Recently, when discussing books with a dear friend, he told me to “embrace the obsession.” Those words have circled round my head for days because the only way to describe my relationship to books is as an obsession. To obsess is to allow a singular thing to haunt, or excessively preoccupy, the mind and books happily haunt the essence of all that I am.
A portion of every day is spent reading books, discovering new books, exploring older books, interacting with the “bookternet” to discuss books, stories, authors… all of these things bring me closer to the wondrous world of books. That time spent in around the bookish world creates an almost orgasmic joy that pierces to my core.
I feel Robert Louis Stevenson said it beautifully in, “A Gossip on Romance” (1882).
In anything fit to be called by the name of reading, the process itself should be absorbing and voluptuous; we should gloat over a book, be rapt clean out of ourselves.
That is a description of reading I can get behind and serves to partially illustrate why my obsession is one I greedily indulge in over and over. I try to dedicate at least part of each day seeking out that kind of reading experience.
Everyone may have their favorite kind of book; myself, I am partial to genre fiction but will indulge in anything that strikes my fancy. Mainly because you never know what book will be the one to suck you into its world wholly and without mercy. To be able to get lost in another world, meeting new “people,” and sharing in those experiences is a driving force in my obsession.
So, yes, I embrace my pleasurable book obsession and always will. I will help it to take root, grow, and thrive.