Monday, April 03, 2006

Obsession

Obsession: 1. a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly: compelling motivation; 2. something that causes an obsession : deriving from obsession.

Yep, that's it. In a nutshell. In yesterday's comments Brandy said something about not having that many books on a TBR pile, that she thought a "TBR pile should be more than 3 books high! That's all I manage to keep on hand at one time." That made me get up and count the books on my TBR shelf, and in my stack of hardbacks, and on the computer as ebooks - all unread. 77 books. Yes folks, I have 77 books lined up to read and have two more coming from Amazon and 4 more on pre-order. (I had thought 59, but then I remembered that I had more on another shelf that were automatic "keepers" and I had set them aside until I finished the ones that I wasn't going to keep) I would call that an obsession. Not only that, but I borrow books from the bookstore all of the time. I can't help myself. Its a compulsion, an addiction, and yes, a sickness. One that, until I counted the books, didn't bother me at all. A lot of us buy an extraordinary amount of books. But 77? (Well, 83 if you count the ones on the way and on pre-order). It's downright embarrassing. Like I'm the Imelda Marcos of books. It wouldn't be that bad if I said I had 83 books on my shelf. I'm sure a lot of us have quite a few books on our shelves. But 83 that we hadn't even read yet - why am I continuing to buy books? Do I have this fear that we're all of a sudden going to run out of books so I must hoard them now? Is there a 12-step program for bookaholics? Do I need a sponsor? Someone I can call up whenever I feel the compulsion to buy a book? And what about libraries? Do I need to stop going to places that have books so that I won't be tempted. And once a bookaholic, will I always be a bookaholic?

What about you? Is there something that you are strangely obsessed about? Come on, fess up.

Oh, and Lis won the draw. Email me with your snail mail address.


Reluctant Reunion Word Count: 4.544
Tonights Word Count: 433
Late night talk with the SIL: priceless

47 comments:

Kate Hardy said...

Eve, there's nothing wrong with being obsessed with books. Haven't counted my TBR pile and I'm not sure how many books I have (somewhere between one and two thousand). I have a bad book-buying habit. It's also a CD-buying habit. But then again, I don't smoke or do drugs or drink that much, so I reckon I need *some* vices :o) (And no, eating chocolate doesn't count)

Lis said...

Thanks Eve! Emailed you, let me know if you got it...if there's a support group for book people, you might need to let me know...my bookshelf's getting scary! hehe
*sigh* Hi I'm Lis and I have several embarassing habits. Besides my er, book addiction (TBR pile is 33 strong and growing, 3 in the mail from Ehq order plus another 6 in the shopping cart and another half dozen on the amazon wishlist) I have a strong affection for the WWE and NHL, which causes me to spend scary amounts of money to support my habit. T-shirts, posters, DVDs, CDs, jerseys, tickets. You name it, I just might own it. Plus I store gardening flower seeds like books, can't bare to lose any. Explains why I have two plastic cubbies full of seeds from last year and a plastic box full of unused seeds that I just keep adding to :o)

Scott said...

I used to have the same obsession with books, and spent a fortune at Barnes and Noble, but after a while, I got a sick feeling, and still have it, because those books piled up, and I still have no intention of reading half of them. I started going to the library. I reserve books and never read them, and return them guilt free. It's a process, but it can be done.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

I love being obsessed with books!! I don't quite have as many in my TBR pile -- at least, I don't think I do, maybe I should count -- but I start to get twitchy if I don't have a few unread books stashed here and there all through the house. I even keep one in the car.

The sign of a terrific book is one that I carry with me wherever I go because I can't stop reading it!

Dennie McDonald said...

okay now - see, to me the TBR pile is pretty much any of the books I have that I haven't read yet - where your rank in the TBR is, is a whole 'nother thing.

I, being the OCD/ADD person that I, have categlogued my books - I have 1012 total - that includes e-books - and about 1/3 I need to read - help me now!

Dennie McDonald said...

oh and I tend to not buy books for months then buy 60 in two weeks - don't tell the Dh (not that he can't see how full my bookcases are - but I hide them too!)

jason evans said...

Keep buying! The publishing industry needs all the help it can get. Reading the purchases is purely optional. ;)

Bailey Stewart said...

Now we're not talking about how many books I have on my shelves (10 1/2 shelves worth). This is just my TBR pile. When am I going to get them all read?

Bailey Stewart said...

Oh, and then there are the books that are boxed up in the garage that used to be on my study shelves before Bebo moved in. Did I mention boxes?

Kate - are you sure eating chocolate doesn't count?

Lis - and what about Don Johnson?


Scott - but here's the thing, I would have to go to the Library. Right now I go to borders on-line and then click.

Joely - the twitch is the give-away.

Dennie - and this includes ebooks. I don't always buy them all at once, but they seem to trickle in by mail - sometimes I don't even remember ordering them (blush)

Jason - I seem to be practicing the unread option.

