Like an alcoholic in a liquor store.

I stopped by the library’s Friends of the Library book sale at lunch today, which was nerd-o-rama to say the least. Men and women who looked like they hadn’t seen the sun in a few weeks were running through the aisles with red eyes and crazy hair, stuffing books into their NPR tote bags. Luckily my crowd reflexes are still sharp, and I dodged a few of them before it got ugly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m also a book nerd of the highest order. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of waking early on Saturdays and heading downtown to these enormous warehouses to spend the day book spelunking with my parents. I think we filled all the bookshelves in our new house that way.

When I moved to New York, I introduced both of them to the Strand. Big mistake, since I come by my bookaholism quite genetically. For us, just visiting that store is like being an alcoholic in a liquor store, a dieter in a chocolate shop, an addict in a pharmacy. I know my dad ordered their books online, and I made several car trips down with a boxload of special requests. I think that’s technically called trafficking. Luckily, in NYC you have to purge as much as you bring into your house, otherwise you’ll soon be sleeping on it. That curbed my “problem” for awhile, but now I have 2,000 square feet to fill. Be worried, very worried. Keep reading »