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Monday, April 7, 2008

Just One More Page

Just one more reason to love the library.

The other day I popped by the library to pick up a book I had on reserve when I noticed a shelf with books on sale. I love two things:
  1. Books
  2. Deals
So I naturally had to browse. I was delighted to go home with The Handmaid's Tale and Brave New World for the big price of $1.

And to top it off, I got a card in the mail that a new second-hand book shop is opening in my city. This is big news for me since I live in one of those suburbs where you can find every sort of fancy chain restaurant and chain retail store you can possibly think of, where there are about 16 different chain gyms and trendy lifestyle shopping centers with stores so new the sawdust has barely settled. But sadly, unique little local shops and second-hand sellers don't exist here. So with a second hand book in my city, it's doubtful that I will continue my non-book-buying trend. I get a little crazy when paperbacks are $.50.

Just One More Page

Last week I was deep into Speaker for the Dead and 10 o 'clock rolled around. I usually go to bed around 10, 10:30ish, because I get to work at 8am. I wasn't quite ready to go to bed yet; the book was getting kind of interesting. So I told myself I'd just finish the chapter and continue to read the next day, after work. Reading might be my guilty pleasure, but I was in control, I'd finish the chapter, and that would be that.

You know what happened next. The siren call of the book lured me in and lowered my defenses. One chapter led to another. Led to another. Somewhere in the wee hours of the night I finally said "enough is enough! I have to work tomorrow! I am in control of this addiction!" Even though I was just a few pages from the end of the book, I finally managed, with herculean effort, to put down the book and stumble into bed.

I awoke the next day and three thoughts went through my brain.
  1. Ouch it hurts to be awake
  2. Oh this means I can read again.
  3. Oh crap this also means I have to go to work.
I read furiously during my spare seconds before work, cursing the clock. Could I call in sick? Nah, no time off built up yet. Could I be late and blame it on traffic? Too iffy, the weather was perfect outside. I would just have to suck it up and appear normal at work. No one need know about my secret addiction. I covered up the bags under my eyes as best as I could, but my reflection in the mirror looked tired no matter how much makeup went on.

All day at work, my fuzzy brain would wander during the spare seconds to the book. 7 hours til I have that delicious pleasure of reading again. 6 hours til I have that delicious pleasure of reading again...

And so on. After I raced home and finished the next few pages, I conked out immediately on the couch. The rest of the week I spent trying to catch up from my late night.

I'd like to present this as if it was a one-time thing. A secret dalliance with my drug of choice. I'm really a casual reader, it never interferes with my social and/or mental health.

OKAY I admit it. I'm hooked. I've had problems putting the book down at night since I was a kid. Just one more page... lies I tell myself so that I can keep reading. The first step is admitting the problem, right? Alright, confession time's done. Okay, back to Brave New World. I've got some time before bed. Just one more page...


Trish said...

Ha ha! Welcome to the addiction. It could be worse, right?? I hope you like Handmaid's Tale. I love Atwood--actually reading one of her books now.

Melody said...

How exciting to have a second-hand bookstore in your area! I've to travel to town for books, but fortunately there's one not far away from my workplace, hehe...

I totally understand about the addiction!! I can't wait to read The Handmaid's Tale too! I heard that one is awesome!

Stephanie said...

Because I usually have to get out of bed at least three times during the night to tend to little ones, I generally fall fast asleep before I get to that "just one more page" problem! I do my best reading while my oldest is in school and my youngest is napping!

Nymeth said...

yay for library sales and second hand bookshops! Oh how I miss the ones in England. I go a little crazy over ridiculously cheap paperbacks too.

I love your account of your addiction. It made me smile and nod in recognition. I remember that almost the same happened to me when finishing His Dark Materials. I finally closed the book at 5am. I had to be up at 7.

Kim L said...

trish-yeah, no kidding. Atwood is a pretty great author, isn't she?

melody-I know! It is a nice luxury to have a second hand bookstore in town. Nice to know I'm not the only addict.

stephanie-I'm sure I'll get there at some point, but somehow late at night my brain justifies it.

nymeth-heehee. It meant it was a good book, right? Even though I bet you were dragging the next day. And yes, second hand stores are the best!!

Chris said...

Hooray for second had book shops! Love 'em :) We only have one here unfortunately and sadly it's almost always filled with nothing but romance novels :/ But I just wait for the big library sales.

I can totally relate to your addiction! In fact, I can relate to your Speaker for the Dead addiction. I actually skipped a whole day of classes to read that one back in college :p I couldn't put it down...actually, I may have done that with a few books. I've yet to call into work though...though I have brought books to work with me and not gotten anything done!

Carl V. said...

I loved Speaker for the Dead. With that and with Ender's Game I was just so locked in that I couldn't put them down. Amazing reads!

Debi said...

Oh, I'm jealous of your second-hand book shop! There's nothing better! We moved away from the best one ever, and still haven't quite recovered from the fact that there aren't any where we live now :(

Enjoying Brave New World? That was one of my favorite books back in high school. I really should re-read it one of these days.

Kim L said...

chris-oh bummer, I hate when there's nothing good at a used book store. And I'm impressed that you skipped classes to read. About the only thing I skipped classes for was more sleep. Shh, don't tell anyone but I took a book with me to work one time and locked myself in my office. :-)

carl-I agree, he is an amazing author! well worth staying up late.

debi-too bad you guys don't have the used book store close by, they are so handy! I am really looking forward to Brave New World. I started it long ago and never finished it.

Alice Teh said...

Ah yes... that feeling. Can't beet (I mean beat!) that feeling. Lucky you to have a secondhand bookstore in town! $0.50 paperbacks? 'Kill' me, please, people...

Susan said...

I'm not the only one! although having young children has made me recognize when I have to go to bed (usually because I'm sleeping over the book). I felt that way about Shaman's Crossing on the weekend - everything interrupted my reading, it seemed! and now Suite Francaise. Isn't it the best feeling in the world, to be so caught up in a book that that is all that matters?
so sorry, can't help you with your addiction, I think of it as basic survival requirements, to be reading!!!
and second-hand shops -sorry, we have like 10 here in Ottawa. I can't go in them. I spend money. I come out with armloads of books. Husband looks at me and weeps. I plan for another bookshelf. And wonder if he will notice if I pop in for the book I almost bought and now know I don't have....

Kim L said...

alice teh-yeah, it was a pretty great sale :-)

susan-glad I'm not the only one with a reading addiction :-) It is a great feeling to be so caught up in a book!

Hehe, I try not to buy too many books since our apartment is kind of small at the moment and I don't really have space for the books I already have, much less acquiring more. And I am also terrible at second hand books. I don't buy tons at regular book stores since they cost a lot, but when books are cheap, I go a little crazy.