Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

No more willpower than a soggy paper bag.

I have failed (again) and this time I am laying the blame at the feet of my friends in the blogosphere.  I don't like shopping.  I have almost total sales resistance except where books or plants are concerned. 

I can only resist if I don't go near anywhere which sells either of them.  Drat you, my resolve on the book front is frequently tested here in the blogosphere.  Many of you are talented writers and others of you tell me about books which I lust after.  My unread pile is substantial and I have been resisting (mostly) temptation as I work through it.  And, during the medical mayhem, rereading comfort books was about my limit. 

And on the weekend just gone I fell from grace.  Dramatically.  I love the library, and cannot imagine not being a member.  But NONE of the books I weakened over are held in our library.  And are not likely to be purchased in the foreseeable future.

A review here started the rot.  El is herself a talented author, and the review she posted about' The Sexual Adventures of Time and Space' by Brian Sfinas whetted my appetite.  Big time.  I had not heard of either the author or the book, and was intrigued.  Drat you El.  So I rationalised (dangerous) that I had been very busy and very stressed and very good and deserved a reward.  Oh dear.

And dived in the deep end.  Yes, I have bought it.  But did I stop there?  Did I hell.

Some time ago Geo. told me that Laurie King had another book out in her series about Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes.  Which I resisted at the time.  No longer.  And while browsing I found another one I didn't have.  Oops.

But wait, there's more....

librarygirl introduced me to Ben Aaronovitch  a couple of years ago.  And recently reminded me that there is another one in the series...  So I succumbed again.  And worse she has also added 'The Children of the King' by Sonya Hartnett to my wish list.  I didn't get it on this binge, but I will...

And more.

lynners told me recently that she had purchased and loved 'Station Life in New Zealand' by Lady Barker.  I love biographies, autobiographies and memoirs.  I bought it too.

And one more.

Susan Flett Swiderski has written  'Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade'.  Resistance was obviously useless so I added that to my hoard.

Oh dear.  And I don't even feel (very) guilty.  Reviews will follow in the fullness of time - they are not expected to reach me before the end of next month.

What can I say, but thank you - and drat you.

And, while still obsessed with books, I found 'Who will I be when I die?' by Christine Boden at a Lifeline bookfair in June.  A book which terrified me and inspired me.



Christine Boden had just escaped an abusive relationship and become a single parent who also filled a  high profile and stressful job.  And, at 46 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  I am terrified that MS will eat my brain, so my heart lurched in sympathy for her.  And she lived and worked in my city.

This book is the story of her emotional, physical and spiritual journey in the three years after her diagnosis.   Mike Munro summed it up superbly 'Who will she be when she dies?  A mother remembered and revered by her family and a woman who gave a great deal of herself to strangers.'

A moving and inspirational book - and she has also written two more books and is working on a third.  I hope I could face life with a fraction of her grace and determination.

76 comments:

  1. I always rationalize book lust as, hell, it's better than being addicted to, say, internet gambling or buying frilly clothes. And it is! You should feel no guilt. I say so.

    I'm not sure I could personally stomach the Christine Boden at this moment in time, although it sounds very interesting... Perhaps after the DNA sequencing comes back negative. :-o

    My personal weakness is books and art supplies. (Get 'em and use 'em before the dementia sinks in too deeply, I think. Heh. Is that a good rationalization?) One of my guilty pleasures has always been craft books. As I've gotten to see the bookshelves of more and more painters and bookmakers, I've come to realize that it's a guilty pleasure we all seem to share. So...I feel less guilty.

    Feel no guilt!

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    1. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): I am so sorry. I wasn't thinking about your awful situation when I wrote about Christine Boden's book. And no, it would be way too close to the bone.
      And the addiction to books is a big weakness - but as you say there are many worse. And if I had a fraction of your talent, craft supplies would be on my list too.

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    2. Yike! Please don't be sorry. It is me who should be sorry. I thought I was making light of it, to be honest--especially that comment about using the art supplies and books before losing my mind, which is very genuinely how I do rationalize it these days. Although now that I look again at my comment, I see it doesn't quite come off in the lighthearted way I'd intended. I am not, nor was, in any way upset about you mentioning the Boden book. Really. It actually sounds interesting. (Although I probably would personally wait before reading it...) Rather clumsy on my part. I'd dread to think my comment caused you any anxiety! I enjoy your thoughts about your literary findings. I would dread even more the thought that you might feel compelled to censor your book list so as not to offend.

