My Name is Becky and I am a biblioholic. What is a biblioholic? Anyone who is addicted to books. I buy them. I collect them. I share them. I read them. I binge read. And I can spend time thinking about what books I need to buy or read next. Do you have an addiction to books? If so, I truly understand the problem.
I don’t remember the early days of being read to, but assume I must have been since I do recall my earliest books. One was a golden book about puppies and kittens, that I still have. I remember the Bobbsey Twins, then I remember Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Black Beauty, Pippi Longstockings and so many more. Then I progressed to Agatha Christie (which both my mom and sister were reading, so we would pass books around). Sometime in junior high school (yes, I’m old school), I read some pretty intense, heavy books about the holocaust such as Exodus.
Then I headed to college, marriage and young children, so my reading was either non-existent, what I call trite – light mysteries or soupy romance, or Dr Seuss’s books with my kids. I didn’t have the time or energy for much else. Reading at night usually I fell asleep and my husband would come to bed and remove the book, glasses and turn off my light while I slept through it all.
WHY DO I READ?
Reading and books have always been important to me. They are and are part of my identity. They have always served a purpose in my life. I read for lots of reasons—different on different days. I have created a short list of my reasons. What are yours?
- Let’s face it, we’ve all had times when we needed to escape the reality of our lives. When I was a child, books were my friends sometimes the only friends I had.
- How many of us have needed “light” reading in order to escape the pandemic, which I couldn’t control or handle the effects it had on me or my friends or family’s lives. So, I read a lot of, what I call “feel good” books with happy endings. They helped me to relax into the moment so I could prepare and get through the next moment, hour, day.
- When my only sibling and remaining family member died this past year, I wasn’t much good for anything but grieving. In a rare moment, a romance might help me step away from my pain. When I missed my sister so much, a mystery could offer me a smile, especially if it was an author we both enjoyed. I needed the relief of escapism.
IDEAS, INFORMATION AND UNDERSTANDING
Books offer me information. I grew up with the motto—don’t know something? Look it up in a book. During the early weeks of the pandemic several of us were at my father-in-law’s house. For a school project, one of my grandchildren used the old encyclopedias in the bookshelf instead of Google! What a shock.
- When I pick up a new hobby, I get a little compulsive! Gardening is a good example. I created several flower beds (eleven to be exact), worked at amending the soil, determined the best flowers (I had a black walnut tree which puts out a chemical that affects vegetables) would fit in my sunny or shady spots. All this I learned from reading books and specialty magazines.
- In the last year, I have been reading about systemic racism, and how my white privilege has shaped my words and behavior. The knowledge I’ve gained from books has opened my eyes.
- As I age, I’ve needed to understand how to live, as well as possible, in these twilight years of my life, what it means for me and others. Books are creating a light on the path.
In other words, I’ve gained new ideas, new information, new understandings from my books and from the many authors who’ve shared their information with the world.
OFFERING ME THE GIFT TO IMAGINE AND DREAM
I wanted to be either a ballerina or in medicine when I grew up. I dreamed about both of those things and books offered me a way into my dreams. I read all the books I could find in my local and school library about ballerinas, fiction and biographical, and the basic beginning ballet positions. I also read about the history of Clara Barton, the nurse who started the American Red Cross; Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing during and after the Crimean War, and the first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell. I read the Sue Barton, nursing series beginning with Sue Barton, student nurse. My books allowed me to dream about possibilities and worlds to reach for.
TRAVEL TO NEW PLACES
At age sixty-two I headed to Scotland for three weeks. I drove myself around, touring and meeting people. For the prior year, I read and tried to determine my destinations. I also read about places I’ll never be able or want to travel to – some are now on my bucket list, but the books offer a look into worlds of wonder.
Do you remember the books that made a difference in your life? I do and I remember how they changed me. The ones I’m thinking about right now, are books that showed me ways to live out my life in full and healthy ways. They showed me the kind of person I wanted to become and challenged behaviors and thoughts I wanted to let go.
I still read a lot and which is a combination of fiction and non-fiction. It is a passion. The problem is, some days I collect more books than I get read. (My TBR list and pile is bigger than my FINISHED pile is, most days). And when I buy a new book, whether it’s a new author or an old friend, I am filled with joy, excitement and possibilities and can’t wait to open that book and read the first pages.
Books will always be a part of my life and yes . . . my name is Becky and I’m a biblioholic. Welcome to my world and
this is what I know today,
Do you like to read? What are your favorites? Are books important to you? Why?
I hope you’ll take some time and let me know. I’d love to share our similar passions.
“I think books are like people, in the sense that they’ll turn up in your life when you most need them.”
Here is a link to a fun podcast entitled, What Should I Read Next? Guests are interviewed about their reading history. Then they name three favorite books and one book that wasn’t for them.https://modernmrsdarcy.com/what-should-i-read-next/
P.S. Did you read under the covers with a flashlight? I sure did!