By Carlie Auclair [contributor]
Have you ever walked into a Chapters or Indigo and as soon as you find yourself entering the doorway, your hands immediately get clammy with anticipation? Do you ever get a dizzying head rush just thinking about the sweet sound that a freshly cracked book spine makes? And do your toes curl when you see an overflowing bookshelf just waiting for your nimble fingers to glide over their eager pages in search of a next great find?
If so then perhaps literary rehab is the place for you. I know it is probably the most appropriate place for someone like me, because I have to admit, at the risk of sounding like I spend my Saturday nights alone, I am a shameless full blown book addict.
I only started realizing this back in the gym strip, grade school days when those fabulously flimsy “Scholastic Book Order” newsletters would be passed out every month. I would instantly swirl with euphoric glee as I flipped through the crinkly sheets of book heaven.
What would I choose this time? On the off chance would my mother allow me to order two books this time instead of one? The very notion made me giddy, and that is where the dependency spawned. Soon the book order turned into school book fairs and the book fairs turned into weekend trips to Black Bond books and before I knew it the Romanesque marvel that was the Vancouver Public Library opened up and so did my love affair for literature–like a can of book worms.
Eventually, enough that my bedroom started to look like that bookstore in the Neverending Story. Where does one get the time to read all these books, you wonder? The funny thing is this is where the addiction takes an interesting turn. I mean, of course actually reading these books are my primary intention but after awhile my book to time ratio becomes so completely skewed to one side that the problem of, which one to read first arises. This became evident when my hot little fingers found amazon.com. It was only a matter of time before I was mere clicks away from endless volumes, paperbacks, novels and essays. I could see myself lying on an imaginary ceiling covered with nothing but book pages that would smoothly drift from my ethereal body, a less rose petal and more, pages from books themed Mena Suvari from American Beauty.
I believe that what attracts me to purchase large quantities of books, very frequently, is that to me they aren’t just books, they are opportunities. They are adventures and possibilities.
In a way I have been guilty of accumulating opportunities that have yet to be taken advantage of. When I say opportunities, I do mean exactly that. Over the years I have tried to dissect my fascination with reading a good piece of writing and I have to say that I have finally narrowed it down.
The fascination is with what it does to my mind. It is the quiet thought process and reflection synonymous with reading that enabled me to get better acquainted with myself. After breaking down the evidence it seems that self discovery is the long awaited method behind my madness: a trait of human behavior that every person seems to go through at some point in their lives–some travel to far off lands in search of their souls, others choose meditation or yoga, or extreme sports. In my experience I have come to the conclusion that I just have to let my mind escape into a good story; for me that’s the best hit an addict could get.