Books Now!

News and reviews from around the corner to across the world

Confessions of a Biblioholic




Hello. My name is Dina and I’m a Biblioholic. I’ve been in denial for years but now it’s time to come clean. My addiction to books is ruining my life. I went out shopping for groceries yesterday and came back with the complete works of John Cheever. My fridge is empty, the washing neglected. I haven’t cleaned my house in weeks. I’m even finding Patrick White easy to read. I need help.

Thanks for the applause and synchronised hellos, and the warm welcome, Ms Facilitator. It’s such a relief to discover that I’m not alone. All of you here, drinking camomile tea, understand my affliction. Sally, I really appreciated sharing your Jane Austen obsession. How well I know the sharp pangs of Darcy Syndrome, although I was afflicted by Knightley Disease myself – the lure of the older man –  which progressed into Rochester Phenomenon for far too long, as I recall….Martin, your Henry James fixation is perfectly natural, who wouldn’t empathise with the desire for intricate, meticulously observed sentences, where the passion for detail – every element of a room’s furnishings, for example, carefully notated – mingles with keenly-fashioned dialogue, edged with sound psychological realism and a hint of authorial comment?

I apologise, Ms Facilitator, believe me,  I’m not trying to reinforce behaviour patterns, I’m simply saying – of course I realise Fay’s suffering from Novel-induced Tourette’s. But here’s my take on it: she’s in the grip of Gritty Millennial Realism.  There’s only one way out, going cold turkey on all novelists under 35. How about a mammoth dose of Hemingway? OK. OK. Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea.


Let’s chant. Hold hands. Close our eyes. Our mantra for this week is inspired by our Bible, Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction by Tom Raabe (paperback).

We shall destroy our credit cards

We shall answer the telephone and speak to friends

We will not read book reviews

We will cross the road when we see a public library

When we spot a bookshop, we will turn the corner and pop into a café for a coffee and muffin instead.

I admit it was flippant, Ms Facilitator, to say swapping this class for a Weight Watchers weigh-in was taking the cake. And naturally I recognise the gravity of our condition.

Peter, I’m sorry your wife has moved out, I really sympathise, although negotiating this pile by the kitchen – just one week’s reading, I think you said – must have been pretty awkward.

book pile

Peter, stop crying, I’m not being judgmental – come back – we’ll get through this. All of us. We just have to have faith.

Let me get this right, Ms Facilitator: by watching the movie of the book, you’re saying we’ll be drawn into an appreciation of other media, and gradually increase our consumption of competing distractions? I get it – a gradual weaning, a softly, softly approach – how about Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper in For Whom The Bell Tolls? Oh, that’s on your Recommended Next Steps, is it, along with Omar Sharif in Dr Zhivago? I’m impressed. And I think you’ve got a great track record, only losing one group member to Game of Thrones.

See you all next week.

Author: Dina Ross

Dina is a writer, reviewer, journalist and broadcaster. It goes without saying that she loves books. Her blog, Books Now! can be viewed on and offers news, reviews and interviews with writers from around the corner to across the world.

18 thoughts on “Confessions of a Biblioholic

  1. I’m not going to say a thing about this, except that in the Op Shop I found five more books that I just had to have … and then I went across the road to Benn’s Book Shop and bought four more.
    Lisa (shameless)

  2. I’ve been on a book buying ban since January, with onnly one relapse in March. The withdrawal symptoms tend to subside; I’m better at avoiding bookstores.

    BUT As soon as my TBR decreases, I’m going back to normal and will rush to bookshops again. Is there anything better than browsing through books?

  3. Clever post Dina … I keep trying to cut down but as I look at the chair across the room, in front of the bookcase of books for reading next, I see it is stacked with books to be really read next, before the ones to be read next. I was determined to keep this bookcase under control but am failing. I fear the To Be read bookcase/s in the back room will never be touched. I think I need a drink!

  4. “I’m even finding Patrick White easy to read.” Ha! Good one.

  5. Thats true, im like this too. I say i’ll get one book and end up with three. But its great!

  6. I have enjoyed reading this post for its refreshing views on an age old affliction true sufferers of which not only do not wish to be cured of, but wear it with pride -:)!

  7. I have no interest in a cure 😉 Love this post!

  8. If there’s an addiction you shouldn’t feel ashamed about it’s reading. We have never had a TV. Friends ask what we do in the evenings. Husband works, I write, then we read. What’s there to be ashamed about? You know, some people get their fun shooting animals, or riding bicycles at a maniac speed, or hitting a tiny hard ball with a stick. I’m sticking with books. 🙂

  9. I buy books by the half dozen even when I have no time to read them right away. Then I go back, if I really liked an author and buy what that author has out. Sometimes I will love and author so very much on my IPad that I have to go buy the print version, if available, just to add it to my collection…which I am trying to thin down.

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