It's true. I abuse books. Not only do I crack their spines, crease their pages into deep dog-eared triangles, write notes in their blank spaces, but I also rip them. I make two small rips on the side of the page so I can fold it toward the lines that have me nodding my head and thinking, "Oh, that's a good one. I want to remember that." But I know I won't remember it . . . unless I mark it in a way that ensures when I pick up the book months or years later, it will open to those pages and that special excerpt will be there waiting, like this one from The Cellist of Sarajevo: "Life is a series of tiny unavoidable decisions . . . a series of inconsequential junctions, any or none of which can lead to salvation or disaster." C'mon, isn't that a great line?
Okay, so you probably do not want to lend me any books and if you already have, you know I typically don't return them. Nor am I a very good library patron, so I almost always have to buy the books I want to read.
Around 1984, supermarkets started selling them in a big way, and I remember my elation the first time I walked down the book aisle. The decisions were easy: buy milk or buy a book? . . . never a difficult choice. So, yes, now I've got tons of books, because I also do not part with them once they're in my possession.
I might have a little problem.