There are many dangers involved with working in a library. ABC gum stuck to windows. Odd things shoved in books as bookmarks (razors, anyone? Who uses a razor as a bookmark?). Books that have been torn to shreds. The occasional wild snake which then the librarians have to wrangle with a broom. True stories all. But the most dangerous part of working in a library is. . .wait for it. . .
This is a very real disease where the victim cannot stop themselves from picking up more materials from the library than he/she can digest in a reasonable amount of time. Or, it's technically a reasonable amount of time, but they are sacrificing other aspects of their lives (social life, exercise, sunlight) to read/watch/listen to these materials.
Prime example: Last night, when I went to my five hour work shift (how much trouble can you get into in five hours?), I brought a book from home. It's the new Michael Crichton/Richard Preston thriller, Micro, about people who obviously haven't read Jurassic Park. I mean, no offense, Mr. Crichton (especially since you're dead now), they should have seen this coming. Anyhow, the night started off innocently enough. I had Micro to read while I took my apple break. Then one of my reserves came in. Then, I was filing and found one I thought was cool. Then I pulled one I was supposed to shelve because I got all caught up in the blurb.
I ended the night with four books. FOUR. They were:
1. Micro, by Michael Crichton/Richard Preston (my original book)
2. Possession by A. S. Byatt (do NOT read one of her more recent works, The Biographer's Tale)
3. Home written and read (it's an audiobook) by Julie Andrews
And 4. Cold Burial by Clive Powell-Williams (like Into the Wild but hopefully way less annoying)
Oh dear. Not to mention, I also have these books on my currently reading shelf:
1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
2. Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall
3. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
4. The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
6. Riki-Tiki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling
Combine this with my seeming inability to finish a book in any reasonable amount of time, and by gum we've got a problem. This means that my bits of the house are strewn with library books like refuse on a beach after a bad oil spill. My returns also seem to happen all at once, so instead of bringing in one or two books at a time, I waddle in under the weight of fifteen that I have either managed to read (somehow) or have just given up on.
Still, the hopes of a bookaholic float unfettered by reality. I WILL finish all these books. Somehow. Besides, it's the journey that counts, not the finish line, in most of life's races, and as long as I'm enjoying checking them out and perusing them, then what's not to like? What's there to be upset about? Ahhhhh, that's right. Nothing.
Besides, fall/winter is the BEST time of year for reading books. (P.S., excuse my annoying habits of over-capitalization and frequent usage of parentheses. . .can I help it that I get excited and that I noodle my thoughts like a pile of spaghetti and can never seem to untangle them into straight lines?) Back to winter. In the spring and summer, the weather is so nice in most places, it produces a great desire to be outside. The air is fine, the pollen is flowing, and people flock out of doors to enjoy it. Hiking, biking, tae chi, we all know the drill. There's no desire to read because nature beckons. In the summer, in Arizona at least, there's no desire to read because the heat stifles life. Any desire you have to do practically anything is instantly crushed by the overpowering sun. All that you want to do in the summer is go swimming, stay inside, watch t.v., eat cold things, and go ice skating. Reading does not fit easily into the equation. But in autumn, the weather turns, the clouds come in more regularly, and you drift naturally towards that inclination to cuddle up with a cup of cocoa (or tea or coffee) with a quilt and a favorite book. In winter, you want to read and snuggle while the snow drifts down outside your window, with the full knowledge that you're warm and happy and are so incredibly lucky. Even if you want to warm up at night with a bath, there are handy-dandy bath tools made specifically so you can read without getting your book wet (I'm a rebel. . .I just hold it in my hands and devil take the hindmost). If you have small children, it's storytime! The holidays are just around the corner and it's time to break out 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Exciting stuff, don't you know. And now that "winter" is here with its frigid temperatures of sometimes below 60, I am in full swing to snuggle up with a good read. And my beardy boyfriend, who will be significantly less beardy today since it is the first day of December. See? Hope springs eternal.
Now, if you'll excuse me, Julie Andrews is going to read me a bedtime story. Never mind that it's not noon yet.