Monday, March 3, 2008

Addicted to Love

One of my dear friends mentioned to me the other day that she owns a book by a favorite author, Barbara Michaels, that she hasn’t read. The book has been sitting on her shelf for a while now. She’s saving it for a time when she really needs a sure-fire comfort read. Another friend chimed in that she, too, has a book by a favorite author that she’s saving until she has time to savor it.

I was astounded by these two comments. I mean, I know all about delayed gratification. I eat my vegetables before my dessert (mostly) and I save money now for next summer’s vacation (mostly), but I’d never, ever considered applying the concept to my reading material.

If you put the new Christine Feehan, Nalini Singh, or Colleen Gleason book in front of me, I’m not sure I’d be able resist reading it. Even the thought of doing so makes me twitchy.

Unfortunately, I’d probably enjoy these books on a whole different level if I didn’t snatch my reading time late at night or when I really should be doing something else. Some enterprising mental health professional is going to start a 12 step Reader’s Anonymous group one day for people like me…but I won’t be going.

How about you – do you wait for the time or the right moment to savor those highly anticipated books by favorite authors, or, like me, do you devour them as quickly as possible?


Evonne Wareham said...


I have a whole shelf of 'not yet reads' which probably makes me some kind of control freak - may be true - I have a horror of being sick, snowed in, otherwise incapacitated and having nothing to read - it's genetic, my mother is the same - hence the stash of books!

Mel Hiers said...

Great subject, Holli!

I've recently had a shift in my reading habits. Where a few years ago I might have read my faves right away, I find myself using these as rewards. If I do 3,000 words on Saturday, I can start the latest Charlaine Harris. Once I finish the PMA awards judging, I can FINALLY read that Kim Harrison.

Evonne - I'm the same way. I fear being stranded without reading material, so I keep a sizeable TBR pile, and there's always a book in my purse. My dad used to tease me and say, "In case of a reading emergency..."

Holli Bertram said...

Evonne and Mel,

You guys are good! Wish I had that kind of self-control. Evonne, I know what you mean, though. There's nothing worse than being house-bound with nothing that you want to read. The advantage of having a sieve for a memory is that you can reread with almost as much enjoyment!
Mel, I have a book of short stories in my car, and another book in my briefcase. I think I need a bigger purse, so I can stick one in there, too :).

Tammy said...

Marian Keyes is definitely my delayed gratification/reward.

Savanna Kougar said...

Holli, I'm the queen of delayed gratification in a lot of ways, but not with books.
My Grandmother kept a room-full of books. And mom is the same way, my dad was too. So, it must be genetic!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Great post! I am so weird about books--I have one in my car for when I get stuck at the train tracks--it's easy to pick up and put down, just a short read. Then, I have a book in my bathroom. Ya. I read while in the potty. Then, I have a book in the kitchen to peruse while I'm cooking. Then, I have a book at my bedside for those insomnia moments. So, at any given time, I'm reading 4 or 5 books. I think the thing is I don't really like TV so I turn to books to entertain me during those down times. But would I put off a Catherine Asaro novel? Er, no. I'd probably carry it in my purse. Same with Catherine Spangler or Patrica Sargeant--those are the novels I carry with me because I can't WAIT to read them. :) But I can understand someone saving up their favorite author as a total "pick me up" book. I mean, I get that, but I want the pick me up all day long. I guess I just can't wait! :)

Lexie O'Neill said...

I've never even HEARD of waiting to read a fave kids and I take them out of the bag in the van as soon as we leave the bookstore (okay, I have to drive, so I don't actually read mine that fast). At the same time, I'm like some of the others...I have a stash of books to be read, but they're the ones I got cheap at the library and wait until I have nothing else to read. Finally, like Anitra, I have books I read at different places. I have a devotional I read every morning at breakfast (a real book, though, not the little prayer a days--St. Augustine's Confessions, for example), one in the bathroom (another one I can only read for short times--right now, it's Greece for Dummies), and then my fun books!
Interesting post!

Holli Bertram said...

Tammy - I don't think I've ever read a Marian Keyes. I'm going to have to put her on my list.

Sav - how great to come from such a family of readers! I got my love of reading from my dad.

Anitra - love the book in the kitchen! I might actually be motivated to cook if I told myself I could read while stuff was in the oven.

Lexie - you sound like me. My to-be-read pile tends to be the books I'm not so sure about, since I've read everything else. I love it when I find a gem in that pile.