2013-05-23 / Lifestyles

The need to read

Lois A. Corcoran

“I keep my murder books downstairs,” I said, “and U.P. authors are in our bedroom.”

“What are they doing up there?” my husband, Dan, joked.

He knew, of course, that I meant books written by U.P. authors and not the peeps themselves. Lucky for me, he maintains a sense of humor about my ever-expanding library.

I, on the other hand, take my collection very seriously. Though I used to lend out volumes freely, I now exercise great caution in that regard. This means everything short of fingerprinting prospective borrowers.

I’m not quite sure when the need to read became such an obsession. But over the years, books of all types filtered into the house, taking up residence throughout our humble abode.

Nearly every room houses a bookcase, and each bookcase holds its own genre, so there’s some order to the stockpile. Humor, biographies, and a smidgeon of fiction, for instance, reside in the attic, which – knock on wood – has not yet buckled from the strain.

Ideally these should be alphabetized but I never got around to it. Likewise, I don’t employ the Dewey Decimal System, but it’s only a matter of time.

They number into the thousands, after all. So it’s ironic when my better half gripes that there’s nothing to read. He’s as likely to pore over my true crime and new age books as I am to tear into his westerns and fishing magazines. He’d sooner read an encyclopedia. Actually, I know a guy who did that….

Despite my massive library, I can’t resist the urge to buy more. So I eagerly stood in line the other day, waiting for a book sale to begin. The lady ahead of me carried a binder in which she hand wrote the title of every book she’s read.

We’re talking pages upon pages here, each filed neatly by author. The purpose of this exhaustive log, she told me, is to avoid buying duplicates.

While I admire her organization, it would take me till the next coming to record my collection.

One can take reading too far. I know a gal who tends to miss her bus stops. Another gets so engrossed in her volumes that she forgets to eat. They must not be cookbooks.

So it’s best to wait till our obligations are done.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel the need to read.

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