hi, my name is blete and i am reading addict. i realize that my addiction is currently controlling my life. when i can’t get my hands on a book, i will pilfer reading material of the unsuspecting subway passangers, sneak peaks at their newspapers and books. i am the horrible neighbour scouring garbage pails for bound book packs and i cannot bring myself to throw away any reading stuff that comes my way, even if it is orphaned dress care instructions. i hate IKEA manuals because they come in diagrams and pictures only. would it kill them to put a few written instructions here and there?
i never had a chance since i was in my mother’s womb. both sides of the family are addicted to this horrible affliction. my grandfather was from this village where apparently everybody had a bumpy nose because they read even when walking and did not see where they were looking. when i was 4, my wonderfully selfish grandfather took advantage of my young eyes and taught me how to read the newspaper. there i was, a young unpoisoned mind, playing with my dollies and dreaming of being a princess and he just used me without regard or care for my tender age.
(remember how grandfathers and well wishing uncles would feed alcohol to boy toddlers so they got used to the taste and grew up to be men? the souring faces were a very sought after form of entertainment as well. )
anyway, instead of alcohol i started getting fed letters, words and whole newspaper articles. by the age of 6 i was entirely able to not only read but also analyze any reporting on crop growth by the “new man”, the latest issues of imperialism-chauvinism, and the wise words of our unerring and shiny leader. why couldn’t he have left me to become a shallow-minded young lady of leisure and married the first millionare that came my way? why grandfather, why? porque?
the second blow happened by 6 1/2. my uncle was too lazy to tell me more fairy tales and showed a book in my hand. (he owed me for using me to pick up girls) i believe it was: “The adventures of Dinpak”. something clicked and the monster was created. for the next 10 years, my parents would be called to school with one and one concern only, their daughter read too much. grandmother and aunts urgent assistance was enlisted to help me learn how to jump rope, interact with my peers and stop disappearing from my own birthday parties to read. they were not very successful. my addiction had a firm hold on me.
for quite the longest time, i have been an insufferable know-it-all, finishing sentences and producing essays left and right, advising friends and snubbing Friday fun for books. i have to have my fix. i sneak to the book section of the drugstore when my cousin is not looking, i meet all my dates at Barnes and Noble, and my room is overflowing with every type of useless books that make no sense to everybody else but me. i have been compared to Hilter by my charitable uncle, who apparently also bought books on every subject imaginable and could not concentrate on only one thing. i have been guilty of taking a book at a bar on a Friday night, and reading it right in front of the flabberghasted bartender.
i am trying to quit but it is soo hard, so damn hard. i take it day by day and have lapses quite often. i caught myself hanging around the books at the 99 cent store yesterday and getting ready to buy some spanish bible. i have taped a picture of me and my Civil Education teacher in third grade in front of my book shelf. i tell myself i will end up like her if i do not stop, an old half blind hag with sparse hair teased into a beehive stuffed with tissue, and surrounded by incestuous cats, with my nose always in a book, and my mind always in a cloud.
and the latest “Harry Potter” beckons. excuse me.