Addiction

I have a problem. A very large problem, one that tends to take over my life every two weeks. It comes on slowly, perhaps by chance, when I look at the calendar and realize what day it is. My heart starts to race, and as the dreaded day grows closer, I begin to lose focus, my mind already distracted by the upcoming cycle of events. Can I wait that long? Who’s going to be trying to stop me this time? What’s-his-name owes me money, and I should really get it back so I can make proper use of it.

When the day itself arrives, I’m on an adrenaline high, craving my fix. I need it to be 6:30 so I can clock out. I need my fix, and I need it now. I get twitchy and excitable, and I dream of that dark corner where I can slip away from everyone and enjoy my stash.

Thursday was one of those days. It was payday.

My addiction? Books*.

*just books, thank you very much**.
**Okay, and maybe shoes.

Lately I’ve come to realize I have a problem. Or, rather, I’ve always known, but chose to ignore it. I’ve had a job since I was 14, and part of my paychecks have always gone toward books. Now that I work in publishing, well, I’m doomed for the rest of my life. On the bright side, being in this industry means you sometimes get free books, something I will never turn down. But every two weeks, when that paystub is handed to me, I get a hankerin’ to take a trip to Barnes & Noble. Even if I only buy one book, there’s something oddly satisfying about walking around with that cream and green bag (well, now they have holiday bags, but that’s irrelevant), and the weight of it as you stand chest to shoulder with people on the train.

Looking around my (unbelievably messy) room, I can spot at least 15 books that I’ve purchased and not yet read. I also know for a fact that there is a large stack of books at my parents house in Wisconsin that contains more books that I need to (and want to) read. Luckily, I think I’m bringing an extra suitcase home for the holidays, so I can just fill it up with crap and bring it back to NY with me. (For the record, I would love to see the airport guy’s face as he scans my bag full of books, baking utensils, and other random baubles and junk.)

But, knowing I have this problem (or at least, finally acknowledging it) means I have the power to do something about it. So I’d like to go on record as saying I will not buy any new books until I’ve read all of the ones currently on my shelf. I am well aware of the fact that I will probably fail this challenge (especially since I have yet to buy a book with money from this latest paycheck), but I am going to make a valiant effort. (A valiant effort to fail.)

Anyone else out there walking around with the same illness? I know you people exist. Show yourself!

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