Guest Post – Addicted to Books
Hi, my name is J.M. Edwards, and I’m addicted to books. While other groups have anonymous meetings, toll-free hotlines and inpatient treatment programs to address their habits and compulsions, it seemed to me that biblioholics were alone in the world.
Well, as alone as one can be when you have round-the-clock access to Amazon, there’s a Barnes & Noble store within walking distance and one of the world’s best indie bookstores just happens to be down the street.
In that case, biblioholics are not alone—we are at risk. Temptation is everywhere. It’s on our phones, our laptops, our tablets. It lurks in stores, airport terminals and shopping malls. Like other addictive substances, books are available in multiple formats: digital, hardcover with deckle edge, paperback and unabridged audio. They can be delivered wirelessly, through the mail or by messenger. People give books as gifts. They loan them to you. And the public library—somewhat of an anomaly to many people in this digital world—is still skulking about like a mischievous dealer, offering free access to millions of titles.
During a recent conversation with another biblioholic, I learned about a 12-step program that outlines a course of action for recovery from this hazardous condition. Since the plan and its guiding principles were unfamiliar, I asked my friend to tell me more.
“It’s an amazing program,” she said. “For starters, the only way to truly learn about its history is to read a book!”
I gulped, leaned closer and whispered: “I want to join right away. I finished The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery this morning. I’m ready for my next fix. What’s the title?”
She explained that it was Biblioholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Readers Have Recovered from Biblioholism. I admit the title didn’t grab me. But when I tracked down a copy and cracked the cover, I was hooked. I read the entire book in one night. Then I read it again the next day. My obsession for the story was so undeniable that I searched online to see if Hollywood had adapted it into a movie that I could watch while reading my copy of the book. Alas, the film has not yet been made.
While most recovery programs provide a specific 12-step approach to anyone afflicted with the addiction, BA actually encourages members to write their own incremental process. In case you’re a biblioholic looking for inspiration, I’ll include the phases that have worked for me below:
My 12 Steps to Recovery from Biblioholism
1. I admitted that I am powerless over books and my shelves at home—as well as my nightstand, the kitchen counters, the floor beside my bed, the coffee table, the trunk of the car and every other available surface, nook or cranny—had become unmanageable.
2. I came to believe that a force greater than Amazon could restore my good sense and reason.
3. I made a decision to turn my library and credit cards over to the care of a responsible individual who could help me make rational choices with the time I previously spent reading. For example: skeet shooting, taxidermy, collecting plastic spoons, raising and showing computerized pets and phlebotomy.
4. I made a searching and fearless inventory of my book collection. Since my drugs of choice include mysteries and children’s titles, I donated duplicate copies of treasured favorites to charitable organizations so that others may enjoy Goodnight Moon, The Maltese Falcon, Top Secret Twenty-One and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.
5. I admitted the exact nature of my addiction to myself and anyone who would listen, including the local librarian until she had security escort me from the premises for speaking above a whisper.
6. I removed the Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tattoos from my derriere.
7. I humbly asked my neighborhood Barnes & Noble to put my name and photograph beside each register along with the words: DO NOT SELL BOOKS TO THIS PERSON.
8. I made a list of all the authors I’ve been meaning to read, and made amends with them by skimming their book descriptions on Amazon.
9. I also made amends to as many local or regional authors as possible, except when doing so would make me look like a complete stalker.
10. I created a “book free zone” in my home. Many people refer to the same area as the bathroom.
11. I donated my collection of bookmarks to the Bookmark Museum. The assortment was so large it will require the addition of a new wing to the building.
12. I pledged to carry this message to other biblioholics and to apply these principles in all of my everyday affairs unless the everyday affairs coincide with the publication date of new books by one of my favorite authors. In those instances, I’ll be too busy reading to do anything else.
In closing, I want to share two more thoughts. I wish you well with your recovery. And, if you’re looking for a new cozy to read, try Handcuffs & High Heels or Death by Donut, the first two titles in my new series featuring Ruby Wisdom.
One lucky winner will receive an e-book from the author! Leave a comment below with your email address and I will select one person at random to win!
Handcuffs & High Heels
by J.M. Edwards
Handcuffs & High Heels:
A Ruby Wisdom Mystery
1st in Series
File Size: 1435 KB
Print Length: 201 pages
Meet Ruby Wisdom. Smart and sensible. Humorous and heroic. Tough and tender. As the only private investigator in tiny Wormwood, New York, Ruby handles a wide range of cases—everything from jewel heists and cheating husbands to stolen wedding gowns, kidnapped artwork and fraudulent heirs.
In HANDCUFFS & HIGH HEELS, Ruby is hired by the wife of a millionaire when the woman suspects her husband is having an affair. And he is—several of them. But when Ruby begins connecting the duplicitous dots, the deceitful spouse ends up in a much more difficult dilemma than being caught with his hands in Cookie’s jar. And that’s when the real investigation begins.
HANDCUFFS & HIGH HEELS is a cozy mystery loaded with humor, romance, memorable characters and a sleuth who knows her way around baked goods and sweet treats as well as crime scenes and tricky investigations.
About This Author
J.M. Edwards loves crime. But only when it’s fictional. A lifelong fan of mystery novels, police procedurals and thrillers, J.M. has worked as a copywriter, bartender, dog walker and newspaper reporter. When it comes to reading, she has a few favorites (Robert B. Parker, Sue Grafton, Dashiell Hammett, Robert B. Parker, Lee Child), but always enjoys learning about new authors to add to the TBR pile. In addition to writing the new Ruby Wisdom cozy mystery series, J.M. spends time gardening, traveling, spoiling a small herd of cats and dogs, doing volunteer work and taking the occasional nap.
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