The Very Horrible Problem of being a Book Lover


Last night at around 9:30pm, something horrible happened – again!

I finished another book! And to make matters worse, I didn’t have another one!

Is there anything more frustrating? Well, if you are a book lover as I am, the answer is a very loud, “No!”

So I got up and trolled the house for something to read. Which in itself was a very stupid idea because if it’s in my house, most likely I have read it. Granted my husband, who happened to deal with this problem last week, has his own taste in books and I generally don’t read his. Our habit of not reading each others books is an almost sacred trust in our home. His Dirk Pitt novels will never be touched by my hands nor will he ever defame my Edith Wharton collection. Occasionally we will venture over that line when a new Bill Bryson comes out and we consider David McCullough neutral territory, but for the most part our books stay separated. I was reminded that my children have also adopted this separate but equal school of thought, as I tried to take Mouseheart out of my youngest son’s room last night and was refused.

But back to my problem.

Now the question becomes another mind bender—book store or library?

Both have their merits and their drawbacks. However, as I am a woman of very little free time, I don’t have time to go to both, so a decision has to be made.

Stating the case for the bookstore. It’s closer to my house, it’s clean and decorated for Christmas, which is fun. Because it has a coffee bar attached to it there is an abundance of great scents which, in my opinion at least, adds to the overall experience. The books themselves all look youthful with their glossy newness prancing about in front of me.

Drawbacks, well frankly, it’s the cost! Being a person who never has much disposable income( thank you kids, house and car payments!) the cost of a printed book these days is not small change! And please don’t suggest I get one on my eReader!! I can’t read on it, I just can’t! That’s a whole other post anyway.

I always feel like I’m taking a risk when I buy a book from the bookstore. Will I like it? Will it be worth the money? Will I want to own it, thereby allowing it a place in my already overfull personal library?

These are not questions I take lightly!

The other option is the library. It’s perks are as follows…1) No cost! 2) I can get a lot of books at one time which allows me to explore authors without making any messy commitments, 3) You can find things at the library you can’t generally find in the bookstore. Wonderful old books whose pages speak of a long list of readers who have traveled ahead of you.

The drawbacks are mostly aesthetic. The books from the library can be damaged or have weird, icky stains on them from who knows where or they might have crucial pages missing for some mysterious reason. But I’m really not that shallow!

The biggest library drawback is the giving back! I just can’t seem to do that sometimes! And the time limits! Sometimes I can read a whole book in a day, but sometimes I need longer and the pressure of the two week time limit unnerves me.

I can’t ever seem to get them back on time, it’s some sort of deep seated rebellion on my part. My contribution to anarchy, if you will. But then I feel guilty and end up paying all these fines and the librarians get a little upset when they see me coming and my husband refuses to let me use his library card because he has a sterling record and…and…!!

Okay, I need to close this post as I am panicking again.

Oh, how I hate to be out of books!


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