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    3. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): Thank you. Mega thank you.

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  2. If you must have an addiction; books would be a good one :)
    You well deserve a reward and a distraction from all the medical mayhem.
    Go forth and read, read, read to your hearts content EC.

    Super hugs with a smile :)
    be Well, be Happy

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    1. Pam:): Thank you. And yes, books ARE an addiction. A long-standing (and expensive one).

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  3. I don't read as much as I want to lately. By the time I get done with the computer each day, there's not much time left before bedtime. During the day, I'm off and out doing things to help others, cleaning at one house, helping someone resettle into a different, bigger, flat after living in one room for years, not to mention cooking and cleaning for myself. I think I've spread myself a bit thin, I seem to be at home less now than when I was at work.

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    1. River: I do hope that you are finding time for you as well (and not just cooking and cleaning either).

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  4. P.S. like the others said, books are a better addiction than alcohol or gambling, or smoking too.

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    1. River: Oh yes, there are worse addictions. Quite a number.

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  5. I'm addicted to books, too. :) I always love looking at your list on the side and see that you are reading Karin Slaughter right now. Awesome.

    Not to feed your addiction further, but have you ever read Barbara Kingsolver? Her books are so wonderful, I get lost in them. I just read "The Bean Trees" and had to order the sequel "Pigs in Heaven" because the library didn't have it. I'm taking it with me to the mountains this weekend. Can't wait to read it. (I discovered Better World Books as a great source of used books - they are often discards from libraries. And BWB contributes to global literacy. Shipping is free worldwide.) http://www.betterworldbooks.com/

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    1. Lynn: I love Barbara Kingsolver's writing - both her fiction and her essays. And, by co-incidence I am reading her latest (Flight Behaviour) at the moment. I was given it earlier this year and have been saving it. And it is an autographed copy too!!!

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    2. I LOVED Flight Behaviour! I'm so thrilled you love her writing, too.

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    3. Lynn: I too am loving Flight Behaviour. Did it remind you as it does me of Prodigal Summer?

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  6. I am completely in sympathy with you over this "addiction". I could not exist without books, and have always got 5 or 6 on the to-be-read pile.
    I hope you enjoy every word of all your purchases.

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    1. Alexia: No, I couldn't/wouldn't exist without books either. I always have at least two books on the go at once (but would be very grateful if my un-read pile was only five or six).

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  7. such a brilliant review of one book... although I had to wait to the end to see it. I will read it.
    It is interesting to see how reading books has become 'cool'. Like you I have always read.

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    1. lockwoodseasons: I will be very interested to hear what you think of it. At some stage I will track her other books down too. And I hope that reading is always cool.

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  8. Books and plants sure beat heroin as an addiction. But I know what you mean. I'm intrigued myself with a couple of these titles. I hope you enjoy every page of your new books--and I won't mention what I am reading until you are finished and ready for another binge! Peace...

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    1. Linda: Sometimes books are as expensive and anti-social as other addictions, but it isn't one I am trying to break. And I would love to hear what you are reading now...

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  9. I've been addicted to the written word as long as I can remember, and can't imagine not being able to read. It's a guilty pleasure, but much heavier on the pleasure than it is on the guilt side.

    Thank you so much! I'm thrilled to hear my book is included in your most recent purchase, and I hope you enjoy it.



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    1. Susan: I am sure I will love your book. It has been a question of when, not whether.

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  10. I'm so happy you pampered yourself with such wonders! Someone above mentioned craft books being a guilty pleasure....Mine are cook books! I just love to look through them and "dream" about actually making some of the meals, desserts, etc! I worked part-time at my local Barnes & Noble a few years ago...and you can imagine what that was like!! Being there often, browsing through the store, AND receiving a discount?? WELL, since I only worked limited hours, I spent as much as I made, and even more at times! I HAD to quit! LOL

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    1. BECKY: I would be in exactly the same boat, if I were to work in a bookshop. Imminent bankruptsy...

