I have an illness, it's called Book Envy Syndrome. It's caused by me entering a building full of books I can take home for free, it's symptoms include knocking all the books off the shelves and dropping them in my bag. This often results in an invisible desk or a dangerous walks to and from my car with a large stack of heavy books.
Last month I had a particularly bad bout when I started the project of actively editing and looking for publishers on my novel. I got out several books on the subject of editing and mythical origins of story structure as well as novels by publishing companies I am looking at. I was in heaven.
The next week I went to the library to gather research materials for two art history papers that were due the same day. I looked up both my topics and got a couple numbers to find books I thought may be helpful.
Then I discovered something wonderful: there was an endless treasure trove of art history books waiting for me to discover them. They covered every artist, era and style I could imagine. I suddenly wished I was writing a few more papers to justify getting out that many more books. Even as it was, I got out far more then I needed, and picked up ones I just simply thought sounded interesting. I left the library with twelve books that day.
Soon after, something nearly as exciting happened; I changed the topic of one of my papers. Naturally I did not return the books I had already got out because they were still interesting, I just went and got more. In fact, whenever I got stressed at school, I would just go to the library and wander through the art history section. It was so rejuvenating. Seriously, who needs a spa when you have a library?
You would think, at this point, I would have enough, but I just kept on coming upon delight after delight. I extended my search to the U of C library and again to the public library. In the end, these 29 beauties all came home with me. For a while, they took over my desk, until I decided that creating a small wall between my door and closet would be a better method of storage.
Funnily enough, with renewals, all my books ended up being due the exact same day. The bulk of them being returned to the Mount Royal library took two trips from my car to bring in, and I very nearly dropped about eight of them on the floor as I struggled to open the book chute. I got a lot of funny looks hauling them around, and I didn't get to read all of them cover to cover as in depth as I would have liked, but I relished each one.
Books are one of my sanctuaries. I go to Chapters to make myself feel better (usually with my wallet left in the car). Libraries have got to be the greatest public service ever, they turned something as time consuming and stressful as research into a delightful hobby of collecting.