Here is my weekly post on life in general. Each week I will pick a different topic that may be a news article or an aspect of my life. So keep an eye out for my new series entitled, 'Life As We Know It'. If it doesn't interest you, don't worry I will not be offended if you skip it. I just like to chortle and snigger to myself. I may need therapy for it.
My name is Vivienne and I am a bookaholic.
I would like to say I slipped down this slippery slope alone, but my husband aided my addiction by acting as my book pimp. He feeds my habit by supplying me with book money to splurge, which has me racing to my shady book dealer, eager for my next literary fix. On Christmas Day, overdosing is inevitable as my habit gets out of hand at the sight of my entire Amazon book wish list sitting under the Christmas tree.
I am choosy about what I take. I tend to stay on friendly terms with my fiction supplier, rather than venturing anywhere else.
I have no control anymore and I need help. Books are taking over my life and I need to stop them now before I am found buried under the Eiffel Tower of unread books in my house, all clamouring for my attention. I can see them, sitting there, watching me with their beady eyes, jumping off the shelves to grab my attention, showing no fear as they commit book suicide by breaking their spines on their descent. My book pimp suggests hiding the books to try and keep my habit a secret, worried the neighbours might out me. Personally I like to live on the edge, leaving the books out, risking being caught and banged to rights. I don't think a doctor or a psychiatrist would help, the medical journals in their offices would only lead me to take up a non-fiction habit as well. I have tried contacting the NHS help line, but as I cannot tell them of any physical symptoms caused by my addiction, they cannot help.
I am not alone out there, there are others you know. We all share the same book dealers. We can often be found in bookshops. You will recognise us when you see us. We will either be showing customers what they should be reading by impersonating an employee or being asked to leave by security for harassing customers, intent on making their own book choices. We have no self control.
The library is another one of our favourite haunts. You will find us lurking by the returns section, casually browsing the shelf whilst keeping a beady eye on the books that have been returned. We will pounce, so be warned. We hate to think someone has read something good and that we have missed it. The librarians taunt us about our habit by waving new releases under our noses, they know we cannot resist temptation, we are too weak. Personally, I know when my next library fix is ready, my pimp will tell me that my office has called.
It has been hard for my family to come to terms with this. My brother was honest about his book addiction from the beginning, whereas I hid my secret for a long time. They have found it hard to come to terms with my obsessive reading patterns. I can only look back with sadness at the missed family events, the disappearances and the hiding of books. They try to remember the good times, before I found book blogs and delved into the world of memes and Sunday Salons. My mother finds comfort in her memories of me as a magazine browser, or the time I was an EastEnders viewer. My daughters don't know any different and have accepted the situation as they wouldn't recognise me without a book in front of my face. My friends have long since abandoned me, disillusioned with my constant book chatter, afraid of my Mount Vesuvius melt downs when they disliked a book I loved.
There is only one answer to my problem. I will have to set up a support group called 'Books Anonymous' to help myself and fellow addicts. It will be a safe place for us to go. No one will judge us for our habit. Somewhere that we can go to feel safe, to feel normal. Have a chat about how we are trying to overcome our habit. Have a cuppa, maybe even a digestive, though not chocolate ones, got to think of the calories. Perhaps even have a book amnesty, where we can bring a couple of books each week with no questions asked. I might even be asked to talk on Oprah or Jeremy Kyle as the founding leader of this new organisation. I might even win the Nobel Prize for my relentless work with book addicts.
I know that many of you out there are trying to contain your habit, but you don't have to be alone anymore. I am going to help you. From this day forward I will be known as the international leader of 'Books Anonymous'. Come to a weekly meeting, take a seat, tell me your name, and leave a couple of books on your way out. I will personally make sure that they reach a good home...Mwooarrr haha (Rubbing my hands with glee.)
The above post is a slightly over exaggerated view of the truth! I know we are not really like this. Or are we? Mmmmmm.