[Sober Living] Addicted To Books

Despite all the months and thousands of words I’ve written about decluttering, and sobriety, those sensations will probably never fully go away. I fantasize about going to some cool bookstore and buying a stack of books to enjoy just as I fantasize about, well, you know. I take a route of complete abstinence for my sobrieties, knowing that any drop of similar tasting liquid in the wrong mindset could tip me over. How about books?

It’s OK to buy things.

It’s just important to keep yourself accountable for your purchases, like you do with your sobriety counters, because that is our biggest truth to the world. We know in ourselves when we have heard the sound of our relapse, even if no one else in the forests of our world has heard it. If you can admit to yourself that you took a swig, you can admit when you’re done owning something.

I’m not sure how clutter and sobriety relate.

I know they do because I feel the same impulses. With nearly seven years of sobriety, my mind’s imagination paints less vivid imagery of the liquor aisle. I can nearly forget its intricacies. Just as it was then, my mind retraces bookstores I’ve been to, encouraging me to buy more books than I need.

Occasionally, I’ll buy new books.

As new books arrive in my life, old books must depart. I have many duplicate copies of classic books. Those can go. Books I don’t cherish, books I won’t reread for years, and books that I could easily borrow from the library can all pass through my possession onto their next owner.

Reading books isn’t the same as inebriation.

And yet, it is, because you’re being transported away from your reality into an alternate reality, even if it’s the study hall of a writer’s imagination. As much as I’m indulging in the sacred science of reading for comprehension, I must moderate myself. I shouldn’t give into the temptation of buying new books just to own them.

Hi, my name is Anthony, and I bought three new books yesterday.

I’m mostly done with Meditations, which dislodged Art Of War from its “Self-Improvement” slot in my reading queue, itself establishing an “Art Of War queue.” The Bukowski poetry book spawned a “Poetry” queue. These books have purposes and I’m reading them. Alas, poor Updike. His novel still shows my addiction to materialism. This rack’s honor system allowed you to donate 50¢ for paperbacks. Well, though big, the wild man’s poetry is still a paperback, so Updike hitchhiked for a spell.

When will I read Rabbit, Run?

I have Bukowski’s Post Office waiting for me at the library, so I should read Rabbit, Run after that, but I’m also itching for a library book sale in a few days, salivating over what new books I could acquire… oh! it fills that addiction niche almost nicely. I figure if it’s been six months or six fiction books and still unread, it’s gone!

…Was that… Bibliophiles Anonymous?

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences and I suppose my experiences going to AA and NA.
Inspirations: I’ve been dreaming about going to certain bookstores with that same itch that one might get from saying “I can drink beer if I pour milk into it.” The insatiability is uncontrollable, but at least it’s with some books I can donate than some wild encounter being drunk I’ll regret for years to come.
Related: Other Sober Living and Downsizing Zeal essays.
Photo: I figure if I’m going to buy stuff, I might as well photograph them from their shelves that I removed them from.
Written On: September 12th [21 minutes, 4:59am-5:20am, mobile]
Last Edited: September 14th [Significant structural edits to coax out the Bibliophiles Anonymous theme, which isn’t really taken seriously online, but I think is kind of like the off-shoot of what I’m writing about in a roundabout way with Downsizing Zeal. So, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.