A conspiracy is afoot. Three of my favourite authors all have new books coming out at the same time. Lee Child, A Wanted Man; Linwood Barclay, Trust Your Eyes; and now I’m waiting on Nelson DeMille’s, The Panther. Maybe these authors aren’t aware I’ve lost my job (I’m thinking they don’t read my blog even though I subscribe to theirs), but I’m supposed to be practicing frugalness, not buying books. A conspiracy, I tell you. Death by devotion.
And it’s so easy to buy books these days. On-line, from the comfort of my desk, I can browse, read excerpts, throw them in my cart and pay for them. Don’t even give it a second thought until I check my credit card statement. I try to check it once a month. And only on a day I’m feeling unusually strong and all is right in my world.
I limit hardcover purchases to my very favourite authors, which usually works out well for me. Usually. Now, apparently, Child, Barclay and DeMille, have grouped together (there is probably a library or mahogany study somewhere in New York where best-selling authors drink cognac and talk about their superiority problems), and are conspiring to bankrupt me. I’ve blown (no, not blown, never blown) invested $100.00 in one month for three hardcover books that I’ll read in one week, tops, because I’m an addict. I admit it.
I don’t read a chapter of a good book then think to myself, “that was well done. Now I’ll go practice my cello.” I read the flipping thing until I finish the book or I fall asleep at which time, when I awaken, will pick right up where I left off. Even though I know I’ll have a headache for the rest of the day.
And I don’t mind the headache. What bothers me about my addiction is the same problem every addict has. The let down when the high is over. The drab, meaningless days until the next fix is acquired. The anticipation, nay, the orgasmic sensation when the fix arrives and the first page is before you. You ignore friends, family, everybody and everything..except for your dog, you never ignore your dog…until the last page is reached. And the cycle continues.
There are some that think I exaggerate. I know who you are. Think what you will. But when I’m destitute, rich only in the written word, my favourite authors are not going to care. It’s the family and friends I’ve been ignoring while I’ve been reading these writers (and trying to imitate them), that will be picking me up out of the gutter of grovelling groupies (sorry, alliteration addiction as well) and sustaining me with platitudes of “don’t worry, pet, an agent will call you soon, I’m sure.” Do I spend $100.oo a month on these faithful friends? No. Lucky if I remember to buy them a beer on their birthday.
Addicts are an ungrateful lot. I’m going to go practice my cello.