What I am going to say here amounts to a BA--that's "Books Anonymous"--confession. My psuedonym is Vixen Strangely, and I am a book addict. This is my story.
I began reading at the tender age of five, looking at pictures and sorting out the syllables of words that were small, and often pointing to bigger words to see if anyone might tip me off to what they were. And I'd repeat them, and thnk about those letters. It made a lot of sense. It came easy, you see, and people were always offering me books. It was educational. By the time I was in second grade, I was officially hooked. I visited the school library and checked out my maximum, and I read them. That's a fact.
I was introduced to the hard stuff at that early age. You know--Blume. Luisa May Alcott--someone scored me a copy of Little Women, and Little Men soon followed. I read C. S. Lewis's Narnia books by nightlight. And I read Lewsis Carroll's Alice books on rainy afternoons while sipping tea--and I fancied myself as being in control. I was young, then.
My parent's indulgence and my library access permitted, I read a few books a week--that was how it was then. Slow. I was still learning the habits. One in my bookbag, one at home. And then I substituted another for whichever one I finished first.
I graduated to genre by junior high, favoring science fiction and horror. I kept up with Stephen King. I read John Saul and L. Ron Hubbard. I read Heinlein and Robert Anton Wilson. I read Tom Robbins. But I still could down a Danielle Steel or a Sidney Sheldon if someone threw it at me--I was a full-blown addict. Only very highly-functioning then. I could enter a book store and still have money in my wallet when I negotiated the titles I really needed to read. I had connections to a source who lent me Don Pendleton novels so I could enjoy my noirish violence. I watched more televison then, because in my youth, I could still really enjoy tv.
I think becoming an Eng. Lit. major was where it all went down-hill. Books were no longer a hobby I dabbled in, but the central focus of my studies. I turned on other people to authors who fascinated me, freely lending out Edgar Rice Burroughs,or encouraging a love of Aleister Crowley, just to know I'd created another fiend like myself. In the meanwhile, I learned the critical language, and came to better understand what I read--all the better to manage my habit. To pick the stronger stuff. My tastes became more outre. Biographies, historical, political. I read Frazer's The Golden Bough. I became very witchy and arcane.
And then there was Amazon. The Dot Com. My bookish whims pretty much on demand.
Bloody damn books, all the time. For a little while, in my late twenties and early thirties, I must have pointed and clicked my soul away. The world lay before me. Colleen McCollough, and her Rome, James Clavell and his Asia, too. And Stephen Saylor's Gordianus. More Asimov. Pratchet. Haldeman. DiFillipo. Scalzi. Stross. Mieville. The pleasure was too great to bear--I branched out. Comic books--ahem--graphic novels. Newman/Yeovil. Flint, Stirling...Ringo. It was all there, don't you see? Gibson, Vinge and Stephenson. The hard stuff. What other good authors lurked in the shadows? Kim Harrison? Mercedes Lackey? A click away. A click away.
But how do you kick? Like a person with an eating disorder who still needs to eat--I still need to read! But I try to now keep my habit within my budget. So I only recently got Stross' Saturn's Children. I am probably past the "freshness date" on reviewing it--but I guess I will anyway, in a bit. And do you realize--I still have not seen The Dark Knight? But when I do--I'll comment.
But my reviews may be scarce--I'm saving my entertainment coin for my trip to Italy coming up mid-September. And enduring for three weeks. Not necessarily having regular readers, I do not know who my expected absence will even vaguely discomfit. If anyone. It will discomfit me, not posting. I will miss my vent. You, casual, accidental, occasional reader--have made the last year I've blogged sort of worth it, after all. When I hit Sitemeter and know five people saw a page of mine in any given day--well, I feel like I exist. Yay, me.
(Disclaimer: I know I exist in real-time, too. I have a husband, parents and bills. I just like to feel on-line love from time o time.)