Monday, March 21, 2011

Hi. My Name Is Emily - And I Have a Problem

They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step right? Although I'm not sure if people sit around in a circle admitting their issues for the addiction I have.

But yes... I do have a problem. It is an addiction that I have been fighting my whole life and I just can't seem to stop or take control of it.

I am addicted to the written word. 

It's true. I remember I loved books even before I knew how to read. When I was in pre-school I remember coming home complaining to my mom that they hadn't taught me how to read yet. All I knew were individual letters. It was quite frustrating to my little 3-4 year old mind. Having my mom read me bedtime stories simply wasn't enough. I had to read them for myself!

How was I supposed to feed my addiction to books if I couldn't read them?!?!?!?! GAH! Silly teachers. (Although I did, and still LOVE my pre-school teacher.)

As a child, did I go outside and play in the grass? Nope. Not so much. I would rather sit inside with an American Girl book and learn what it was like to live in the past. (We owned pretty much every American Girl book ever made at the time.) Granted.... I have brittle bones so playing outside would probably cause me to break. But that's a minor detail.

I loved spending a beautiful summer afternoon wandering the halls of my neighborhood library piling book on top of book on the pile on a table. Then having the terrible task of needing to narrow it down because we couldn't carry them all home with us. Summer was the best time to go to the library because I had plenty of time and they had a better selection than my school did.

Although the book fair that came to my school every spring was like releasing a child in a candy store.

Did you have to do Accelerated Reader when you were in Elementary school? I did. Most of the kids in our school HATED AR. I LOVED it. Earning my points for each term and getting enough points for the trip to Haunted Trails at the end of the year was never a problem for me. The only time it was a problem for me was when I was too busy reading books that were not on the AR list at the time to read what I was supposed to be reading. There were even times in class teachers had to remind me to put my book down and pay attention. I was the crazy girl who decided that reading Gone With The Wind (about 1000 pages long) in 7th grade was a brilliant idea.

It was in 8th grade I met one of my best friends. Christy Miller. I can't even begin to tell you how God has worked through Christy Miller in my life... she and her friends have been there for me almost as though they were real people. Part of me still wants to marry Todd.

Then in high school, miracle of miracles happened...

Borders came in and was only a few minutes drive from my house.

Cue Hallelujah chorus.


Oh what a glorious store that was. Books, books, books everywhere! They were even in the elevator! This only made me want to read even more books. You would think that having to actually BUY them myself would hinder me. Nope. I was soon having to face the dilemma of picking up piles and piles of books with every trip to Borders and having to pick out only a couple to bring home.

I still took my novels with me to school and read them in class when I had the chance. I remember once my freshman year of high school I was reading a book and when I looked up my friends were staring at me.

Me: What?

Friend: It's really fun to watch you read.

Me: Why?

Friend: Because your face gets so into it! I can tell what's happening in the book because of the look on your face!

I've always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve. And yes... books are part of my heart.

I also remember when we had to read Romeo and Juliet in high school. We would read it out loud in class and stop periodically to explain what was happening in the play. I felt as though they were too slow and continued to read ahead of everyone else - but it was OK in my eyes because I had already read Romeo and Juliet so I knew what was happening. So what if I wasn't paying attention in class?

It was also in high school that I discovered who I will always refer to as "the other man in my life."

Isn't he amazing? 

College was frustrating because I was so busy reading the books I needed to for class instead of the ones I truly wanted to read. But then... I learned of non-fiction Christian books.

Donald Miller
Brennan Manning
Rob Bell
Brian McLaren
Staci Eldredge
Leonard Sweet

Oh these people have taught me so much....

But now, that I am out of college, novels have taken over once again. The staff at Barnes and Noble know me, and don't even bother asking me if I need help because they know that I know my way around. I have conversations with people at the register about my opinions on Rob Bell's Love Wins or which vampire or ware-creature I'm rooting for Sookie Stackhouse to end up with. One girl and I even have an inside joke about me setting off the alarms at the store.

(And no, it's not because I steal books...)

I even have started to love audio books. When I have to take a long road trip I often stop by the library to consult PM2's wife (who is in charge of the library- how lucky AM I?) and see what she would recommend. Seriously, hearing some of your favorite novels in audio brings it into a whole new light!

And now here I am... with a hopeless addiction to books. Sitting in a pile in my room are a stack of books I have yet to read.

That's not including the remainder of The Mortal Instruments books and it's prequel (I just finished the first one), all of the Once Upon A Time books that I own but still need to read, the rest of the Vampire Chronicles after Tale of the Body Thief, or the Sookie Stackhouse books that have yet to come out. I can barely walk inside of a book store without taking one home with me. It also doesn't count The Hunger Games, which I want to read at some point. I'm sure if I think about it there are TONS more that I could list here. But I don't think you want to go through that entire list.


I think I have a problem.

So... what are your addictions? What sort of support group do we need to arrange for you? Am I the only one addicted to the written word like this?

And side note, I found this on StumbleUpon awhile back. It's good to know that SOMEONE in the world understands me. :)


  1. DUDE. The Tale of the Body Thief is SO.GOOD. Would I lie to you? Seriously.

    Also, I'm right here with you on the whole book addiction thing. My co-workers can attest to the fact that literally every spare minute during my breaks, I'm reading.

  2. The way Carrie Bradshaw was about shoes in SATC is the way I am about books. I swear, books are like a security blanket for me. I'm incapable of leaving the house without one - you never know when you'll have a spare five minutes!

    I taught myself to read when I was four - it totally freaked my mum out! I too read Gone with the Wind in year 7 (not all that surprising for me - I read A Tale of Two Cities when I was ten). I got through it in 3 days...

  3. You and I have completely different tastes in books, BUT, I can definitely appreciate a fellow word-addict. If only more people understood the written word and didn't take reading as such a chore!

    Reading is the closest thing we have to mind-reading... You take someone else's thoughts and concepts and take it into your own mind, and we inform each other through the power of language! Yet most people would rather look at pictures.

    I've always loved English because of how precise the language is! It's disheartening that more people aren't exactly like this.

    I find that book-worms are people with a thirst for knowledge. I can't understand people who aren't exactly the same way.

  4. This is awesome girl. I love the American Girl Doll books too. Harry Potter...the other man in your life. haha!

    I'm addicted to the written word as well. I just can't help it! :)


Share with me your thoughts! They make me smile.