I read myself to sleep at night. I read to wake myself up in the morning. I carry several books with me at all times, in case I finish one during the course of the day and am stuck somewhere with nothing to read. I read on the bus, while waiting for appointments, while in line at stores. I read while waiting for the curtain to go up at the movies, or even the theater, except then I'm usually reading the program, and at open mics, except then I'm usually talking to other poets and reading their new chapbooks. I read while walking down the street. I read while taking rare, luxurious baths, with scented bath oil and little floating candles; I read in the shower every day. (This is a good test for the quality of a book binding.) I regard books as consumables: I dogear pages that I want to refer back to later, underline pages and make notes in the margins, use the flyleaf to keep telephone numbers and appointments because I am always losing my pocket calendar but I rarely lose a book. I delight in buying a used book and finding margin notes from the previous owner.
I have written a number of Twelve Step parodies, but I have never written one for bookaholism, because I have never chosen to recover. I do have one self-imposed limitation -- I will not read while I'm driving. I tried, when I was sixteen, in my grandfather's car. Do not read while you're driving. So, I know my limitations, I don't have a problem. I could quit anytime I wanted to. Really. If I wanted to.
Like a true addict, I will read anything, from a philosophical study of infinity theory to a series mystery novel with a pun in the title. Science fiction and fantasy, detective novels, religion, philosophy, history, folklore, social issues, poetry, literature, historical novels, bestsellers, obscure and out-of-print books, magazines and activist flyers. I will tell you that I don't read romances, but if I were snowed in with nothing but romance novels I know what I would really do.
I even read book reviews.
And like a true addict, I am always trying to get others hooked -- including writing book reviews. Here's my bait box, as currently stocked. (My record-keeping falls behind my reading.)
Snacks and drinks allowed while browsing.
12/25/02: Merry Christmas! Much bigger Finding Books section!
12/17/2002: Almost everything collected under anitra.net! Greatly expanded Activist Books section. Working on a consistent look. Got rid of the bleeding margins. :)
1/22/2002: All Vines articles and stories are back here. The links in SF&Fantasy are all newly validated. New stories added to the Fantasy Tour.
8/30/2001: Themestream gone bye-bye; TheVines gone bye-bye; I'll have to bring the articles posted there back here, please be patient.
As of 12/1/2000, I've done a major rearrangement and expanded in the areas of the most requests: social justice, poetry, and finding books.
12/11/00 I've added an evaluation of some of the books I read in 2000, added to my favorites, and added to Activist Book Reviews.