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  11. How wonderful to have such a treasure trove of books! What did you think of Kingsolver's Flight Behavior? It's the only one of hers I haven't read yet. But of course I will. :-)

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    1. DJan: I haven't finished Flight Behaviour yet - but am loving it. It reminds me of Prodigal Summer.

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  12. When you mention a book I order it from the library. It can take a long time to turn up, and then is a wonderful surprise.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Sadly our library is on a tight budget. Best sellers are bought, but more esoteric books are not. Which can leave me out.

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  13. There are so many pleasures in reading a book, not the least being escaping a stressful situation. Like you, I love biographies and they are the hardest for me to put down.

    We all deserve to enjoy what we love without feeling guilty.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: There are so many interesting people. Sometimes inspirational, sometimes scary, sometimes funny... And I suffer from insatiable curiosity...

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  14. Wow, a book junkie ... I can't think of a better way to binge and you do it so gracefully. I am quickly making note of your choice of books and will start looking into adding them to my tall pile of unreads. I think my booklist is a fantasy ... I rarely have time to sit down and indulge, but like you I can dream. Hope you make it through all of them and then have time left to review them for us. I am looking forward to it ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea: A book junkie is an accurate description. And I do binge. Binge reading isn't fattening either.

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  15. There's nothing bad at all about your "addiction" (well, except maybe for the wallet). It's a great past time, to delve into another world - fantasy or real. Literary distractions can be a sanity saver when needed.
    Perhaps you could re-sell your books on ebay once you've read them? You could accrue $ to buy new books :D

    The likes of amazing people such as Christine Boden have me hanging my head that I haven't achieved enough in my life.

    Now I'm ashamed at my pitiful Pinterest perusals :)

    And, I hope your enjoyable posts are around for a very, very long time EC :)

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    1. Vicki: Not only am I a greedy reader, I find it very, very hard to give them up as well. And reading is a lifeline for me.
      I also feel inadequate when I read of other people's lives and achievement. Perhaps it is better for me (us) to think of them as inspirational rather than as a yard stick against which we fail.
      And, no guilt about Pinterest. You have given me (us) things of beauty. Always a winner.

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  16. I swore I wasn't going to, but I must, especially as this wee cat is very much on my mind of late: Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper. It's an amazing book, even for a non-cat lover, which I know you are not. Hmmmm, very poorly worded. Am hurrying, as I'm at work. Sorry to have been MIA; missed you and your blog! Trying to catch up slowly.

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    1. Ms. CrankyPants: More temptation. Thank you. I will try and track it down later. Perhaps you could do a review over at your place?

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  17. There is a sadness and dignity with this book. I must find it.

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    1. Susan Kane: Incredible dignity and strength.

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  18. Good. I'm happy to hear you have treated yourself, you need some new tomes to dive into at present and in for a penny, in for a pound, or several pounds as it probably turned out. I await your reviews with interest.

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    1. All Consuming: I didn't need more books. I lusted after them. And, as I said, I am feeling very little guilt for my indulgence. And will dive into them with pleasure. Lots of pleasure.

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  19. And here I go...not helping your dilemma in anyway....I've got a great book to suggest...you must read "Educating Alice" by Alice Greenup. It's a wonderful read, written about a wonderful young woman; written by that wonderful young woman about her life so far!

    It is a very good read. I met Alice when she was only 18 years old...back in December, 1990. She worked for me briefly on Newry Island. And we had a ball together. She was a fun, lovely young girl back then; and, apparently, she's grown into a remarkable, inspirational woman.

    I make no apologies for aiding and abetting your problem! ;)

    http://www.booktopia.com.au/educating-alice-alice-greenup/prod9780732288105.html

    By the way...I hate shopping, too; more particularly, large shopping centres. Other than food shopping, I do most other shopping via online!

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    1. Lee: I have no idea why people like shopping. Particularly in shopping malls. Noisy, crowded, ugly places... Which I avoid when I can.
      And thank you for your recommendation. Another one to add to the later list.
      You and Ms. CrankyPants are proving my point. The blogosphere goes out of its way to feed my obsessions. Which is a delight, albeit sometimes a guilty one.

