Last year I vowed to save my groaning bookshelf (it speaks Spanish — “No mas! No mas!”) and my hollow wallet by using the interlibrary loan privileges at my local library. It’s been working out pretty well, too, even if my drives to work and food markets do not take me past my local library, inconveniently enough.
Then I read something like this:
This is cruelty, plain and simple. Do we pour a foamy beer in front of the alcoholic? Walk down Fifth Avenue with a shopaholic? Light up in front of the cold-turkey who quit smoking? No. But I’ve only myself to blame. Did I really have to read those descriptions? Did I really have to open a new window to amazon, where I could read more reviews and blurbs while noticing the special, new-book discount?
Rhetorical questions are a wonderful thing. Until they look like rationalizations. There I was reading all about the horribly-named novel Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg. Really. It sounds like a Dr. Seuss book or something. And yet… and yet… catnip! Snared by the whiskers!
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Next thing you know I see The Art of Memoir. Me, a guy who can’t resist the siren call of books about books or books about writing books. Mary Karr, yet! An author and poet I admire!
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And just like that, my resolution lies a beaten vow on the floor. Pulverized. Bleeding through the hardwood cracks. Forgive me, Father, for I have bought. For these and all my sins, I am heartily sorry.
Until tomorrow when my new books arrive…