My name is Tara, and I am a bibliophile

Hello, my name is Tara and I love books.

Hello, Tara.

It’s not just that I love books, I buy books, lots of books. I don’t like the frailty of paperbacks. Most of my books are hardcovers, so this is an expensive habit. I don’t like to get my books at the library because sometimes I have to wait for the ones I want… and I want them now, even if I won’t read them for weeks.

I always have a book with me, in my purse, in my car or on my desk at work. If I stop for anything - lunch, doctor’s appointments, traffic lights - I am reading. I usually have two or three books going at a time.

Right now, I am about a third of the way through “The Known World,” by Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward P. Jones, and have gotten a few chapters into Brian Herbert’s “Hunters of Dune.” This last one is a continuation of the spectacular Science Fiction epic first begun by Frank Herbert in 1965. Yes, I have read all of Herbert’s previous books in the series and those of his son, Brian.

I just finished re-reading David Eddings “Elenium” trilogy and Brian Jacques’ “Loamhedge,” and have almost finished “Rakkety Tam.”

One is never enough.

One of my problems is that I read a book by an author and if I like it, I have to get everything else he or she has written. Jacques is one such author. His Redwall series is marketed to children, but he has just as loyal adult following. I recently bought the 19th book in the series, but have two to finish before I can start on that one.

I have all the Harry Potter books, seven there. I began reading Anne McCaffrey’s “Pern” books when I was in high school… got most of hers too, close to 25. I was drawn to Patricia McKillip’s books - at least a dozen so far - because the dustjacket art was so beautiful. That she is a wonderful fantasy writer was icing on the cake.

The cover of “Brave Story,” was also the thing that first got my attention. It is written by a Japanese author named Miyuki Miyabe. I think I’m toast here too because she has four other books that have been translated into English.

I had to serve on a jury about a year ago and one of the other panel members recommended a book by Christopher Moore - “Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings.” Don’t let the title fool you. It was both irreverent and one of the most hiliarious books I have read. But, it got me hooked, I have five or six of his now.

I got a book by Clyde Edgerton once by accident. His stories come out of the Deep South and I recognize many of his characters as my grandparents and great-aunts and uncles. I have never laughed or cried so hard while reading a single book than I did when I first read “Walking Across Eygpt.” I have nine of his books and am forever checking at various booksellers for new editions.

Needing to break the habit

My problem is that even though I am a voracious reader, I can’t keep up with publishers or my own buying habit. I have bookshelves stuffed two deep in nearly every room of my house. I have stacks of books lying in wait by my night stand. I have tote bags full sitting in my car.

It has become a serious obsession. I recently took my book club cards out of my wallet thinking that would slow my purchasing frenzy. Did you know the cashier can look up your membership number for you if you don’t have it with you? Go figure.

It’s not that I’m running out of shelve space, I’m running out of money. Some women buy shoes, some jewelry. I buy books. It’s not a matter of getting more bookcases, then I would have to fill them up with more books. This is a serious problem.

If Mom Says OK

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