I collect books. Not just good books, either. I mean, most times I have no idea if a book is in fact good when I pick it up. I just know I want to have it, so I add it to my collection and ask the hard questions later. Or never at all, because I have collected so many books that I’ve never even read. There they still sit on my bookshelves, or in large plastic containers because I ran out of bookshelf space. They sit there staring at me from those shelves, taunting me for my lack of forethought and for my inability to just leave them where they were instead of scooping them up and letting them collect dust.
My problem is that I visit too many libraries, actually. And I know what you’re thinking. I should just check books out of those libraries and return them when they’re due. But every library I go to also has a book sale, and I can’t seem to pass one by without at least browsing. Then browsing turns to buying, and before I know it I have a bag full of books and a lighter wallet. I can’t seem to resist those books because they’re usually 10 cents, or 25 cents, or 50 cents apiece, and when brand new books are usually $10 dollars or more, it’s just too good of a deal to pass up.
Sometimes I buy books because of their titles. One book looking at me from up high right now is The Bride Stripped Bare, and another is Off Season. Other titles include The Possibility of Everything, The Girl in the Steel Corset, Sold, and The Size of Thoughts. The titles or the book covers draw me in, so I pick them up and add them to my collection. Yet I haven’t read a single one of them. The reason is a simple one. I keep going to libraries.
The cycle is a vicious one, but I’ve worked hard on curbing my need to keep buying these books. In fact, the last several times I’ve visited libraries I haven’t bought a single book, and I think that’s progress. Of course at the same time I have six library books checked out at the same time, but at least I’m not paying for them. And I’m actually reading them. One day I’ll get back to The Bride Stripped Bare, and then I’ll feel justified in keeping it. Maybe.