My Love-Hate Relationship with Books


I have a confession to make. It’s a problem of exponential proportions, and I desperately, desperately need help.

I’m a writer, and I hate books as much as I love them.

It’s like an abusive relationship, really. Where I love the guy, but he deprives me of the very things I need to live–and I hate him for it.

Help me!

You see, I find a book and I start reading. Next thing I know, I can’t stop. It draws me in, like an addiction, I’m always running back. I feel like a drug addict sneaking into the bathroom late at night for that quick fix.

Suddenly, my life goes on hold so I can see what happens on the next page. I forgo:

  • sleep
  • food
  • exercise
  • social interactions

Soon, I’m a zombie all day. And starving. Yet feeling fat. I can’t write, I can’t think, I can’t drive … But I need to know what will happen in that next chapter!

So I put off a homemade dinner again. And I stay up until 1 a.m., even though I must wake at 5 for work. I complain to my boyfriend how life seems overwhelming because I’m so sleep-deprived, but when 10 p.m. rolls around, I jerk myself alive again.

Because I’m reading.

My heart races as I flip from page, to page, to page. Will she find her love? Will he die on the island? What happened to her maid growing up? Time stops as I approach the end, and I feel myself holding my breath … praying.

And finally, it ends.

I take a week or two and life returns to normal. I make salmon with whole-grain pasta in the evening again. I return to my weight machine and treadmill. My boyfriend breathes a sigh of relief.

Until, I find the next book …

MY QUESTION TO YOU: What are your confessions when it comes to your writing, reading, or other little pleasures in life (please keep it PG)?

[Have you followed me on Twitter yet, or “liked” me on Facebook? Try it. :-)]

6 thoughts on “My Love-Hate Relationship with Books

  1. Oh, confessions of the the book crazed! My local librarian recently told me (facetiously, I hope), “We’re gonna have to have an intervention with you.” I was at the library for the creative writing class I run for teens, and checked out the books that were on reserve for me. While waiting for my students to arrive, my eyes roved over to the New Books shelves. Suddenly, I had 5 of those in my arms, and back at the check out desk I was. That’s when the librarian knew I needed help for my addiction.

    I make it a point to read while I eat lunch every day, and from 8:30 to 10:30 each night. That way, I actually read most of the books I buy or borrow.

  2. My problem is that I can’t find enough books that cause me to react like that. I’m not saying there aren’t millions of awesome books out there. I just can’t find the ones that push my curiosity buttons. I blame it partly on learning to write. Now I’m super critical of all words. *Sniffle* I miss that can’t-put-it-down feeling. 😦 When I do happen to find a book that “puts my life on hold,” I just slow down and enjoy it.

    Great post.

  3. Yes, my words exactly! I haven’t read a fictional book in over a month because of this exact phenomenon. I get so wrapped up in a good book that I think my personality actually changes to equal the main character. My husband gets jealous of my fiction addiction as well. Glad to know I am not alone!

  4. Shari –

    IMO, what you are experiencing is quite normal, actually, for anyone passionate about something. I, myself, am fairly new to writing as an enjoyable pastime; For the last three years, I’ve been working on a memoir and have just recently completed it…now it’s undergoing the editing, cover design, interior design, and indexing processes. I am now afflicted with the creative writing bug!

    My main passion happens to be music; I’m a musician by trade who is also very much steeped in the creation of the written word…I can’t seem to help myself, for I view it as another creative form of self-expression. An idea or a thought might come to me at anytime, be it early morning, during the day, or late at night, and I faithfully answer the call and jot the thought down before it disappears into the ether. Know what I mean?

    Books are, in and of themselves, a wonderful thing…a good story can transcend time and space, and take you to places that you never imagined. And best of all, you don’t have to go anywhere; it just requires your time, some imagination, and the willingness to take the cognitive trip.

    Happy reading!

    Best,
    Kevin

C'mon, you MUST be thinking something.

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