Some people can't get enough heroin. Some people can't get enough Jesus. There are even some people who can't enough old women dressed as little girls. Me, I can't get enough books. Fortunately, being addicted to books is not nearly as bad as being addicted to those other things; I'm not going to end up dead, in prison, or, worse, in Church because my book-buying outpaces my book-reading. Still, I've got a monkey on my back, and the problem is made all the more absurd by the simple fact that I do not own a bookcase. All I have is many piles on the floor, which I've been told is a fire hazard.
I created an enitirely new pile yesterday afternoon after two binges on Friday night and Saturday morning. I bought twenty new books in as many hours, and I feel somewhat dirty now, and probably similar to what an alcoholic feels like once he or she realizes they are an alcoholic (only more benign). I'm not sure why I'm complaining about this, since if everyone had this same problem (that they couldn't read enough) the world would be a much better place for it.
In case you're wondering, and even if you're not, here are this weekend's additions to the fuel of my fire:
Kurt Vonnegut: Cat's Cradle, Hocus Pocus, Breakfast of Champions, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (my favorite KV novel), and Welcome to the Monkeyhouse
Philip K. Dick: A Maze of Death
William Gibson: All Tomorrow's Parties
J.R.R. Tolkien: Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth
Joe Haldeman: The Forever War, Forever Free, Dealing in Futures
Ken MacLeod: Cosmonaut Keep, The Cassini Division
Rudy Rucker: Freeware
Joseph Heller: Good as Gold
China Mieville: The Scar
Steve Erickson: Days Between Stations
Theodore Sturgeon: a "book-of-the-month club" edition containing The Dreaming Jewels, Venus Plus X, and The Cosmic Rape
Daniel Fusfeld: The Rise and Repression of Radical Labor
Norman Solomon: Target Iraq: What the News Media didn't Tell You
When I go bookstore hopping, I carry with me a list authors to look for; usually I find only one or two and leave pretty satisfied. Obviously, I hit the jackpot at Half-Price Books this time around. I was only expecting to find a couple books and ended up leaving there with fourteen (and it cost me only $50--Praise!), and I was able to stock-up on the "classics" as well as the "new guys."
In case you are wondering, yes, I am very much into science fiction.
Since so much modern science fiction is complete crap, and since I've spent most of the past six years reading academic non-fiction (resulting in a basic cluelessness regarding current fiction), I find Mac Tonnies' extensive reading lists and book reviews very helpful with steering me away from the many stinkers so readily available to people who really don't know any better.
I might have a problem, but I think I'll be okay if I live in the denial phase for a while.