Sunday, December 1, 2013

Addictions, and Resolutions, and Challenges! Oh, My!

Half-Price Books is a wonderful secondhand bookstore that I never get tired of. I can always find something I like, even if they don't have exactly what I'm looking for at the moment. Their staff is always helpful and will go out of their way to help a customer find something. I don't feel like I'm going into a store when I shop there. I feel like I'm at home with people who understand my love of books.

Yesterday, when I came home thrilled with my most recent Half-Price book finds, I realized that I was now adding eight more books to a long line of books at my house waiting to be read. I looked over my recent additions with adoration, but then I looked at some of the ones on my shelf and felt guilty I haven't read them yet. I adore them, too, you know. 

Proper neck placement for book browsing
I was contemplating how serious my addiction to buying books might be when my daughter, Katie, came down the stairs and saw my new stack of books. I smiled, like a proud parent, as I placed my hand on the top of the stack. I was prepared to say, "Look at my great, new finds!" What came out instead - before I even knew it - was, "Katie, I think I have a real addiction problem." 

She laughed at me and said, "What? Buying books? So what? It's not like there's anything else you buy, and you buy at a bargain. They're good for you. You read them. What's the problem with a little addiction? Besides, there's worse things you could be addicted to."

I sighed and told her that I had plenty of books at the house that are really good books. I told her I should read those, I want to read those,...but I want to read other ones that come along, too. Katie knows I don't like to "need" something. Addiction is definitely not my thing. (I even gave up coffee for six months one time just to prove to myself I didn't "need" it.)

"Does this really bother you, Mom?" she asked me.

Katie, my "fixer"
I should mention my Katie is a fixer. She likes to have a solution to a problem. To her, life is simple - only stupid humans make it complicated. There are times I agree with her theory. She is known for cutting through the drama of most situations and just telling it like it is. It's a quality I like in her a great deal, even when it's my own drama she's calling me out on. 

"Well, Mom, does it?" she asked again.

"Yes, Katie, it does bother me. I'm a sensible person. I should read the books I already have. I don't keep books just to keep them. All the ones I have are good books, as far as I know, and I should read them."

"OK, then here's your solution. Just make a New Year's Resolution to not buy any more books until you've read all the ones you already own. See? Problem solved. Simple," she said with a smile and continued her task at hand.

I was stunned for a moment. A resolution to...not buy any more books until I read all the ones I have? Hmmm,..I had to think that over. I looked at the shelves in my library. Then, I went upstairs and looked at the bookcase I have in my bedroom. I guesstimated that I've read more than half the books I own. I also noticed I liked every title I saw. In fact, I found myself smiling at the books. I have such a wonderful selection!

I decided that if I took Katie up on her idea, I would exclude having to read all my travel books and my workbooks that I use for references and lesson planning. All the rest, though, would make a really good challenge. I also thought the one exception to buying would be my monthly book club book, but I sometimes borrow that one anyway. It isn't something I'd really have to buy. 


I was still contemplating the idea when Katie stuck her head in my bedroom. "Well, Mom?" she said, as she looked at me expectantly. I smiled and began to nod.

"I think it's a great idea, Katie! It sounds fun, and it would be a challenge for me," I said, just  a wee bit more enthusiastic than I felt at the moment. I think Katie could tell.

She grinned at me (along with being a fixer, she also loves being right). "Well, if that's the case, then...answer like Barney!"

"Ummm, I'm sorry. Like Barney?" I was a bit puzzled. The purple dinosaur?

"Yes, Mom, you know - on 'How I Met Your Mother'? He always says, 'Challenge accepted!'"

Oh, THAT Barney! I had to laugh! "Oh, yes, OK - Challenge accepted!"

(Goodness, what have I gotten myself into...)

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