Books have Become my Addiction

by uninvitedwriter

Books have been an important part of my life since I first learned how to read. Even though I now have a Kindle, I still love to buy hardcopy books. I have several collections.

I have a confession to make. I have an addiction, an addiction that eats away at my meagre income constantly and I've been known to spend a week's salary at a time on it. What, you may ask, am I addicted to? Is it drugs? Is it alcohol? Is it gambling?

My addiction, the addiction that costs me so much, is books. I love books. I have at least 5 separate book collections and another two or so collections in their infancy. I pick up books whenever I see them. I used to work at a place where publishers dropped off uncorrected proofs and advanced reading copies and I usually took home 5 or 6 a week. I could also buy ex-library books for $1 at work. I must have bought at least 5 a month. I could also buy books on discount through work, the cost of which was automatically taken off my paycheque. Now I have to pay full price or at least get a friend still working there to order me a book.

Before I invested in 4 bookcases my books were everywhere. They took over the linen closet, they took over my dining room table, they took over numerous canvas bags. I currently have 330 books in my Library Thing catalogue (one is currently missing and it is tearing me apart, it's as if one of my children is missing...if I had any children to miss).

The Lost Generation

My largest book collection is dedicated to the Lost Generation. I first became interested in them after reading the book Geniuses Together by Humphrey Carpenter. Currently the collection includes 20 books. I haven't added to it in a little while. I am not sure why I am so interested in the Lost Generation. I guess a community of like-minded writers appeals to me and is something I would like to be a part of.

I am more interested in the writers that don't get all the attention. The ones most people mention when discussing the Lost Generation are Hemingway, Fitzgerald and MacLeish. I am more interested in writers such as Djuna Barnes, Mina Loy, Kay Boyle and Robert McAlmon.

I also consider Sylvia Beach to be a part of that group. It was at her bookstore and lending library, Shakespeare and Company that people would meet and interact with one another. Her book about that time called Shakespeare and Company is one of the better books in my collection.

My collection also includes some of Gertrude Stein's works; it was she who coined the term Lost Generation to describe this generation of authors.

Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties

Noel Riley Fitch has written a perfect book, full to the brim with literary history, correct and whole-hearted both in statement and in implication. She makes me feel and rememb...

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Young Tough & Terrible

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Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway's Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises

The making of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, the outsize personalities who inspired it, and the vast changes it wrought on the literary world In the summer of 1925, Erne...

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Paris Travel Books

I began collecting Paris travel books after a short trip to that great city. The collection began at another workplace. I worked at a University library and would get to have books that had been weeded from the collection. I had always liked Paris and enjoy reading about it.

My collection consists of Rough Guides, map books, a tour book from the Louvre, a Michelin guide and other guides. It has grown to include more general travel books on France.

France: A Modern History from the Revolution to the War with Terror

With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous. Critically acclaimed historian and political...

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100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go

Told in a series of stylish, original essays, New York Times travel bestseller 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go is for the serious Francophile, the woman dreaming of a...

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Rick Steves France 2016

You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in France.With this guide, you’ll explore sleepy villages, romantic hill towns, and cosmopol...

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Writing Books

I have a large collection of books on the craft of writing and on grammar. It also includes biographies and autobiographies of writers. The collection began from various books that I had used while in college and various courses taken since. That includes The Elements of Style,Roget's Thesaurus and the Chicago Manual of Style. It also includes less "official" writing books such as Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury and Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

I enjoy reading books about writing not only to learn how to be a better writer but because it also feels like I am sharing something with a like-minded person. While all writers are different obviously, there is some sort of connection between all writers and would-be writers.

The Elements of Style (4th Edition)

You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. ...

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Zen in the Art of Writing

"Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your ...

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"Books are the carriers of civilization...They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print."

Barbara W. Tuchman

Beginning

As both star and director of the acclaimed film Henry V, young Branagh has had his career compared to that of Lawrence Olivier. Full of charm, humor, and insight into an actor's...

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Kenneth Branagh and Shakespeare

My favourite Shakespearean film-maker and actor is Kenneth Branagh. It was through my appreciation of his art that I began my next collection.

