Book Addiction: We Might Really Have A Problem People

I picked up a copy of a book called Spent: Break the Buying Obsession and Discover Your True Worth by Sally Palaian.

I’m not a big spender in a lot of areas, but when it comes to books I am completely irrational. I was flipping through Spent and I came across a chart called “Is Money Addictive” which compared buying addiction to the the DSMV-IV Criteria for Substance Dependence.

The bullet points are from the DSMV-IV and all quotes are from Spent, by Sally Palaian. My comments follow.

  • Increased tolerance- “Constantly craving more things and newer things.” Constantly craving new releases and new books even though according to Goodreads I have 419 unread books sitting in my apartment.
  • Withdrawal- “Addict feels agitated, bored or restless unless spending or shopping.”  Compare that to how I feel when I have finished a new book and am perusing my shelves of 419 books, coming to the decision that there just isn’t anything to read I need to go out and get something new.
  • Use of more than was intended- “Addict cannot keep to a shopping list or a budget” How many times have I gone into a book store looking for one thing and come out with ten others! And maybe not even with the books I went there to get. I also purged my books a couple of years ago and said I wasn’t going to buy anymore until I had read my entire library.  I started blogging about those books and somehow acquired 200 more in less than a year. I’m with Trish.  I think my books are having sex with each other.
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down- “Addict tries not to shop; breaks promises to self and others, may limit stores frequented.”  I have tried to go to the library, but seriously, I live in the same block as Barnes & Noble.  Could you stay out of there? Don’t lie!
  • A great deal of time spent pursuing and concealing- “Addict browses catalogs, the internet or the mall.” Yeah, in addition to Borders, B&N, other blogs and the list could really go on and on.
  • Dropping important activities.- I recently admitted that there are Friday nights where I have turned down other activities to go to the bookstore, read and work on my book blog.  I am lame. Just ask Trish and Jenn.  It was the margaritas talking!
  • Continued use despite negative consequences- “Addict neither sees the problem or the consequences.”  As I type this up I am totally justifying all of my activities, and thinking of all the other worse dependencies or habits I could have other than books.

This has been really interesting.  I’m joking, but I really could just as easily not be. And I am sort of inching toward a valid question.  One which I have no intention of facing up to or changing unless… I don’t know…something drastic and highly unlikely happens.

And you my fine friends,  basically, all of you are my enablers. I would have to stop blogging, move and possibly rid myself of all my books so as not to be tempted, and to break the book addiction.  Or I could just play enabler myself and let you know that Spent has been in stores in paperback since May.  And you can buy it at the crack house of your choice.

Do you fit the criteria? Or is it just me?  I mean, I have several books by the same author and have yet to read one.  How messed up is that?  And are you quite as bad?

Leave a Comment