I am a book slut. I know how it sounds but I am. I am not great at the whole moderation thing. I am good at the all or nothing thing but not the halfway thing. I am the crazy chick who would return forty books to the library at the end of term, shortly after handing in my last essays. It was part celebration and part walk of shame. I tried my hardest to make it look like the books weren’t as heavy as they were. Today I have a bag that I take to the library because of exactly this effect. It fits a lot of books but looks almost reasonable. Almost.
To be fair I needed those books for essays, as a poli major I actually went to those shiny buildings to take out things. I enjoyed finding the China section or whatever my paper was on section. Once you found one book you had everything you needed. I knew where the different sections for my specific areas of interest were. I’d go and load up and take them home until my paper was finished.
If I went soon enough I had the bonus of beating last minute folks to the books. When they started researching two days before the paper was due I’d already have raided the section. Yes, one should be fair and share but there is also an element of hold wars to academia. Last year there were some books that everyone in my program was battling for. If you get desperate you can always read the in library copy.
Now my relationship with the library is one of shiny things and freedom. I can read anything and everything. I don’t have to do much just click a button and go collect it. Everything is free, gloriously free. It’s a problem. I like to read a number of books at once and search for every book on a topic. Then I end up with a huge pile of books that I can never get through and it stresses me out. I have all these books but I’m not finishing any of them.
So one of my new years resolutions is to cut back on the holds. I need to finish what I start and have a reasonable number of books out. One graphic novel series at a time. No more than three non-fiction and novels. When I finish one I can get a new one. Reference books are fine. My shelf is narrower and I feel a whole lot less crazy.
I also don’t feel the guilt of due dates looming before I can even start a book that I brought home with good intentions. I am trying not to be distracted by the hundreds of books I want to read. Instead I am trying to pay attention to the ones I have here and now. And now I feel like a sane normal person when I go to the library.