I have a $35 gift card to Barnes and Noble. It’s leftover from Christmas. I’ve gone to B&N several times looking for something to use the loot on. I always come out with nothing. Pre-gift card and financial realism, I would wander into B&N, use my $25 a year Members card and buy $50 worth of books. I have bookshelves full of haven’t read and half read ones mocking me in my dwelling. They are in almost every room of my home. I’m addicted to new books like I’m addicted to shoes. I think that really, I just like to buy things. I like the newness of things that aren’t disposable. I like to be there for its first use, its birth into the world.

When you don’t have a gift card, you always want one. The grass is always greener. Now I have a gift card and while I don’t want to give it up, I can’t commit to using it. What if, something better comes out next week? What if the best chick lit of our time or a Pulitzer Prize winning book hits the shelves in a month and I just have to have it? What if there is a band who’s CD I need to fondle and rifle through rather than iTunes it?

It’s too much pressure. For now, I just go to B&N to type and watch and maybe be inspired, compelled by a book that I have to have. Rachael Ray’s COOKING AROUND THE CLOCK looks good today. I think she understands that I need recipes for all hours of the day, or night. There was another book that paused me for a good 10 minutes of reading through the first few chapters. I was standing beside a woman holding her newborn to her chest. The dark haired baby was gurgling and cooing and eyeing me. He’d smile when I smiled at him. His mother eyed me too, her protective instinct on the prowl. The baby interrupted my scans of SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME. The author, wife an SNL set designer, describes her mass collection of books and how she has separated them into “Must Read, Might Read, and Might Someday Read.” This information at the beginning her book about books led to be believe that I may need to pick this one up. And the fact that her first sentence states that it’s 3 a.m. and she is awake and walking around her apartment, we might just be kindred spirits.

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