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My Name Is Jonathan and I’m an Addict

Posted by spritzophrenia on July 26, 2011

Ahh, books. My reading life is an exemplar of non-chaotic natural selection. Or should that be intelligent design? Don’t laugh, while my intellect may not be god-like, I think is suffices for curating a brood of shelf-replicating volumes.

You see, for every book I return to the university library, I take out 5. In this one-step-forward-two-steps-back fashion I calculate that in 23 years I will have every book ever published in my living room.

We’re on holiday in Gold Coast, Australia. Given that I haven’t been to the library in… oh… 6 days? … I had to augment the 5 texts and 10 articles I brought with me for relaxation reading. Yes, this is true, I read turgid academic prose for entertainment, not to assist with insomnia.

12 step addict

I am, after all, the man who took on honeymoon such sexy titles as “The Law, The Gospel and the Modern Christian”, and Hegel’s “Prolegomena to the Natural Philosophie”. No wonder the marriage didn’t last. OK, I’m lying about Hegel – he’s dense as wood, why would anyone torture themselves with that shit?

Ergo, today I had the shakes and when we chanced upon a “massive book sale”, my addiction raged through my veins. I managed to reduce my spending from AUS$ 190 to $152.45 by being ruthless: I returned two books to the shelves.

Three books were gifts for others. I bought Happygirl a classic on French cooking. No, I’m not patriarchal, cooking is a hobby and a love for her. Also, The Best Spiritual Writing of 2011. In the introduction, Phillip Zaleski writes,

In the spring of 2009 A.N. Wilson, the English novelist and historian, author of contentious studies of Jesus, Tolstoy, Belloc, and C.S. Lewis, announced in the pages of New Statesman that after several years as an enthusiastic atheist, he had returned to belief in God. Wilson, never afraid to bloody the page with his pen, seized the occasion to skewer several of his skeptical colleagues- and, unusually, himself as well, declaring that as a natural doubting Thomas, he should have known better than to trust the deep self-satisfaction that suffused his being when he announced to the world that God was dead. He had thoroughly enjoyed the “heady sense of being at one with the great tide of nonbelievers”; the problem was that certain irritating realizations kept getting in the way.

That’s an excerpt from one of eleven great reads I now have in my sticky paws. But for the rest, you must await part deux.


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10 Responses to “My Name Is Jonathan and I’m an Addict”

  1. You’re right! I DID love this post! Had me giggling. I totally “get” this. Walking out of the bookstore with several books I’m excited to read is seriously one of the most enjoyable feelings in the whole world. I also love libraries but I like to “interact” with a book by underlining/making notes in the margins, so I have taken to ordering used copies of books on amazon or eBay as much as possible. I have about five that I am hoarding at the moment and am reading three at the same time! No fiction at the moment, or that’s all I would be reading. This is why I enjoy editing so much…reading AND getting paid for it!!! πŸ™‚

  2. […] My Name Is Jonathan and I’m an Addict […]

  3. Greetng,

    I too understand what you’re going through, Jonathan, as I suffer from the same addiction – buying too many books for the time available to read. I always intend to getting around to read them but before that happens, I’ve bought more books.

    The only good thing I can say is that I’m not as much of an addict as you – you buy them in bookshops, I don’t.

    I buy my books through http://bookbrain.co.uk/home.aspx, they deliver cheaper books worldwide free of post and packing charges.

    Kindest regards,


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