Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The History of a Book Hoarder

The History of a Book Hoarder

I will always be poor. Even if I make the bestseller list and win a Pulitzer. Even if I supplemented income by becoming a Mary Kay dealer. My money will be spent on books.

I must have books. It’s a thing with me.

A year or two ago, an offer from Amazon drifted in my inbox. Every Penguin Classic ever published, delivered on a pallet, to my door, for under $10,000. My finger hovered over the 1-click purchase button. I broke out in a cold sweat. Oh, how beautiful, to have my 900 square foot apartment I share with a wife, two children and nine bookshelves, filled with the words of the greatest geniuses in literary lore.

A small bit of doubt lingered.

What would I tell my wife when the freight truck pulled up? That Alexi Sherman, author of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, says to ‘read 1000 pages for every 1 page that you write?’

Or perhaps Walt Disney, who said, ‘There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.’

Maybe. Just maybe. My pulse quickened.

There was room on my credit card. I’d just paid off the last book binge.

Confucius said you ‘cannot open a book without learning something.’ I could tell her I would be a full pallet smarter.

My finger dropped. Yes. It was coming.

Then the guilt. How to tell her? She loved books, collected them, both of us reading every second we could. Even going out on reading dates. She would understand. She would be excited.

Then an email popped up in my inbox from Amazon. I’d ordered two?


I checked my order.

Nope, I’d ordered one.

“Honey?” My wife’s voice coming from the bedroom, sounded pale and frightened.

I rushed in, saw her laying on the bed, her forehead broken out in a cold sweat. Her iPad clutched in her hands.

“I did a bad thing,” she said.

We talked, canceled our orders, and bought kindles instead.

And we’ve been happy with that decision.

But I will always be poor. I will, until I die, continue to hoard books. I may have to become a Mary Kay dealer after all and include a free foot scrub with every purchase of my soon-to-be-published book.

Peter Leavell is the winner of the Christian Writer’s Guild’s best first novel 2012 for Gideon’s Call. His historical fiction, about a slave learning to use his newfound freedom to help the nation, will be available for purchase in the fall of this year. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife, two children, and hoards of books.

Visit Peter @ http://peterleavell.com/


Jim H said...

I'm in for the free foot scrub, Mr. Mary Kay. Let me know when that book is out!

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Hahaha, me too Jim!

Peter, we are signing up for the foot scrub and the book!