Monday, August 27, 2007

The Secret Vice

Some people drink. Some smoke. Others, like my husband and kids, play computer role playing games. I have variously crocheted, embroidered, done calligraphy and genealogy, and written stories. But always through the years I've been a reader. Reading requires the presence of reading material.

Recently, I've met up with several people who don't quite get this fundamental fact. One woman in particular was appalled at the amount of money I spend on books. "Go to the library," she suggested. Well, for what I pay in overdue fines, I may as well own the book. Yes, I am that worst of all persons, the one who never makes it back to the library to return the book. I finally just quit going there. Instead I buy the book and then read it... and re-read it.

On one of the chat loops I occasionally visit, they had a question recently. What do you do with you books after you read them? KEEP them, of course. So I can read them again. That's why they're called KEEPERS! I have seven bookcases (make note to self--buy another bookcase soon) that are all overflowing. I read pretty fast. I read often. And I usually read most of the books I have every year. When I buy the newest installment in a series, I read the entire series before reading the newest one. At different times--if I'm on a reading jag--I have read as many as six books in one day.

It was wonderful when I stumbled across e-books. The difficulty with a print book is that it's so hard to hide. After a while the hubby notices that books are stacked on every flat surface in the room. "When did you get this book?" he demands. "Ummm. Oh, I've had that one for a while..." (since Monday, I think). So e-books were a god-send. E-books are invisible.

I keep them stashed on my computer in the e-book file. And since they are purchased with my mad money, no alarm bells go off to snag his notice. Eventually he caught on, but it seems that his major objection wasn't the money spent, but the room occupied by the print books. Since the e-books occupy no space, he's perfectly happy for me to indulge my secret vice. So happy in fact that he bought me an e-book reader for Valentine's Day last year.

Of course, that didn't solve ALL of my problems because there are some authors that still don't sell in e-format. But the odd thing I've noticed is that I've been gradually shifting away from the print books and authors. That's primarily due to an aging problem.

The print books have tiny print I can barely read. I can set my e-reader on large print so I can see it. Isn't that wonderful? And if that isn't big enough, then I can go up to the next size. There now. That's much better!

I have an idea as more and more of the population reaches the post fifties, that e-readers may become wildly popular. I hope so because then my favorite authors will be available in e-format. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the work of my fellow authors at Ellora's Cave and Cerridwen Press. Discovery of new talent is always one of the joys of my secret vice.


Don't forget to trot over to Kelly's site and see what she's done with Emmeline at and then check out Amarinda at her best at


  1. When it became apparent we were going to move last year, I began cataloguing my books. Unfortunately, I left the disc in the drive accidentally, and my titles and authors are nowhere to be found, except in the pages of notebooks where I wrote them down. When it was last noted, the number was over 750, with four more bookshelves to go. And now, with inheriting my mother-in-law's inventory and choice selections from my granny's, I figure I have well over 1200...I'm dreamming of the day I can have a room like the library on "Beauty and the Beast" (Disney version)...or my own bookstore!

    My hubby complains, too, of all my books lying around, and right now, he's thrilled most are all boxed up in storage! I download my e-books to CD...but then have to make sure my kids don't see the spicer ones. Maybe in 10 years...

  2. Mine hit 6000 the year before our last move. I gave away 20 boxes to various adult education programs, but that still left 25 boxes when we moved. And we've been here five years so.... I imagine I'm back up around 5000. About 1500 of those are reference books. Another 30 are calligraphy books. And 50 are heirloom books. My living room is my library as I really have no use for a living room. TV is in the spare room and hubby watches the football games in there--otherwise it's never turned on.

  3. I had to sell most of mine in a garage sale before we left Minnesota. Our new little bitty house cannot house the over abundance of our books. Scott reads voraciously too, as do the kids. You can imagine the limited room for four people worth of books. The kids have their own books shelves which are overflowing (despite the purchase of an ebook reader for my 10 yo) and I MISS MY BOOKS.

    BUT, I have two flashdrives completely loaded with ebooks. So, different kind of shelf, I suppose.

  4. I have books everywhere. They are stacked upon each other in death defying towers than could topple at any moment.I did not think I could get into the whole e-book thing but I see the beauty of it. First e-book I ever bought....hhmmm...why that would be Chyrsanthemum... excellent book - crap word to spell

  5. I had to sell most of my Jude Devereaux collection nearly 15 years ago..needed the $$. Am slowly buying them back!

  6. I love my new ebook reader - not only can I "hide" my purchases from hubby (though he's much worse than I am for going on book binges!!) but ebooks are great for me because the bookstore in Cairo are crap.

  7. I love Jude! Her older works, not her new stuff. She lost me in recent years.

  8. The great thing about e-books is that you buy them anywhaere with internet access. Enjoy your reader!