Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Bibliophile's Dilemma

I have a problem. It’s something that’s been an issue throughout my whole life and I can’t seem to stop. It’s cost me thousands of dollars, untold hours, and at times, left me isolated and alone.
I’m speaking, of course, about reading.

More specifically, about reading too fast.

You see, I read really fast. I’m not being immodest, it’s just what it is. It’s been a handy trait at many points in my life, especially college, but it’s also been kind of a pain in the butt. I buy a book, go home, and then start reading. Four or five hours later, I’m done. Books just don’t last for me and it’s kind of irritating.

Just last Friday I got a box of two books I ordered online and about four hours later, I’d finished the first one and was reaching for the second. I stopped myself and now the unread book sits by my chair, taunting me. Yet I know, if I pick it up, I’ll just read through the whole thing and then be sans books yet again.

When I was a kid, I used to buy two and three books a week. I had a part-time job and no expenses, so I could buy books. There was an independent bookstore near my work (Books & Books) so I would often browse through it before/after work. The owner had a reputation among my friends for being mean, but he loved me and once gave me a slightly damaged bikini calendar.  Of course, I was buying probably forty-bucks worth of merchandise a month.

In college, my dorm-mate read at a glacial pace. He spent an entire semester reading a Star Trek novel, while I went through a couple a week. Being an English major, it wasn’t bad, as I always had something to read for class. Now, I kind of envy Vince. He got like three-months enjoyment out of one book. 

Yes, libraries do exist, but I have a thing about keeping books. It’s not the smartest choice I could make, the fourteen-odd boxes of books in storage testament to that, but it’s what I do. Kindle/Nooks/Tablets are also an option, but I don’t really like reading on those. A book is a physical presence with a feel and a heft and a smell. Tablets are just kind of sterile, I guess.

Now, if they could make a tablet that smelled like a book, I’d be all over it. Which begs the question: could you get ‘book-smell’ air fresheners for your car? Or book-smell deodorant? These are things I would buy.


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