhouse-Five behind. I don’t pretend that that is a logical choice to make, but the book I bought does actually look good.

Also at today’s library sale, I wanted to buy a complete set of Dickens even though a) it was a really old set, and I am allergic to all books, but especially those that are old and carry even more allergens than brand new books, b) I own Oliver Twist and haven’t read it because I loved the Wishbone novelization too much to learn if it was accurate or not, and c) I have never read or had much interest in reading any Dickens aside from Oliver Twist. I wanted to buy this set because in All-of-a-Kind Family, when the girls go down to see the peddler’s at Papa’s shop and he shows them a pile of books, they are excited to find a full set of Dickens, and I am always excited to do anything that has to do with remembering All-of-a-Kind Family moments.

I am just obsessive compulsive enough to not be able to stand being in my bedroom if there is something wrong with my bookshelf (i.e. somebody has borrowed a book and there is a space, or I have forgotten that I lent somebody a book and there is a space, or something has been misshelved), and I am physically uncomfortable until that problem gets sorted out.

I wish GoodReads allowed me to add all the magazines I read so that I could keep complete track of all of my offline reading.

I have had my library card number memorized since I was seven. I am fairly certain that the library added linked library accounts (allowing family members to check out other members’ books) primarily because I used to come in, having forgotten my card, and they hated listening to me recite the number just so that I could retrieve my reserved items.

Anytime I see the word “biography,” I think “92.”

Knowing that my apartment in Boston will be approximately 170 square feet, I am spending the next few months thinking of every single thing I can possibly live without (all other hobbies, most clothing, guitar?, jewelry?, desk?, printer?, DVDs) so that I don’t have to give up anything in my book collection.

Knowing that my allergist told me that, given my specific allergies to a specific mold that grows on paper, I should not sleep in the same room as books, I decided that I would rather feel somewhat crappy every day of my life than obey medical advice.

I use the word “Nortonize” as a verb meaning “to prepare and annotate a text.”

I skip social engagements in order to book browse. I once didn’t show up to a party I really wanted to go to because I needed to go to Bookman’s immediately and find the end to a popular trilogy and read it all that night before going to bed and working the next morning.


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