|A sampling of my books bought for research|
For that, I needed to know what was going on in Ireland in the 1760s. I did what I normally do in such circumstances. I bought a book.
That’s right. I bought it: The Course of Irish History by Moody and Martin. Hey, it was the paperback version.
I might as well make a confession right here and now. I have an addiction. Um, that’s too harsh a word. Let’s call it a proclivity. Yeah, I like that better. (My husband says the word addiction is not harsh enough.)
I tend to be a practical sort. I wear my shoes until it is a humiliation to be seen with me in public. The same with my clothes. I have one pair of pants that actually got caught up in the axle of an airline’s luggage cart on a rainy tarmac in Providence, Rhode Island. I still wear them today. (Land’s End knows how to put together a pair of pants!) Virtually all my jewelry are gifts.
So perhaps I should be forgiven for my need and greed for books. The only stores I like are book stores. I relish the earthy smell of a paperback as much as the slick, almost chemical, scent of a textbook. When I treat myself to a trip to Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million, I roam the store snatching interesting titles from the shelves. Then I find the comfiest chair available and eagerly pore over my choices. Rarely--maybe never--have I left without buying at least one book.
I love online bookstores, too. Ah, Amazon! One of my daughters asked why we kept getting so many Amazon boxes in the mail. “Shut up,” I told her, and ripped open my latest treasure.
I know there are free libraries; we have a lovely one in my town. But I like to own the book. You never know when you’ll want to re-check the information you find. I gave some away, but then decided I needed those books and bought new copies.
Academic books cost too much, so I have taken advantage of the university libraries in our state. But if the book comes in paperback and is under $25, I order it. Come on! It would cost that much to drive at least one hundred miles round trip to the University of South Carolina in Columbia. That’s how I see it, anyway.
There. I’ve confessed. I guess all I can say is thank God for used books!