Snowmaggedon, says the nice lady who talks about the weather after the ten o’clock news, isn’t on its way over here, but since she said Saturday would be a beautiful day and it rained most of the afternoon, I’m not sure I believe her. Something is falling from the sky outside my window, and this time it doesn’t look like rain. And yes, I know that when New Jersey says Snowmaggedon it means five feet, whereas here it means the five inches we had just after Christmas, but the roads are still icy, the buses still stop running and I still get depressed. And we did get fifteen inches a few years ago.
So yesterday, I went in search of something to lift my spirits. And I found something on the internet that was tagged 15 Signs to Prove You’re a Book Addict.
The first thing that cheered me up was realizing it was written by a young person, and more probably a teenager than a child – and it didn’t mention eBooks. And isn’t it great to know that there are still teenage book addicts, and they’re addicted to real books? There may yet be hope for the future.
Here’s my version, adapted for an adult readership.
1. Over 90% of the things on any wishlist (birthday, Christmas, any other occasion) are books. But hey, that’s normal, isn’t it?
2. At the end of the month when money is running low, you dare not enter a bookshop. But...
3. Whenever you pass a bookshop, you just... can’t. Pass, that is. And you never come out emptyhanded.
4. Doing the big supermarket shop, you spend three times longer in the books section than trying to decide which ice cream to buy this month. Though you only buy cut-price books by authors you know don’t need every penny of the royalties just to stay above the breadline.
5. Your friends or family chat about TV or film adaptations of books and all you can say is: ‘Please. The book was a million times better.’
6. Everyone else you know has pictures on their wall. Yours are covered in bookshelves.
7. In fact, your books have spread of off the bookshelves on to floors, desks, anywhere there’s a space.
8. You are the go-to-person in your family for book recommendations.
9. Books make you happier than anything else. Until you finish them. And only then until you start a new one.
10. You dream about worlds you’ve visited in books. You even daydream about books.
11. Your children (or pets) are named after your favourite characters from books. Ruth and Joe are fine, but Roarke? Merrily?
12. You once went to a fancy dress party wearing pyjamas with a notebook tucked under your arm. You gave scathing looks to anyone who asked, ‘What are you meant to be?’ Obviously you were an author.
13. When you’re reading an even more brilliant book than usual, you finish up dehydrated and sleep deprived, but you don’t care.
14. People have to say your name five times to get your attention.
15. When you have a really boring job to do, what better reward for finishing it than a new book?
16. If you were freezing to death you’d burn your clothes, shoes, food and even your own hair before you’d throw your books on. And if the house was on fire, guess what you’d save first.
OK, I found sixteen to her fifteen, and even shoehorned a seventeenth in at the end. I guess that makes me even more of a bookaholic. But you know what? Even if there was a support group, I wouldn’t join it.