28 January 2010

Snoopy and the Red Baron

Current mood: suspicious

I'd like to tell you that I'm ready
For whatever's coming
But to be honest there's a part of me
That loses control
~ “A Lifeless Ordinary” by Motion City Soundtrack

At least once a year I find myself reminded of my poor library habits. As a child, I loved the library. I would go and spend hours there. Then, having very little “pocket money, I would borrow books for free. And, because my parents were far more responsible than me, I would have them returned, on time. It was a beautiful arrangement – and one that kept me on the “straight and narrow”. By the time I was in college, I had been “politely discouraged” from checking out any more books due to my inability to return them in a timely manner. I happily paid the fines; and created aliases to maintain my lending status. Eventually, though, I hot a wall with Madame Librarian, and I began to use my discretionary income to purchase books.

At first, I would just go to Thrift Shops (or even library sales) to make these inexpensive acquisitions. I was a recreational book buyer. I only did it when my friends were doing it too. (Or when my grandmother gave me gift cards to Barnes and Noble). That’s how it begins. Grandma gets you hooked – and then BAM! ‘


When I moved half-way across the country the first time, I moved 19 boxes of books. As I aged, the collection grew larger and larger. Soon, my personal library was well over 1,000. Every week or so, a new book would find its way into my shelves, which were double and triple stacked. Upon my divorce, we moved 55 boxes. Yes, 55. That is five-five. Most people don’t even own 50 books. I owned that many boxes. You may recall that I hired a personal organizer to help me get rid of some of them. As she was helping me sort, I was kicking the new shipment of books that had been received under my bed so she didn’t know I was still buying. Shameful!

My next cross-country move inspired me to purge and I did, cutting the entire collection back down to a “manageable size”, around 25 boxes – all of which are still in storage, though organized and safe from harm. Somehow, over the past 18 months, I have accumulated approximately 100 new volumes. I don’t know how it happened. Well, actually, I do. . . Borders Clearance Racks; Half-Price Books; and Daedalus Books online.

Seeing that my addicition has once again taken over my limited storage space, I am going to try to take advantage of my local library. Luckily, there is help for people like me. Someone with similar issues has taken it upon herself to create a marvelos reminder system to returen library books on time. Perhaps I should spend the $4.00 and end up saving hundreds in overdue library fines.

Overdue Book Calendar (PDF) only $4.00

PUBLIC NOTE: If you know anyone who wants to purchase extremely gently used books from me, I am willing to sell. It’s like tearing off a band-aid. Just do it.

PRIVATE NOTE: I cannot wait to see you next week. Yay! Yay!

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.