Posted by: Kaitlin | August 24, 2010

You know you have a book problem when…

I am currently blogging from a public computer in the downtown Victoria library. I’m in the kid’s section because, well… I’m not having a good day and here, I can pretend I’m eight again.

My precious little computer is getting looked at. I opened it up to start work at the Legislative Library and the screen was all off. It was all gray, with lines on it, and about a square inch in the top left corner where I could see the normal screen. My fellow research assistant looked up the closest apple store and off I went, ten minutes after arriving at work, to take my computer to, hopefully, the mac hospital.

By the time I got there, I was hyperventilating. I had to wait for the employee to finish with the senior citizen considering an ipad purchase. While I waited, I stopped hyperventilating (it is sort of embarrassing), but I was holding onto a desk for support. When she was finished, the employee said to me, “are you okay?” Apparently I was still visibly distressed.

Anyway, I paid the $80/hour service fee, $92.39 with HST, plus the $50 rush fee so that they will look at my computer today instead of on Thursday. Now I am anxiously awaiting their call to tell me the verdict. Alyssa, the employee who helped me, said it could be a loose wire inside, or it could need a new screen (God forbid). Also, it better not have anything to do with the hard drive, or my lanta, I will be in trouble.

After I left the store, I was still feeling very unhappy about the computer situation, and as I walked past the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store and saw the books for sale, I thought, “I need to buy some books.” I bought three new books. The Lost World: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, Stones by William Bell, and The Time in Between by David Bergen, which won the Giller Prize the year it was published in 2005. When I left the thrift store, I was thinking about how many books I have bought recently.

Here’s the kicker: you know you have a book problem when you can’t name or count all of the books you have bought in the last month. You also know you have a book problem when you buy them as a solace for other issues in your life. When I arrived at the library, I started browsing the Friends of the Library book sale without even thinking. I was on autopilot. I felt stressed, I saw books, I had to look at them. I bought Lucky by Alice Sebold which I am really excited for because I just finished The Lovely Bones yesterday. I also bought My So-Called Life, by Joanna Nadin, which I am really hoping is the book inspiration for the tv show by the same name. Check it out.

When I was paying for these books, the friendly library volunteer and I were chatting about Alice Sebold and she recognized me! She said, “you must be a pretty serious reader, I see you periodically.” Oh yes, yes I am, I do read a lot! Highlight of the day by far. Wow, I was so pumped.

Ok, I’m going to try to list all of the books I have bought recently:
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
Our lady of the Lost and Found, Diane Schoemperlen
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien (but this is for school!)
Word Nerd, Susin Nielson (I won this from CBC!)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
Black Swan Green, David Mitchell
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
Generation X, Douglas Coupland
The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger
In harm’s way: the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, Doug Stanton
Another book that I don’t even remember which I bought at the library book sale a few weeks ago.
The five aforementioned books that I bought today, which is a total of 15 books in the last month and a half or so.
And I am pretty sure there are more. Ay caramba and yikes.

Well, this has been useful for helping me to not think about my computer. Now I’m going to go read one of my new books.



  1. Well, on the plus side, the goon who took your spot at the library isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

    Also, while I don’t I think I’ve got you beat, my own neurosis is readily apparent:

    Talk and Log
    Logging the Globe
    The Pearse Commission Final Report
    British Columbia Coast Names 1592-1906
    Flexible Crossroads
    Sometimes a Great Notion
    The Sommers Scandal: Felling of Trees and Tree Lords

  2. sorry to hear your precious monitor is sick. I hear an alternative way to drown your sorrows is to go for all-you-can-eat Chinese food with your roommates.
    your hungry roommate

    PS: Annalise baked. Hurry home.

  3. I noticed that you made it very obvious that The Hobbit was for school. Was this because you were ashamed before you had taken part in its literary AWESOMENESS??? I’d be ashamed if I didn’t know how your story with this book ended…

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