By Tamara Girardi
Ever since we were high school sweethearts, my husband has enforced a rule when it's time to leave the mall. He puts the horse blinders on. It's kind of embarrassing actually.
He places his hands on either side of my face, creating blinders, so I will not stop at one more clothing rack, not another display counter. I can’t thank him enough. Retail therapy is one thing. Book stores are completely different.
I cannot go near a bookstore unless I plan to leave with a stack of books and spend lots of money. Like max the credit cards, kind of money.
It’s an addiction, and the horse blinders come in handy.
I don’t literally hold my own hands up, but you get the picture. Just last week, I had to go to the bookstore to buy a gift. I knew which book I wanted. The plan was to get in, get out, and keep my credit card bill in check.
It was tough. I got the book quick enough, but then I had to weave through the expertly-designed aisles to get to the checkout. Used to be you could walk straight down one aisle without really looking at anything. Now, the bookstore is a maze of end-caps stocked with beloved authors.
Passing the bargain books without a second glance is torturous. But I mentally enforced the horse blinder rule.
Keep walking, Tamara. Oooh, Lee Child’s books. I love Jack Reacher.
No. Focus. Regroup. You can do this. Just keep walking.
Wait, is that Janet Evanovich? With a bargain book? Do I have that one at home? Or did I borrow it from the library? I mean, either way, I already read it. It’s just a matter of having it in my collection to gather dust.
Oh, a table just for the classics. I should read more classics.
Do you see the problem?
The other day, I charged up my Kindle, found some really great books unread in my Kindle library and rediscovered the joy of pushing a button and a book being delivered within seconds. Um, hmmn. Talk about going from bad to worse.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a writer. Supporting other writers is key, and supporting them means buying their books (among other things). I have a full library in my house to prove the kind of literary cheerleader I am.
Still, I go to a bookstore or click on my Kindle store, and I feel like Sophie Kinsella’s shopaholic Becky Bloomwood in a high end clothing store.
Is anyone with me?