24 Feb

I love books, their sound as you flip the pages, the smell of the paper when you walk into a cramped bookstore. I love the heft in my hand as I cradle whatever I am reading. I love looking at what others around me are perusing. I love reading to my kids and encouraging them to love books as well. Just the thought of settling down and dipping into a good book makes me smile.

But here is my secret.

I hate the library. Oh sure, it’s fine for my kids -encouraged even. There is a wealth of children’s literature that I was unaware of. Not to mention that our local library has a stupendous children’s section with tons of selection and is separated from the adults so that the kids are free to run about and not be scolded for making noise.

For them, I love the library, but for me? I cringe over it. My obsessive compulsive nature is bothered by a cracked spine or a torn page. My nature seems to require that a book be in pristine condition unless I am the one that made it so. Even at book stores I sift through my possibilities and hold back until I find one without any creases or tears. I don’t know how to stop being this way.

My other issue is the desire to not give back the thing that I hold so dear. My favorite part of reading a good book is when it is finished. I will close my eyes, hold it to my chest and just sort of breathe in its essence. I like knowing that I can return to it at will and sift through the stories again. I am a bibliophile, I reread things compulsively even as I collect new things. I love my books but like a child, I do not wish to share them with strangers. Close friends? fine, just don’t break the spine.

So. My name is Danielle and I have a problem. Wonder if there are any meetings out there for people like me?


Posted by on February 24, 2010 in Books


5 responses to “Secrets

  1. Bonnie Malek

    February 24, 2010 at 10:57 am

    You must have inherited this from me. I think I have every book I have ever read and can’t part with any. I find myself quite often going through the boxes and picking out a favorite to re-read. When we moved Roger wanted me to get rid of them but I couldn’t. I can’t end a day without reading and I am constantly searching for the next great read. If I do lend out a book it is never one of my favorites – sorry friends! If you find that meeting or group for people like us let me know.

  2. Kellie

    February 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I use to be this way. I would spend a fortune at the bookstore. There was nothing like being the first one to crack open a book and inhale that new paper smell.

    And then, my “I hate clutter” gene kicked in. I was surrounded by books that I’d read and loved, but hadn’t read in years. I kept a few that were extremely special to me for whatever reason and donated the rest to the library.

    I’m now a library whore. I’m there at least once a week. When I crack open a book now, I imagine all the hands that have held it and wonder if they had the same anticipation and expectations for the pages as I did.

    I HATE the library books only when I see a book that someone has defaced in some way. Whether it’s a broken spine, torn pages or WRITING (that REALLY pisses me off).

    I’m always on the prowl for new books/authors. Anything fantastic you want to share with me?

  3. Mary

    February 25, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Hi, My name is Mary, and I’m a book addict too. I just finished doing our taxes for the year and I spent over $1500.00 on books to use for school alone last year. Just the ones I can actually claim as academic, that doesn’t include my pleasure books (although books titled “Carnal Knowledge of the Imperial Power” and “Imperial Leather” might be considered pleasure:) I have a problem. I too hate the spine creased- I constantly threaten to ban my husbands books from the shelf because they are an eyesore and an afront to my books (of couse I would never get rid of these books, just pack them away because you can never get rid of a book). If the spine does become creased on one of my books, it must be replaced. I do write in my books, but only because my training has taught me to do so-English majors suck in this way. Just remember, you are not alone in this fight. Although, is it one that we really want to win?

  4. Dani

    February 25, 2010 at 8:48 am

    It’s good to know there are people out there like me. At one point, when we were in our old house I was cataloging all of my books. (I have this problem where I forget what books I own and then re-buy things) Anyway Brian got me a barcode scanner and I was scanning in the ISBN # of all my books and keeping a database of what I had on hand. Four years ago (amazingly my cataloging stopped around the time Jeffrey arrived, haha) I had over 700 items. I imagine it’s probably over 1000 by now. Especially if you add children’s books into the mix.
    Also I am militant with the kids about taking good care of their books. There is no greater insult than damaging a book and I have been known to blow up over it.

    All in all, I’m just glad to be a lover of books and so far, I’m leading my kids in the same direction. The worst thing in the world you can do to Jeffrey is take away books.

  5. babalingmomof2

    February 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    i have the same issue with my books, i will almost always buy the hard cover vs paperback. and I wont lend them out. the last time i did…the person died and I snever got the book back. stupid and selfish i know, but it was MY BOOK. it was even lent out to others without my knowing about it. so not nice. i have 3 boxes of books and all the hardcovers are in the house so they can be protected. as for the kids, they read. they love to get into book, though they make up their own stories as the aren’t old enough to read…but it’s all good!
    Jen B


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