My name is Empress Cindy and I’m addicted to books.
I can’t help myself. I’m insatiably curious and I love to read. And I get such a high from learning something new that nothing else can compete with it. So while I have admirable self-control when it comes to spending money on clothes and shoes and jewelry, when it comes to books, I turn into a jellyfish.
My husband Jack and I live in a medium-sized, two-bedroom apartment. We use the second bedroom for our office, with the computer and a printer and two huge wooden shelves for his books. (He also has several boxes of books in the outside storage closet.)
The living room, though, is mine, so instead of proper furniture we have two recliners, a small entertainment center, bookshelves, and art supplies. My five yellow metal shelves had served me well for many years, but recently they’ve become so full that I started stacking books on the floor. So on Labor Day, I took some of my art supplies out to the storage closet and Jack bought me a blond wood foldout shelf at Staples. It’s 27 inches wide and has three shelves, but the top one is open (and very sturdy), so I can always start stacking the books sideways.
My big problem for the past four months is that I’ve found two great sources of really cheap used books. My neighborhood Barnes and Noble has a used book department, and since May it’s been filling tables with dollar books. I’ve found old copies of Lionel Trilling’s and Susan Sontag’s criticism, huge old collections of poetry, several Best Essays, biographies of Dickens and Keats, a volume of Doris Lessing’s autobiography, several business books and writing how-to’s, David Denby’s Great Books, Sharon O’Brien’s biography of Willa Cather, and lots of other goodies.
My other, even better source, is the used bookstore in the basement of a nearby library. What finds! Just last Friday I got two of the Durant Civilization books and MacNeil’s The Rise of the West (a truly great history). I’ve also found several literature anthologies, The Greek Way and The Roman Way, by Edith Hamilton (that woman could really write), poetry anthologies, including a Norton hugie (for seventy cents!), The Ascent of Man by Bronowski and Civilization by Clark, several more business books, some very good science fiction, including the three Clarion anthologies, more writing how-to’s, at least five art books, and plenty of other great finds. And they all cost a dollar or less!
How could any self-respecting book addict resist?