Charged and Booked—Responding to Criminal Possession

Are you a book addict? Do you have more books than you can possibly ever read. Our blogger admits that he should be charged and booked.

Charged and Booked

I might as well admit to it before I’m shown the charge sheet. I’m in possession of more books than should be legally allowed. I’m not even counting my shelves of favourites or those already read. At the moment, I have so many unread books I’d have to take two years off to read them all.

This is not an unusual pattern. As a child, I didn’t love reading as much as I loved books. What I mean is that I loved collecting books—to
possess them, line them up on shelves, and to know they were mine. At first, the pictures fascinated me—of Pink Panthers, pirates and pyramids. And later a love of words followed.

National Book Week gives me a chance (OK, an excuse) to share my love of books—owning books, possessing books, consuming the contents from cover to cover. When I was about ten or eleven, I spent the whole summer cataloguing my books—Enid Blyton featured heavily—in
preparation for opening my private library to the neighbourhood kids.  Let’s just say that idea didn’t last long. I couldn’t bear to let the books out of my sight and when books were returned overdue, or with scratch and scribble marks, it ruined many a friendship.

Round about the same age, my mother took me to the library for the first time. It was love at first sight. There was an atrium garden where you could sit and read on beanbags, hopscotch squares marked out on the floor and, most importantly, more books than I could ever hope to own in my bedroom library.

Having access to the public library, sadly, didn’t cure my addiction for books. At one time, my mom had to bribe me with the latest bestseller to get me to study for final exams.

Source: Tom Gauld

Today I can’t resist a bookstore. I’m a serial book buyer. If my self-control is strong, I’ll leave with just a few notebooks to scribble in or a magazine. If I’m weak, I’ll leave with a weeping credit card and a bag of shiny new books to add to my collection.

The truth is books opened the door to new worlds. Before I’d started school, I’d already learned about the Seven Wonders of the World. When I was bored on a Sunday, I could hang out with Nancy Drew or The Famous Five.

And I’ve never been the same since. So the literary police can charge and book me. I don’t mind. When I’m out, I’ll just buy another book for my private library.

 by Anthony Ehlers

If you enjoyed this post, read:
  1. Five Lifelines for Writers with Deadlines
  2. Setting – Are we there yet?
  3. Dire Consequences – How to get your characters into trouble

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Posted on: 5th September 2014

0 thoughts on “Charged and Booked—Responding to Criminal Possession”

  1. I loved the post, because I can relate too well. Unfortunately, both my husband and I have the same problem. I’m thankful that I can collect even more on my Kindle! We laughingly say we need to buy a bigger house for all our books. Thanks for making me feel normal.

  2. Is there a word for those of us who cannot allow a book to go unread? I have no book in my home I have not read. Not one among hundreds. With rare exception they were read within 24 hours, some started within one hour of coming home and others outside the bookstore in the car.