This collection features books about Kenneth Branagh, books about his films based on Shakespeare plays, editions of Shakespeare which he has adapted for film, Shakespeare books that he has written introductions for, and copies of many of Shakespeare's plays. This collection works its way into my DVD and VHS collection also; I have 3 of Branagh's films that are based on Shakespeare and one of his films about a group of people putting on Hamlet called A Midwinter's Tale.

The oldest book in this collection is from 1897 and features Shakespeare's comedies. I bought it at a used-book sale while I worked at the University library. Other books are from the early 1900s also.

This collection now includes a Shakespeare doll that a friend gave me for Christmas last year and a pack of trivia cards.

Will Power
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Robert F. Kennedy

I have quite a few books about Robert F. Kennedy. He is a personal hero of mine and I like reading about him and seeing rare photographs.

The first book that started my collection was Robert Kennedy: A Memoir by Jack Newfeld. It is the book that started off my obsession of having to read every book on RFK that I could find. It is well written and very personal. It's hard to find a new copy these days and the one I have is missing the front cover.

Since that book I have bought over 20 more. Most are biographies and one is a novel, When Bobby Kennedy was a Moving Man. It's a very enjoyable and definitely strange, humorous novel. Strangely, my collection does not include any books written by Kennedy himself. I have read them though. One day I will add them to my collection.

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Satchel comes an in-depth, vibrant, and measured biography about the most complex and controversial member of the Kennedy family.N...

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Robert Kennedy: His Life

He was "Good Bobby," who, as his brother Ted eulogized him, "saw wrong and tried to right it . . . saw suffering and tried to heal it." And "Bad Bobby," the ruthless and manipul...

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Robert Kennedy and His Times

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., chronicles the short life of the Kennedy family's second presidential hopeful in "a story that leaves the reader aching for what cannot be recaptured...

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Various Collections

I have some smaller collections. When I find an author I like I tend to want to read everything they have written. Some of the writers I obsess over are James Baldwin, Jane Austen, The Bronte sisters, William S. Burroughs, James Joyce and Albert Camus.

I also am starting to get quite a few "chick-lit" books and some young adult novels. And, like I mentioned before, many are uncorrected proofs and ex-library books. Those form a collection on their own but occasionally cross over into other collections.

"In the highest civilization the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity"

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Why are Books so Addictive?

So, why do I have this addiction to books? I love books, as you can tell from the number of collections I have. I love the smell of a new book. I love cracking the spine on an unread book. I love the feel of a leather bound book or the look of an old book published in the 19th century and still readable. Of course, what is written inside adds to the attraction of the books. The knowledge of the world is at my fingertips. I have a diploma in Library Techniques and was a cataloguer for years. I used to work in a book wholesalers. Now I am writing my own ebooks. I can honestly say that books are my life.

When I had my books in storage I found that I missed seeing them. Now that I have them on display in my living room, my dining room and my kitchen I feel so much better. My apartment feels more like a home when I can see, and touch, and even smell my books.

A lot of people share my love of books, that is why I think there will always be a place for the printed book. I enjoy audiobooks and I read books on my Kindle daily, but a book printed on paper with an attractive cover will always have a place in my life and in my living room.

The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is on April 15, 2012. It is a story that captivates us to this day. This is the story of one of her victims.
Wild blueberries are being touted as a miracle fruit by some. Supposedly, they can help avoid cancer and are good at lowering cholesterol.
Updated: 10/18/2012, uninvitedwriter
 
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uninvitedwriter on 10/20/2012

We could have worse addictions :)

BrendaBarnes on 10/20/2012

sigh.....Perhaps we need a support group. I also love my Kindle but continue to pick up paper books. As you said, that smell, the texture and all that makes a book a book is irresistible to me. I have weeded out thousands but still have about a thousand. It is not a bad addiction though is it?

uninvitedwriter on 10/18/2012

Thank Hollie, yes I know what you mean :)

HollieT on 10/18/2012

Hi UW,

I love books, too. I know, exactly, what you mean by breaking the spine on a new book, and the smell, the smell of a new book makes me feel almost euphoric. Ok, that's probably a bit weird, but I'm sure you know what I mean. :)

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