Confessions of this bookaholic

#1 I judge books by their covers…

… and I am not ashamed (gasp!).  There are some beautiful book covers out there; visual temptresses that have just the one moment to convey the depth of treasures within. If you’re like me you’ll know we’re living life on a knife edge, risking spending our precious coins on a vacuous disappointment. But let me be clear, I don’t wonder into strange places seeking out pretty things. No! I’m a thrill seeker; a chance-encounter kind of girl. It’s the paper equivalent of eyes meeting across a crowded room, the quickening of my pulse, and the sure and certain feeling that I’ve just discovered your soul mate. This approach hasn’t failed me yet (perhaps it’s my book superpower), and it’s how I’ve met some of my favourite books…

#2 I’ve drowned books

Once I’m engrossed in a book I’ll read it anywhere and everywhere, given the opportunity. This clingy-ness is riddled with hazards and risks though – not least of which is the bath. Short of putting the book in a clear plastic food bag (or police evidence bag if reading a crime/thriller) there appear to be few palatable alternatives open to me. And if you’re shouting “er, hello … ebooks” (or something similar) at me, then stop right there and refer to #3, below. Sadly, a handful of good books have lost their lives to this habit of mine – each one a terrible and lamentable accident that no amount of swearing, hindsight, hair dryer-ing, or airing cupboard-ing have succeeded in delivering the requisite kiss of life to. It’s a habit I can’t – and won’t – stop. What could be more indulgent than an obscenely foamy bubble bath, candles, background music, a G&T … and a delicious book? Nope – this habit is a keeper.

#3 I’m a compulsive sniffer

I don’t ‘do’ ebooks.  Books must have pages, the proper paper kind.  You can’t inhale that delicious new book smell from the screen of a Kindle or e-reader (well, you could try but I bet you’d get some strange looks … and then you’d have to wipe any slobber off your screen – it’s a hiding to nothing). Mum was a book sniffer … I didn’t stand a chance really.

#4 I crack spines & fold pages

The best books are packed full of passages and quotes that quite literally jump up and speak to me, and that I know I’ll want to read again … and again. There are passages that are just begging to be copied and sent to friends and loved ones, because they’ve been so beautifully written that they’re a gift in themselves. I don’t have several dozen book marks to hand, hence the need to fold. And once I’m certain that this book that won’t be leaving my ownership, I take things a step further and crack the spine. If this offends you, I’m sorry. I don’t do it to harm the book, I do it because I get a sense of satisfaction feeling the spine curving around my hand as I move through the chapters and pages. And it’s so much more rewarding to see a book on my self that’s clearly been lovingly read from cover to cover … as opposed to a suspiciously immaculate copy on the shelf that makes you question if it’s there only to create the impression of being well read. I mean, what could be more sad than a book destined only to be a shelf ornament; never getting the chance to share its story with you?

#5 I have to hit that £20 spend

There’s a certain online retailer who likes us to spend £20 before dispensing an order without incurring a delivery charge … unless you are a Prime customer, that is. Well, I am Prime when there’s a free trial of this service, but for the remaining days of the year I’m just your common customer … who uses books to reach that spend threshold. Oh, ok, if I’m being brutally honest, I’ll most likely add waaaay more than this value in books, seizing the opportunity to have a reason to transport them from my virtual wishlist to actual, touchable, stroke able, sniffable physical presences on my shelves. This is probably why my book shelves are starting to creak and groan a little … and why my long-suffering (but utterly adorable) hubby recently made me three new sold oak bookshelves 🥰 Now, if I could just step away from this blog (and the online shopping) I might actually find a way to make more space on those shelves.

#6 I’m a serial binger

When I stumble upon a book or writer I love, my book blinkers go on and I am utterly guilty of tunnel vision. I’ll make sure I get my hands on all the other books in the series before squirrelling myself away to read them all – pedantically in the correct order – to make sure I’ve not missed a single moment in the lives of the characters. It’s like finding a Netflix series that you just can’t stop watching – spending days in the same pyjamas, living off ever-decreasing food supplies before switching to daily pizza deliveries until the final episode has been consumed. Life (temporarily) restarts – the house gets cleaned, the shopping gets done, I get dressed and brush my hair – before settling in to the next series. 2017-2018 was a particularly intense period where I became a happy hermit, catching up with book series’ by Rachel Abbott, M.J.Arlidge, Patricia Gibney, Mick Herron, Tom Rob Smith, and Simon Sebag Montefiore‘s Moscow Trilogy.

For all my confessions, I am a one-at-a-time girl. People who tell me they have more than one book on the go at any given time give me the newbie-jeebies. I’m (proudly) old school, devoting all my attention to the story the author has poured time (blood, sweat, and probably tears) into committing to the page. I know my style isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but what would life be if we were all the same?

What are your bookish confessions? I’d love to find out if I’m alone with my quirks. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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