Monday, August 25, 2008

Confessions Of A NYC Public Library Addict

First let me say that I *admit* to having an addictive personality: when I encounter something new that I like or enjoy, usually in the food group, I'm all about that one thing. For example, the chicken empanadas and mango shakes from Sophie's Cuban Cuisine, or the mini turkey burgers and sweet potato fries from The New York Burger Co.

But on the rarest of occasions that addiction can be inclusive of things like Fiestaware dishes (which I used to collect), cameras (also, another tiny collection), old typewriters, of which I have two, and of course, books.

When I was married my ex and I had soooooooo many books that it was almost criminal! Add in the tons of books we bought for the babies and we could have opened a small, special interest book shop!

But of course, when I moved into my 6sq.ft. apartment, many, many, many books had to go bye-bye, and I enacted a strict policy on the acquisition of new reading materials: for every 1 book purchased, 2 had to leave. OUCH! How to decide? I found me a lil loophole- BORROW FROM THE LIBRARY!!

In July I decided to start reading more, dusted off my library card and began borrowing books again. And at first everything was cool- I snatched a couple of books, some CDs to upload and a movie or two. It was all very tame and casual.

Fast forward to mid-August: I visit the Epiphany Branch Library EVERY. FREAKIN. DAY. I check for new CDs that I may have missed and any new movies that people may have returned the day before. And everyday I say to myself Do not get any more books! but some new title always catches my eye.

Like the two Walter Mosley books I picked up two weeks ago. Or the latest John Edgar Wideman novel, Fanon, that I just couldn't seem to leave on the shelf last week. OOOH, and I'm very proud to announce that I've recently read (and enjoyed!) my very first Garcia Marquez book (Chronicle of a Death Foretold), Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea) and Kafka (The Metamorphosis).

And, um, don't tell anyone, um, but, um... I kinda picked up one of those "urban" lit books... It's one of the Omar Tyree titles. I figure: it's a NY Times bestseller... how bad can it be??? Besides, I feel like I judged that genre unfairly based on the horribleness that was Angel Hunter's Sister Girls. *shudder* UGH! That book was terrible, and it actually pains me to think people read that book (i.e. my nanny) and was like, "OH MY GOD you have to read this- it's the best book EVER!" Even worse? There's a Sister Girls 2 running around out there... *DOUBLE SHUDDER*

But back to the real books... oops! Does that make me a lit snob? Really? Ask me if I care...

To date, I have 13 books and 4 movies checked out, and only about 3 hours a day free to read them, and no free time to watch any damn movies. You do the math. My only consolation for this latest in a long list of addictions is that this one is free- I always return or renew items on time (because I learned my lesson after not being able to show my face in any Brooklyn Public Library branch for a verrrrrry loooooooooong time... something about 26 overdue library books that they never saw again...).

But I'm pretty sure, no matter how much I try to talk myself out of it, I'll be there again tomorrow, checking the stacks for stuff that was returned that morning.

Is there a 12-step program for this?

*smooches...wondering what new addictions September will bring*
hopefully it will be something free or inexpensive...

...or come with a size 9 penis. I'm just sayin...