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The Book Fiend

a pile of booksImage by pteittinen via Flickr

When I was growing up as a youngster in New Orleans, drug addicts were referred to as “dope fiends.” Now, as a child, I really had no idea what a “dope fiend” was, but I knew what it wasn’t–a term of endearment. The reason that I am bringing this up, is because I have a confession to make. I. Am. A. Book. Fiend. There, I’ve said it, I am a book fiend.

Anyone who knows me long enough, will quickly notice one thing about me. It’s the books–they are everywhere. I blame my mother for my love of reading and curiosity. As a young girl, I remember seeing her, in a rare moment of quiet or non doing, with a paperback book in hand. Although I have absolutely no proof, I imagine her enjoying some tawdry, romance novel, as a means of escaping the gripping stress and drudgery of raising four children by her self. I suppose the paperback was her ‘calgon take me away’ moment.
For the most part, I prefer hardbacks, but of course, my ‘library’ contains a liberal numbers of paperbacks as well. The books are here, there, everywhere. Months ago, my amazing friend K. came over to help me get the disorganized organized. Knowing her as I do, I am certain that she wanted nothing more than to single-handedly haul every book that I owned to Goodwill, but good friend that she is, she choose to ignore them. 
Good luck to the person who decides to ‘figure me out’ by the books in my ‘library.’ I have books ranging from How God Changes Your Brain, to the Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism,  The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbs, The Poetry of Robert Frost, Mindfulness Yoga, Blink, The Book of Stones, The Artist’s Way, The Lives of Saints, The Tibetan Book of Death and Dying, Symbols of Catholicism, Web Design for Dummies, The Right to Write, The Color of Water, Living Deeply, Essence and Alchemy, The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy and everything in between. I love them and can’t bring myself to get rid of them–unless they are truly awful. I do pass on current fiction one-time reads so that others can enjoy them (the women in my doctor’s office loves me!).  I also donate more than a few tragic mistakes to Goodwill. With that said, it should surprise you to learn that I still have scores of books. Seriously. At this point, I can’t begin to estimate the number of books that I own, but because of a brilliant online cataloguing system, I know that it is 256 and counting. So, a while back, I began a campaign to get the books under control.  
When I first heard about the Kindle, and given my love for the good old tree guzzling book back in my youth, I thought “blasphemy.” I insisted that I’d never own one. Like a gunslinger, I am always quick to sling the word “never” and just as quick to categorize its utterance as a momentary lack in judgment. Anyway, as I was picking myself out of the avalanche of books that littered my bedroom floor, realism and idealism had a face to face, and the evil Kindle was welcomed into our home–overnight, as I recall. Gasp!
Yet,  as my mother always said, “you have to give the devil his due,” I have seen the light! I love my Kindle. I have had one for at least a year and currently, I have about 45 books on it. Its light weight, easy to use and perfect for an avid reader and chronic pain suffer–unfortunately, there are still some books that for me the digital method will not suffice. Some books hold such a place in my heart that I want that old-school book to put on my shelf (or stack on the floor somewhere) and later pass on to my children or grandchildren for them to do the same. I just can’t see doing that with a digital book. I guess that until a digital book finds a way into my heart like that, it will remain just that, an e-book, but not a treasured possession that one can truly pass on to family and friends. 
I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I will always be a book fiend. There are more worrisome “fiends” as my childhood showed. Yes, I am a book fiend. I am a book fiend. I am a book fiend. I am a book fiend, I am a book fiend. I AM a book fiend. 
P.S. I ordered a book yesterday. I needed it–really!
Blessings, Peace and Love, 
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