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Addiction isn’t something to take lightly. I come from a family where it’s branded into the skin of our thighs, seared so deeply with cast iron molds stoked hours in the furnace, that we must live entire lifetimes facing the other direction to overcome the tendencies of addiction. A lifetime is the time it takes for those brands to scar. No, addiction is no game. It’s not to be played with and tossed around in jest and circus.

So, although I find myself addicted as we normally understand the concept, I’ll call myself enraptured. Or maybe obsessed. Infatuated? The point is, I have a problem. The resources here in West Michigan are limited. So, I’m trying to teach classes and live my life. Mostly, teach classes; I don’t have much of a life here yet. I love the library, so I pop in there to get books, cd’s, movies, all kinds of resources because I think myself hip and fun regardless of the complaints from American Literature students that Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe are boring and I find a treasure that we don’t quite have in the Chicago library system. Not to this caliber.

The Spring Lake Library System, near where I live has a special little room near the entrance where they hold a continuous book sale. It’s the first place I go when I stop in at the library. Or when I drive through Spring Lake. Or whenever I turn right out of the driveway or am even entertaining the possibility of leaving the house at all. I told you, it’s a problem. I’ve purchased, to date, somewhere in the vicinity of 15 books at the library in the past few weeks. Yet I haven’t spent the resources buried in a ten dollar bill. How about that?

Two quarters for a paperback. Any yellow sticker, a tiny little dime. There are brand new hardcover novels and creative non-fiction essays in there for a dollar and a quarter! Insanity.

I’m addicted to the low prices. I mean obsessed, infatuated, enraptured. I cannot avoid them. I cannot pass up the book sale. I can’t walk out of the library without a new book. A book, not to borrow, but for keeps. I’m a non-shopper and a generally immaterial chick, so it’s strange that I’m coveting, loving, feeling like I need these old books with torn bindings. But here they come, filling the shelves, my desk, my trunk and backseat. Soon my roadtrips will be only me and my books, no room for friends, assuming I make some around here, riding miles and miles together to escape into fantasies.

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