Bill tells me that the reason I desire to acquire is a longstanding homage to the hunter-gatherer in my genes. Centuries ago I would have been downing mammoths with my bow and arrow and filling my apron with bounties of found fruit, but as this is 2007 I am more likely to toddle over to the local Barnes & Noble and collect knowledge in paper form. Yes, books. Intoxicating, magical, orgasmic oceans of wonder. My personal addiction. But I've given them up for the year.
There was a definite salivation earlier today when my colleague at the library mentioned that the latest issue of Quilting Arts had arrived down in the processing area. I do mean salivation--of the Pavlovian puppy kind. The thought of possibly *new* and *improved* knowledge all packaged up with vibrant illustrations caused a physical reaction. I don't know whether to feel embarrassed or shrug it off as normal.
If I take a step back and evaluate the long-term emotional value of owning books, the hollowness is apparent. The rush, however, is quite real. My regular visits to the bookstore have yielded oodles of treasures...even if 95.8% of them have never been read from cover to cover. It's true that after the first blush of acquisition the honeymoon only lasts a day or two, then it's into the slush pile with all the other half-finished but much desired volumes. It is a certainty that I will never get back to them. There are too many new conquests to woo to get hung up on yesterday's news.
My library use is definitely up this year as I try to satisfy that hunger for newer and better mind candy without yielding to the shopping monster. It's revealed the real impetus behind my ownership mentality: my staggering lack of patience. Each book is a lover I yearn to embrace and there's sure to be a temper tantrum if I have to wait. Much easier to plop down a debit card than get in line behind a bunch of undeserving book whores. But this year mine is not the easy road. Add to the list of challenges the ability to appreciate what I have right now, right here before me. Learning to put my name on a waiting list and letting go of it. Getting past a few greasy fingerprints and beach sand in the creases. Realizing that mind candy is all around me and isn't dependent on a book warehouse with an espresso shop. Life is my mind candy, and it's all free.