I confess that I am a major bookworm. I've been a fan of books as early as I can remember and I learned how to read by the time I was three. So it's safe to say that I've had a long and healthy relationship with books.
Books have been a source of knowledge, escape and sometimes pure literary joy--depending on the book, the topic and whatever is going on my life. There isn't anything better than spending an afternoon browsing books in my favorite book store or library. And I cannot express the joy I feel when I purchase a book that is covering some topic I've long expressed interest in, or when I find a book that I've spent a long time looking for. There is this rush of excitement that I feel knowing that I am going to add yet another book to my collection or my mental Rolodex of books that I've already read. (And yes, I'm comfortable enough to embrace this nerdy side of myself.)
Being a writer and working on a novel, only makes me want to read more. Writers are always told to read books by good writers for inspiration. And I think I subscribe to that notion. I also love to read books about writing or that seek to inspire writing. I'm not one of those writers who will claim not to read about the craft of writing as I think a lot of writing is talent, but also hard work and knowledge of craft.
In all, reading a good book is almost like fuel for me. It fuels my spirit, my energy, my creativity and sustains me with knowledge. Because of this, I am also careful about what I read for this reason (but that's whole other blog entry).
One of my good friends, Jessica, took one look at my library collection and told me that I had a serious addiction to books (and CD’s but that's another story). If there was a rehab or twelve-step program for bookworms, I'd probably have to join. But what could be so bad about a Bookworm Anonymous. I think most people would gladly proclaim membership, I certainly would.
Recently, I've discovered some really great used book stores, mostly in Lower Manhattan. They usually have a great selection of old classics and books that I've wanted to read. They also have a ton of out-of-print treasures that are easy to justify adding to my library.
My favorite book stores in the city are: Barnes & Noble, the Strand and Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem--- in no particular order. The New York Public Library system and its sister organizations, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library systems are some of the finest libraries around the country. I'm always amazed at what they have added to the collection. Members can now request any book, CD or DVD from any other branch and arrange to have it picked up at their local branch. And I take advantage of this all the time!
I've also taken to the 'Net with my bookworm fetish. I'm completely addicted to GoodReads, a great web site where I can keep track of all my books and books that I plan to or want to read in the near future. As of press date, my bookshelves contain over 2,000 books and I would say that I've read slightly less than 50% of that amount.
In order to fulfill this need to read, I have had to make a tough choice between the books and the TV. And since so many of my favorite shows are being canceled, the battle has become easier to win. I've been wanting to cut down on the telly a bit for a while now and books give me the perfect excuse.
Bottom line, I cannot imagine my life without books. They expand my world give me another perspective on the world we live in often cutting deep into my soul. There isn't anything like a good book. Good books are like little slices of heaven on Earth.