A Book Addict fesses up

Most of my library book pile. Winnie the Pooh and Little People donkey for scale.

Most of my library book pile. Winnie the Pooh and Little People donkey for scale.

Hi, my name is Marti, and I’m a bookaholic.

(And a caramel-aholic and a game fanatic and many many other things, trust me, I have my tongue firmly in cheek right now!)

Being a bookaholic is a rough thing at times. For example, books are heavy. Maybe it’s not a problem if you’re one of those people who reads digital books, but my Kindle was smashed by persons unknown and my Kindle Fire has been, so to say, co-opted by the children for games and movies. I’m getting older and my joints aren’t so great, so hauling around books is a pain. Literally.

But mostly it’s a pain because my life is mostly lived in an intimate relationship between my eyes, my brain, and a written representation of someone else’s imagination. Actual relationships with actual people are much more difficult. People expect things. People need things. People want things. Books just give you an experience without asking for anything back.

So, probably due to my personality, but certainly not helped by reading more than 3000 books in my life (if we’re counting children’s books, it’s probably between 3 and 4 thousand), I’m pretty bad at the whole friendship thing. I’ve got a handful of friends and I love them all dearly. Of course, the problem is that none of them lives closer than 120 miles away! It’s not much of a problem if you want to keep people at arm’s length, as I’ve wanted to do most of my life, but it’s a real problem if you want to get closer to actual living people.

And, honestly, it’s hard for me to relate to most people. I have some rather peculiar hobbies and interests and tastes, and most people just don’t share those fascinations. Finding someone who does is rare and precious. My friend Lena, for example, not only would go with me to a science fiction convention, but also a Chieftains concert. We actually have too much in common sometimes– we each have a son with the same rare-as-can-be middle name. But even this great friend is someone who I’ve let down over the years, retreating into my head when my life gets too tough and I can’t deal with relationships anymore.

Of course, during the worst times, I’ve even stopped reading books. You know it’s a bad bad time in my life when there’s nothing being checked out of the library and nothing on its way from Amazon.

But how does one move out from behind the pages and out into the world? I’m not an easy person. Some people think I’m frightening. Most people just find me to be odd, distant, a little snooty.

It’s so much easier to deal with fictional people. They don’t get hurt. They can’t cut you for mysterious reasons.

Sometimes I think that it’s no mystery why I have an autistic child– I’m halfway there myself when it comes to social skills. I can type like mad, I am great at pretending to be someone else in a roleplaying game, and I’m able to use my humor and verbal skills so darn well when I have time to think about what I’m saying. In a conversation, well, not so much. In fact, not really at all. I’m too weird to hold a good conversation.

Oh well. Maybe I’ll be a late bloomer. Maybe? Maybe my book addiction won’t be such a crutch if I choose to move beyond my isolated and introverted ways.

Then I can indulge without the guilt of knowing I’m hiding behind the book, just as I was in first grade, all those years ago. Because I’m not going to stop reading . . . are you kidding? Do you know how many books I have on my to-read list??? 🙂

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