I’m curious to know if I’m the only person in the world who does this: from time to time, usually every other month or so, I get this wave of inspiration and I go into the bookstores and buy books. And I don’t mean “buy a couple of books”; I buy six to ten books at a time. Don’t even get me started on Amazon. I’ve been known to buy fifteen books in one hour, easily. (C’mon, the used ones are so cheap! It’s like wasting money to not buy them). Is it in any way realistic to think that I can read ten books in two month’s time? With a full-time job, a busy social life, and three seasons of ‘Game of Thrones’ to catch up on? Heck no.
The problem doesn’t end there. When I go into this phase of wanting to buy every book I see, I can never decide which one to read first. That’s why I always read two books at the same time. If I’m really feeling “inspired”, I’ll start a third one. Just cause in my head it feels like I’m being that much more efficient, when in fact I’m not getting any reading done at all because I’m constantly having to re-engage in the stories.
I realized I had a problem when I got an iPhone this winter. You know what they have on iPhones? Books. Yeah, lots of them. You can just download them right to your phone. They’re practically free (in fact, a lot of them are). I read four whole books on that little iPhone screen before I stepped outside of my body one night and said, “who is that idiot lying on her couch reading a book on a smartphone screen when her bookcase can’t even hold her real books that she hasn’t read yet?”
As a farewell gift from my bosses I got a loaded gift card to a the Norwegian equivalent to Barnes&Noble. I wish I could say I had nothing to do with it and that it wasn’t my fault, but I can’t do that. They asked me flat out, “Christine, what can we get you as a gift? Some wine maybe, for the farewell parties? A necklace?” I thought about it for minute and then I actually heard myself say, “No, you know what? I would really love a gift card for the book store.” YOU MORON! That’s exactly what you need right now. You’re packing a suitcase to move to another country for a year, and what you really need is more BOOKS to fit into your luggage allowance.
So here I am. I have five Paolo Coelho books, four personal development books, and one nutritional science book that I need to read by Monday so that I can leave them behind. That gives me four days. And that’s not counting the two books I’ve saved for the flight.
Things I have going for me:
+ I’m a really fast reader. Rain Man’s got nothin’ on me when I’m in the zone.
+ Paolo Coelho uses really large-sized fonts. So that’s like… two days saved right there, compared to other books.
+ ‘Game of Thrones’ can wait. If I haven’t made it past the pilot by now, putting it off another few weeks won’t make a difference. Right? No spoilers please! All I know is that there’s a short guy and Boromir.
Things I don’t have going for me:
+ I have ten books to read over the weekend.
Alright, so I realize that I’m pushing it.
I find that in times like these it’s best to just go into complete denial mode and act as if this was all according to plan. “Oh, these shoes? No, I was never planning on bringing them. I hear they only use flip-flops in Australia, even in winter. And this jacket? Never liked it much. Sweaters? Umm…. I guess I’ll leave them too. It’s not like I’m ever gonna need to cover my arms, right? There you go, books! Now there’s room for you.”
Wish me luck.