And speaking of addiction...

When it comes to books, I have a small problem. Teeny, really. Hardly worth mentioning.

I like to have a stash.

The knitters among you will know what I mean. That jittering anxiety in the back of your mind that someday, there could be a yarn shortage and therefore, you have to get while the getting’s good, oftentimes leading to a yarn stash of monumental proportions or, as the esteemed Harlot calls it, SABLE - Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. I’ve got that with books.

It all started reasonably enough, but then, it always does, doesn’t it? I was given a perfectly reasonable number of credits as an introduction to Audible. Ken gave them to me. I think he may have meant well, wanting to give me back the books I’d lost when my neck couldn’t handle the regular way of reading anymore, unaware that he had just given me a gateway drug.

I’ve continued to purchase a perfectly reasonable amount of credits once a year – a Platinum membership’s pretty sweet deal: 24 credits for what works out to be about $10 a credit (not bad, when many of the books cost $20 or more). If used judiciously, these credits can last an entire year. I have a ritual. At the beginning of every month, I sit down at my desk with a cup of tea and look through my wish list (which, in the past three years of being a member of Audible has accumulated a mere 400 titles, most Must Reads, some just Potentials). It takes a while to narrow down the candidates for the short list, researching, checking review, thinking of what will suit me best and finally, with great satisfaction, I choose two. Perfectly restrained. Perfectly controlled. There would be no stash if this was the only way I got my books. It’s not. It’s the sales that get me - the bastards at Audible keeps having completely irresistible sales and… well. I have a stash.

I mentioned that I'd had a problem related to the trilogy His Dark materials, when after reading the first book in the series, I absolutely had to read the next two and – gasp! - used credits even though it wasn't the first of the month. Having broken my ordinarily very disciplined approach to book acquisition, I snapped completely and after a thoroughly wanton episode over which I will draw a gauzy curtain, as to not spread the contagion to the knitters on yarn diets (as I believe this loss of control may be contagious) and long, sordid story short, I have two (when I first thought of this post) one (and then I snapped before twisting myself into a pretzel of choice anxiety – after all, what book could possibly be special enough for The Last Credit?) no credits left and three months to go before I'm allowed to buy another 24 credit plan.

So, I’m on a book diet. Which is the nice word for it. Really? I’m in detox. It’s time for some stash diving – which is far from a chore, I’ve got piles and piles of interesting books waiting for me, some of them half-read, and I think it’s time I finish a few before I add more. It seems that finishing things is a trend here in Toronto. Maybe it’s something in the water?