Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hello, I am a Book Addict

Okay, I don't actually consider this a bad thing. For some reason, while my mother loves that I read she does not enjoy the fact that I read quickly or that I hang on to many of them. The quickly thing is less of an issue now, but used to drive her crazy after she would take me and my sister to the library, let us choose two books, and then I'd be done with mine that evening. (Keep in mind these books were about a hundred pages, it takes me a little longer these days depending on what I'm reading). My mother was confronted with that parental paradox, in that I had done just what she wanted, only faster than she had planned. So now I was back bugging her again. This often led to me reading my sister's books, which would still be waiting on the stairs. So, I also annoyed my sister by reading her books before she did. I was such a lovely child.

Anyway these days, I buy a lot of my books. I also borrow from friends. And so I own a lot of books. And while a sell, swap and donate a lot of books each year, I still have a lot. My mother is always surprised that I feel the need to go to a bookstore since I already have so many books. As I often point out, I have read them (Okay most of them, there's a couple that are "in progress" because I got stuck or distracted). And most of the ones I have saved I re-read. But there are so many books out there. And while I have no plans to attempt to read them all - there's a lot I want a crack at.

So, I have recently discovered Paperback Swap. Oh and this has fed my addiction. I post books I am willing to part with, mail them out, and earn credits that I can use to get other books. Currently, membership is completely free (although it does cost if you choose to become a boxer.) I have come across books I have been meaning to read, that are hard to find in my local store, or that I just wasn't sure if I wanted to pay full price for. With the closing of some of the nearby used books stores, this is a great substitute! And their selection is pretty impressive. In the short month or so that I have been a member, I have completed 24 transactions. Oh - it's so much fun.

But of course there are some books you can't trade. Or they're not quite in trading shape. Or you just feel a burning desire to release it immediately into the wild. Well, there is Book Crossing! Again membership is free, although you do purchase the supplies to designate your book. You can leave your book on a park bench, in a coffee-tea shop, in the laundromat, on the bus or wherever you are inspired to do so. Much like the money and camera tracking websites, people who pick up your can log in and let you know where they encountered your book. So you can follow your book's journey. (Hopefully, right now they say about 25 percent of books released get followed up on, but still - how fun!)

Happy reading!