An Honorable Addiction
Posted on February 12, 2016
Rocket-man has been away again on business travel for the week and I’ve had extra time on my hands, or so it seems, due to days of ridiculously cold weather (and some snow showers too) that have kept me indoors. In an effort not to feel like a caged cat I used to literally plunge my way outdoors even on the worst winter weather days but age seems to have made me a veritable marshmallow. Now, more often than not, I much prefer sinking into the coziness of my sofa with a book, a cup of hot tea and The Poodle, curled up into a ball at my feet.
I did however brave the elements—as it were—the other day when cabin fever seriously nipped at my heels. Since I had a Barnes and Noble coupon I decided an outing was in order–just a quick trip mind you–to spend an hour, or so, perusing the book store. As I drove down one hill and up another making my way to the store I made a mental note to not succumb to purchasing books despite the 20% coupon burning a whole in my purse. I’ve boxed up what seems like a ton of books for the upcoming move and I’ve donated boatloads more in the last two months.
I do not need any more books! Repeat: I do not need any more books!
Once inside the store I pulled off my scarf and gloves, donned my reading glasses and got straight to the business of leisurely strolling through the book aisles, stopping as well at the various tables and book displays. After about a half hour or so I had a pile of books in hand. It was now time to indulge in my favorite part of my ritual of going to Barnes and Noble.
I headed for the coffee counter.
Ah, Yes. This is the part of my Barnes and Noble fix that I love the most…and, naturally, what sets it apart from spending time in a library. I love to take my stack of books to a small table—preferably by a window— and sift through random chapters or even the table of contents while I enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or a grande non-fat latte. Sometimes I even get a sweet treat to go along with my hot beverage although I am trying to break myself of that habit. I’ll thumb through my stack of chosen books determining whether their contents resonate with me on any level. What can I learn from this book? Or, would this one be an entertaining read? Through this process, made all the more enjoyable with a cup of coffee is often how I select books to buy (other than the word-of-mouth route).
Hmm. Wait a minute. Didn’t I vow not to buy any books today?
Ah…you guessed it. I did not listen to my advice. I walked out of the book store..back into the cold night air…with not one, but six books.
Sigh. I should have known better; I’ve never come out of Barnes and Nobel empty-handed. I’m an addict, I know, but I am here to say that there is such a thing as a good addiction. Mine takes a small bite out of the budget for sure, but it is a certainly a well-intentioned, honorable one.
Yes, there are a lot worse things to be addicted to. Still, my only problem with reading is the amount of time spent sitting. Though I see lots of people doing it, I’m not one for reading while on the elliptical at the gym, or the spin bike either; It just doesn’t work for me. And, though I’ve only seen it once, I cannot read while walking outdoors (truthfully, I was in awe of the woman doing it.). Hence, it takes me huge chunks of time to get through my stacks; quite the work in progress really. What I need now (hint, hint… you know who you are) is at least one week at the beach! That would be a sure-fire way of knocking down my growing stack of unread books.
(Ahem. In case you missed it: that hint-hint would be for you Rocket-man.)
Inquiring minds might want to know that my Barnes and Nobel purchase was an eclectic mix:
The Seven Story Mountain, by Thomas Merton
It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About Isis, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate, by Glenn Beck
The Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Road to Little Dribbling, by Bill Bryson
The Art of Grace; On Moving Well Through Life, by Sarah L. Kaufman
The Time of Our Lives, by Peggy Noonan
So off to the sofa I retreat with my stack of books, The Poodle and, because it is after a certain hour, with a glass of red wine instead of coffee. I close my eyes and pick a book from the stack.
Okay then. Let’s start with The Art of Grace.
So many books. So little time.