And the next time I grouch because it's been too long between Jill's books, someone remind me that I still have 4 on the Shalvis Shrine that I haven't read yet (Don't tell her, I just keep forgetting that I have them).

Peggy said...

I had to count. 27 books waiting in my TBR pile.

Obsession? I'm sure I've got one (probably more) but can't think of one at the top of my head.

Bailey Stewart said...

27 isn't bad Peggy. You have a manageable TBR pile.

Sandy J said...

My obsession? Books, books, and more books! I love the feel, the smell, the looks of them. They just seem to call my name all the time.

I have no clue how many that are in my TBR pile, but it won't stop me from buying more. I am so glad I am in good company! :-)

Oh, and I do tend to spend money on scrapbooking supplies. Another weakness, but not as bad as books.

Bailey Stewart said...

Sandy - yes, books seem to be the number 1 compulsion. :)

Meretta said...

I say it's only a bad thing if you feel guilty or overwhelmed. But if you'd like, I can be your sponsor. I'll talk you down from the ledge whenever you feel like you need it.

And if you *must* buy the book...give it to the library first and then take it out later when you have the time and inclination to read it. That way you're not overwhelmed by the sight of the TBR pile and someone else gets to enjoy it in the meantime.

Of course this is just a theory and you don't see me doing it, but WTH? Somebody's got to start somewhere. I volunteer you. GOOD LUCK! ;D

Mary said...

I have a book obsession going on too ;) I'm like Joely in that I have "to read" books all over... I have one in the car too! LOL Hey... you never know when you'll get stuck in car (laughing). I try to plan what I'm going to read... but I am often struck by moods. I might have one or two books that are up to read but then a mood strikes and I might just have to read a western that night instead. So unread books are a must to keep up with my ever changing moods.

Bailey Stewart said...

Meretta - LOL Give it to the library! But what if I need it in the middle of the night? What if the other 50 I keep in the pile just doesn't do it for me? What if someone checks it out just when I need it? Or worse, drops it in the bathtub and ruins it? Oh this is bad. What if I just hand the card over to Bebo? Back away slowly from my books bwwwwwwwhhhhhhaaaaaaa!!!

Bailey Stewart said...

Mary - Hi (waving) When I used to house sit for a living I had a suitcase (smallish) just for books, at least two of every genre that I read because I never knew what I might be in the mood to read. I also have a couple of books with bookmarks in them, not because the book wasn't good enough to finish, but my mood for that subject may have waned for the moment. Then there are the books that I really want to read, but I'm having a problem with them and instead of giving up I keep thinking I'll give them another try. Perhaps I just need to give those up?

Susan said...

I'm down to 9 in my TBR pile! Yikes, now I know why I spent a couple of hours on Barnes and Noble & Borders yesterday.

Bailey Stewart said...

Just 9? Oh Susan - tsk, tsk, tsk.

BTW, all books are in their envelopes ready to mail (even Room Service Susan). They'll go out this week.

Susan said...

Okay I'll be up to 10 then and one of the books in my TBR pile is actually 3 completely different stories by 3 authors in one book.

Bailey Stewart said...

Better LOL And I guess anthologies can count as three different books - although that would definitely up my amount of books *gg*

Toni Anderson said...

My TBR pile is only about 30. I do think there comes a time when you just say STOP and read what you've got. Until your fav author issues a new one :)

christa said...

Um Eve would this be a good time to tell you I have 172 books in my TBR pile(or should I say boxes) and I just got another 6 Desire and somewhere there is an order with another 6. I did really good when I visited me sister and only came home with Sean and Talk Nerdy to Me. Usually I end up going to the Goodwill(big selection) and coming home with a big bag full(hey you never know when your going to be there again and that book might not be there. For $.50 you can't go wrong)
I usually average about one book a day(finished The Cowboy Returns last night)
I don't really have any other vices. I don't smoke(anymore), I don't drink(much) and Kate said eating chocolate doesn't count(I'm going with that)
But I figured out a way to help each other, I keep sending you books(there are still the 200 in my closet that I have read, I'm not touching the 350 on my keeper shelf so don't even ask) so then you won't have to buy as many and I can clear some room in my closet.
This is not an obsession(I think I'm at the denial stage)

christa said...

Eve you look very Springy today.

Bailey Stewart said...

Toni - if only I could. It's pathetic.

Christa - just keep sending them and I'll keep getting more for you LOL You make me feel soooo much better.

Bailey Stewart said...

Christa - yeah, it's not a bad day out there now. Humidity of the last two days (note the rain gear the other day) was terrible, but it's gone. Anyway, pay attention to the Avatar - sometimes it might indicate my mood - or I might just have forgotten to change it LOL

catslady said...

