I read a lot, and I don’t use libraries*. I buy the books I read, and have noticed a troublesome quirk I have when I buy multiple books at once. If I buy one book, I will read it immediately. If I buy a couple books or more, they stay stacked on the table while I reread books I own already instead. I don’t know why, but this always happens.
I just got done rereading the Land of Laughs, and now I should read Fool or 11/22/63 –both of which have been sitting on the coffee table for weeks– but I unshelved a Fritz Leiber book, and am thinking of finishing that off tonight instead of starting one of my new books. WHY DO I DO THIS?
*It's not that I don't respect and love the idea of and purpose of libraries; I do. I just am territorial about stories, and if I love a book, I want to keep it. I want to keep the book I loved and built a relationship with, and I know that if I bought a new copy there won't be anything changed, I know this rationally, I've rebought books I've lost or lent out and never got back when necessary, but, like the people I love, those books are not interchangeable. I want the book I held. I don't want a copy, even an exact copy, of it. So libraries are incredibly frustrating for me because I do not want to give something I loved back. I only checked one book out of the Chicago Public Library system, and that was several years ago, and I can't go back now because I never returned it, and how do you explain that without sounding insane?