Fionnuala had enough the other week and bought a new bookcase to house my ever increasing book collection. This now sits proudly at the top of our stairs and means I no longer have an excuse for secreting books around the home to be tripped over and stood upon. Yes, I’m going to have to admit it – my name is Stephen and I’m a book addict. There are too many of them, tempting and enticing me into impulse purchases.
The situation is no better on my Kindle Fire. I must have a dozen unread titles on it, yet I still found myself browsing through it last night, planning what additions I could procure this coming pay day. My TBR (to be read) list snakes endlessly over the horizon with no sign of decreasing any time soon. There just aren’t enough hours in the day unless I pack in the day job and lock myself away for the next 20 years or so.
The Kindle Unlimited feature does little to curb my habit. This allows me to ‘borrow’ up to 10 books at a time, free of charge, from over a million titles on offer. Every direction I turn I see books, books and more books. It doesn’t help that my daily commute to and from work involves walking past probably the best second hand bookshop in Belfast. It’s like giving our Rebecca a £10 note and telling her to stand outside a sweet shop.
I read a lot. On the train in the morning, whenever I’m waiting for an appointment, when I go to bed at night. It matters not a jot. I’m nowhere near scaling the Everest of words and pages staring down upon little old me. Then there’s the blog posts, websites and social media platforms which continually clog up my timelines. Then there’s the small matter of the day job where I spend much of my day digesting reports and e-mails.
I love reading. But sometimes I feel as if I need to sacrifice it in order to fit in the many other priorities in my life. My family, faith and fitness. Not to mention I’m supposed to be writing Book 2. It’s at times like that I remember the advice Stephen King gave when asked what his top tips were for fellow writers. ‘You have to read widely….If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools to write.’
So I’ll read, read and read some more. Stop grumbling Stephen. The glass is half full, in fact it’s brimming over. I’m grateful to live in a society where I was taught to read and write, where I have access to books and censors don’t dictate to me when, and what, I can read. I’m fortunate to have my eyesight and access to numerous bookstores and libraries. Then there’s unlimited access to the internet.
To be called a bookworm used to be a derogatory term when I was growing up. I was a bespectacled geek and used to hide my love of Tolkien, King and other literary greats. I’m still a bespectacled geek, the contact lenses didn’t work out I’m afraid, but I’m proud to be called a bookworm now. For we are many. Reading, learning, growing and sharing. There are a lot worse habits to have.
Are you a bookworm?
How long is your TBR list?