I just love hearing that there are so many others as bad or in worse shape than me lol. I'm a pack rat at heart to begin with but my books...just like Sandy! I'm constantly reshuffling my tbr pile (and it's huge). I hate the fact that some are boxed away (even unread ones) but I have really run out of room (not that it stops me from getting more lol). I stay away from ebooks only because I spend too much time on this computer (INSTEAD OF READING) and I enter contests so I can win more books!!!! I bet every one of us here could start our own libraries.

Brandy said...

As the one who seems to have started all this, Oops! I didn't mean to start something!I now only have 2 books in my TBR 'stack', so I refuse to feel sorry for those who have way more. As a matter of fact, I'm still jealous. However, I will be buying a book tomorrow!!!!

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm obsessed with books. I proudly admit it. But next time I move, I shall have to get other people who are just as obsessed so they don't complain the entire time! My dad and brother couldn't understand why I kept my books after I got done reading them. Or how I could read all that I have!

Sigh...if they're not a book lover, there's just no way to explain it...

Jordan Summers said...

You know I have the same sickness. I have way more than 80 something in my TBR pile. I'm making small inroads into my ebook 'pile', but my paperback section just continues to grow and grow. We're talking the blob here. I can't seem to stop buying them either.

Bailey Stewart said...

That's why when I tell people about my dream house I tell them that I want a huge library w/lots of shelves and little nooks w/inset lighting for cuddling in and reading.

Melissa - they're not normal :O

Shesawriter said...

We all are obsessed with something. And books are a very healthy way to escape, especially if you're a writer. My TBR pile is ridiculous.

Amie Stuart said...

Books, CD's, Movies, and yeah even T-shirts =)

Amie Stuart said...

Melissa...when I moved, I put the books on the bottom and filled half the boxes with house stuff so no one could see all the books!!!!!!

No one knows, no one! BWAAAAAAAA

Bailey Stewart said...

Tanya - I've decided that after reading all of this is ridiculous. We love books, plain and simple.

Cece - oh you're crafty ;-)

Toni Anderson said...

And I know what book Brandy is buying ...vbg

Olga said...

I think it's nothing to be ashamed of, vice versa. You like books, and that's great!

Brandy said...

Toni, I bet you do!!!! I swear I'm this close being there when the bookstore opens at 9am!!!!! Eve, are you going to read it? I scouted around a little today, no one put it out early. :(

Bailey Stewart said...

And what book would that be? *gg*

Hey Olga - take care sweetie.

Bebo the Freeloading SIL said...

Okay, I haven't been here in a while but I feel I MUST comment - because I just counted & I have 22 unread books here - AND THIS ISN'T EVEN MY HOUSE!!!! AND I keep raiding Eve's TBR pile & ignoring my own. Even the 6 I just bought at Borders yesterday! (one is an anthology - do you count all 3 books each, or is it just one because all under the same binding? hmmm) And that's not including the textbooks waiting - and lets not count the 20boxes of books sitting in the storage unit (I know at least one is full of TBRs) I'm not quite at obsession level with this, but I definitely have an ongoing love affair with words on the page & the smell of books (new or used doesn't matter.)
And we must NEVER count chocolate as an obsession. Chocolate is a NECESSITY.

Dennie McDonald said...

um.... Cece

a) I have seen your books

b) you just told, hun - now EVERYone know - bwahhhhh


I am obsessive about other stuff too - if I find a piece of clothing/shoes that fits, I buy four or five ...

Bailey Stewart said...

It's out? In print? Where?

Bailey Stewart said...

Dear Freeloader - you're not nearly as obsessive as I am.

Dennie - I wasn't going to point it out to her. I do the same thing with clothes, mainly because I hate shopping for clothes.

Lis said...

D'oh you're right! How could I forget about Sonny Crockett/DJ??

ruby55 said...

Yeah, well, that's my whole life and everybody and their grandmother is trying to make me give it up: books, postcards, travel literature, maps, books, articles and books on history, paleontology, archaeology and astronomy, books, and clothes and Avon stuff and books. You get the drift.

I do it too, and it's totally ridiculous: I've got piles and piles and piles of keepers but I'm trying to read less worthy books and library books before the "keepers" and yet I'm keeping them all. Grrr.

I've tried to figure out when and why I got this obsession. I have a few ideas. Oh yes, and I've taped oodles of shows of all kinds on VCR and of course, those babies also take up a lot of room. I also have several boxes of LPs, cassettes, CDs and DVDs. Here's my brother telling me to get rid of my stuff and what does he do? Brings me a case with cassettes to see if I'd like any of them. No wonder my move took so long and cost me an arm and a leg. Anything I can save, I do. Cheesh.

ruby55 said...

You're right, Mary, I feel the same way about my books. I want some that I can just quickly "inhale" in a couple of hours and others that will take me days. But confidentially, I do simply have too many books--no two ways about it. I've read maybe a third of the ones I've catalogued if that many. And I've been reading for a long, long time.

Scott said...

Eve - you could order your books online as I do at my library. Yes, that means you have to physically run in and pick them up at the counter, which is kind of social I guess...