Abibliophobia Strikes Again


I’ve suffered from abibliophobia all my life, but until recently I had no idea some kindred soul had coined a name for the problem.  Mind you, there’s no chance of running out of reading material in my house.  Along with the shelves of book I Really Want To Read, there are whole walls of books I can’t give up because I might want to read them again one day.  But I never go anywhere that might involve a waiting room or a meal eaten alone without a book (or these days my Kindle).

The truth is, I’m an incurable bookaholic, and I have no desire to change.  There are far more dangerous (or anti-social) addictions.

A couple of weeks ago I stopped at the local Barnes & Noble, armed with a Christmas gift card, and bought one book, a lovely large volume called Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions by Brian J. Robb.  I’d spotted the book on line and bought it brick and mortar; on the same trip I spotted several books at the store to order on line.  I have gift cards for Amazon, too, and they stretch farther.

Yesterday I made another stop at Barnes & Noble, gift card balance in hand, but I didn’t buy anything.  The particular book I was looking for hadn’t hit the shelves yet, and I knew that the box of books I’d ordered from Amazon was due to arrive.  And sometimes I find a bookstore the size of B&N overwhelming.  So many, many books that I would like to read.  So many, many books that I will never have time to read.  So many, many books that I should be writing myself.

book pileWhen I got home from my errand-running rounds, the big box of books from Amazon was waiting on my doorstep.  Four of the books are recently released romances by my Firebird sisters (that group is beginning to make me feel like a serious underachiever!):  Highland Surrender by Tracy Brogan, Midnight Shadows by Carol J. Post, and two by Kim Law, Caught on Camera and Sugar Springs.

Beguiled, by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand, is a romantic suspense novel set in Charleston.  Dee used it as an example in her workshop on research, and it was the only one of her books I didn’t have, so when I saw it on sale at Amazon, I clicked it into my cart.  Darynda Jones’ latest tale, Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet is the latest release in her series.  I’m running behind on those; I’ve read First Grave on the Right (a Golden Heart winner), but Fourth Grave will be joining Second and Third on the TBR pile.

For pure mystery, I’d ordered Aaron Elkin’s latest Gideon Oliver novel, Dying on the Vine.  I’ve been reading this series since the beginning.  I’ve also read Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone novels since the beginning (the latest is wating for me), so I couldn’t resist The Bughouse Affair, the first in a new historical mystery series set in 1890s San Francisco by Muller and her husband, Bill Pronzini.

I should be able to hold off the Heartbreak of Abibliophobia for a good while yet.  Say, the next twenty-five years or so.

Buying Books Again

Well, that’s hardly news.  How about this:  I went into the local Barnes & Noble yesterday and didn’t buy any books at all.  I was there to pick up some gift cards, but I did wander through the store, looking.  I’m afraid, though, that I’ve reached the point of feeling a bit overwhelmed in a giant bookstore, and find myself wishing, not for the first time, that there were more small ones left in the world.  There’s just too much clamoring for my attention in the big ones.

Not that I wasn’t tempted.  But I have two book orders outstanding, not to mention a couple of recent instant gratification episodes involving my Kindle.  And no more time to read than usual.

Last weekend I ordered a stack of paperbacks from Amazon.  Three of my Starcatcher sisters have books just out, their Golden Heart finalist manuscripts now in print, and I wanted paper copies of those:  Valerie Bowman’s Secrets of a Wedding Night, Tracy Brogan’s Crazy Little Thing, and Sharon Lynn Fisher’s Ghost Planet.

As long as I was there, I ordered Elaine Viets’ latest Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper mystery, Murder Is a Piece of Cake.  Josie Marcus and Helen Hawthorne, Viets’ other series character, are two of my favorites, and I’ve read them all.  Amazon was running a buy three, get one free sale that day, and three of my four books qualified, so I ordered one more, Dipped, Stripped and Dead, by Elise Hyatt, the first in a series recommended by my friend Jane Perrine.

Then I wandered over to the Mystery Guild and preordered another stack by favorite mystery authors:  Janet Evanovich’s Notorious Nineteen, Margaret Maron’s The Buzzard Table, and Marcia Muller’s Looking for Yesterday.  These are all the latest installments in series I’ve been reading since their first cases, featuring Stephanie Plum (Evanovich), Deborah Knott (Maron), and Sharon McCone (Muller).   And, from one of my favorite SF series, I ordered Lois McMaster Bujold’s new Vorkosigan novel, Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance.

While I’m waiting for all those paper books to arrive, I downloaded Heather MacAllister’s Haunted Spouse, a Halloween romance about an architect who specializes in designing Haunted Houses.  Who knew?  I started reading this one at lunch yesterday, and it’s charming and fun.

I know I’ll never catch up.  I don’t care.  There are so many worse vices and more dangerous addictions.  Binge book buying seems pretty tame in comparison.