Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Free-book fanatic

I have fallen off the wagon. Oh wait, not the wagon, maybe the bookmobile. My guilty secret is addiction to fiction that does little to enrich my mind, expand my horizons or contribute to my growth as a person.

The public library in Ocean Springs has a free paperback swap program that feeds my addiction. November, December and early January have been so full of celebrations, travel and other activities that there has been no visit to the library. About the only book I have read other than my Bible during that time was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil prior to our November visit to Savannah, GA.

The return to devouring sometimes abominable prose began with good intentions. Working on some post-holiday cleanup yesterday, I gathered a bag full of paperbacks I had read and loaded them in our van. I had other errands downtown, so I planned to just run in, shelve the books and leave. When I arrived, however, the swap shelves were full, and books were calling to me to have a look.

As usual, the visit to the swap section began with the – gulp, blush – romance section. My system is to quickly look for regency romances. I like the ones with brave, quirky heroines pure as the driven snow. The steamier romances are not for me. Since there is rarely an abundance of regency romances, my next step is to just pick out the thickest of the romances with interesting titles and covers that don’t have hunks and hunkesses passionately entwined. Next I move over to the novels and mystery sections and pick out a few promising candidates. In my earlier years, I finished every book I started. No longer. If it doesn’t grab in the first few pages, or sometimes the first few paragraphs, down it goes.

I left with two skinny regency romances, several thicker paperbacks by Luann Rice, a John Grisham I hadn’t read and a few others. After husband Walter headed back to work after lunch, I decided to dip just a little into one of the romances. That is always the way it begins. By bedtime that “dip,” interspersed with minimum housekeeping tasks, had expanded to finishing the regency romances and getting well into a Luann Rice book. Hey, at least I’m a frugal addict.


  1. Well, I don't have that addiction to romance novels but I never have been able to kick that must-complete-book compulsion. Maybe partly because there have been books I hated for the first 200 pages and the turned out to love. But I have also suffered through many crappy books all the way to the bitter end.

  2. Give yourself another decade or so!

  3. LOL so true (your comment about time altering priority/necessity)!

    I admire Syds' dedication but I'm with you, if a book or article or recipe doens't click quite quickly it's bye-bye-gone :-) Tho soon replaced by another book - even with the passion I have for the internet there is NO sub for the feel of a book, for literally turning the pages.....

    ps don't feel badly about the romance addiction :-) I'm drawn to historical romance, sci-fi, and mystery (as if life didn't hold mystery enough, lol)

    Wish there were a book-swap such as you have near me (or maybe it's better there isn't, lol)