After a fortnight of constant hammering, electric saw working at eardrum shattering levels and, endless arguments about the finish with two grinning carpenters who forever reeked of cheap tobacco, it is done. Our book corner is ready. My older one put his arm around my shoulder (he loves to do that now that he is my height) and said, ‘I think I’ll have just two empty shelves once I am done organising all books. Don’t worry, ma. We’ll soon fill those up too, won’t we?’
Sigh. Yes we would. We are in love – we swoon to the smell of the book, run our fingers over the page to feel the illustrations, listen to each other go on and on about the ones we loved reading, talk about them to every willing (or unwilling) ear, and are forever wide-eyed when we enter a bookstore.
We are addicted. And as a service to mankind we decided to list, as objectively as possible, the symptoms of this addiction which so far has seen no cure. You know you are hopelessly addicted to books if:
- On getting the excerpts from various books for a writer’s workshop, you spend the next hour ordering all of them online.
- You always have books in your shopping carts across different online shops, waiting for you to finally break and reconcile with that grand total at the bottom, and click on the order button. That at most takes 12 hours.
- To make matters worse, the websites keep sending you mailers listing the ‘books you might love.’ They are mostly right about your choices, resulting in more books in that online shopping cart.
- The bookshop owner lights up the moment he sees you.
- You can never return from a bookstore empty handed, although the book you were originally looking for is still unavailable.
- Your friends know from your tone over the phone, if at all you take the call, that you are buried in the pages, and are either chasing a beast, or are about to be murdered.
- After reading a great book, you frantically look for people you can recommend it to, or shriek with, while bouncing around.
- You have more member/discount cards of bookstores than you have credit cards.
- No book ever seems expensive though at the end of the month you end up wondering where your hard-earned money went.
- You never have enough bookshelves.
- When someone mentions a great book, you either jot it down if you are smart, or if you are like me, you sheepishly mail or call that person the next day for the names again.
- You realise that the telephone company has disconnected your internet due to non-payment only when you try to log in to buy more books.