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    2. I think people wander around in those giant malls aimlessly shopping because they haven't discovered the joy of staying home and reading.

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    3. River: I suspect a lot of them don't read at all. Which is sad. And without reading, they are less able to entertain themselves ...

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  20. I am lucky as my friends have gone onto reading kindles, is that right the computerised book thing they have given my their books. I 'm happy to have them, I like reading and I like the feel of books around me, I find them comforting.
    Merle..................

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    1. Merlesworld: I have an e-reader on the computer but I would much, much rather read a book. I like the feel, the smell and I find it easier to flick through the pages to find the quote/phrase/scene I am looking for.

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    2. That's the one thing I don't like about my kindle. I can't easily flip back to a page, or insert a bookmark to a page I might want to quote somewhere.

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    3. River: And I like to read in bed too. I don't have a kindle, or a lap top...

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  21. So much temptation, not enough time to read all those great books out there :) My unread pile is mounting too.

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    1. DeniseinVA: I am going to make a damn good attempt though.

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  22. Your brain seems right on track to me. You really are a remarkable person to be facing all this right out in the open. And tough, stubborn people make it through...trust me, I know ;)

    Weeeeeeeeell, I suppose I shouldn't tell you about MFK Fisher or the new biography of Rosa Parks that I just got for a birthday present...

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    1. Riot Kitty: Thank you. I have to say that the missing brain is the possible symptom of MS which scares me worst. And yes, some damage has been done. But stubborn I most definitely am.
      And you should tell me about your new books. Join the others in putting yet more temptation in my way. And I haven't forgotten your book either...

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  23. I understand your affliction totally – I have been a bookworm since childhood. I have been trying lately not to buy books, but there are so many temptations as you know. We went to an estate sale last week and I bought several books. This coming week-end is the large Decatur Book Festival, one of the largest in the US, and the week after is the University Women book sale where there are thousands of books from 50 cents. If I see books in French there I usually buy them as they are expensive and hard to find in regular bookstores. I have read somewhere that the biggest difference between people is not language, status, culture, religion, etc but between people who read and those who don’t. I did buy two books about Alzheimer since my husband has been diagnosed with the onset of the disease, but I have not read them yet – I have to deal with the illness and reading is a way out, a way to forget, so I am putting reading these for later….

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    1. Vagabonde: How nice to hear that someone else haunts book fairs and festivals. I have found some wonderful, wonderful books there. To add to the groaning shelves.
      One of the women I worked with had a stroke and lost her ability to read and write. Which fills me with horror.
      I am so sorry about your husband's diagnosis. It is a cruel illness.

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    2. Vagabonde, when you are ready, and if you have not already bought this title, this novel is an amazing one written from the point of view of the person with Alzhiemer's as her disease progresses: Still Alice, by Lisa Genova.

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    3. jenny_o: Thank you. This is a book I have wanted for some time - and its name and author escaped me until your reminder.

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  24. OK, now I need to check out these titles! Drat you!

    (I do try to get most of my titles from the library but I spend a lot, I mean a LOT of money on books.)

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    1. Birdie: Perhaps we need a Book Buyers Anonymous (BBA), except that I would be too engrossed in my purchases to attend.

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  25. I have stacks all over the house as well. and I have my quilt fabric stashes, which are competing with the books. Conflict.

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    1. Susan Kane: And no doubt there are books about quilting as well, to link the addictions...

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  26. Yes! Too many books, too little time!

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    1. librarygirl: Oh yes, but we can keep on trying. We will keep on trying. And thank you so much for putting me onto Ben Aaronovitch. Such a treat.

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  27. One can't have too many books.

    You'll positively love Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade by Susan Flett Swiderski. I did :)

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    1. Wendy: The house (and all the bookshelves) say that you can have too many books, but I am ignoring them. And yes, I do expect to love Hot Flashes...

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  28. *ahem* and then there's my book. lol It can be found at AMAZON for $3 on Kindle.
    TREADWELL by dana joy wyzard.

    It is 98,000 words that I wrote while enduring the worst depression on my life two years ago.

    What goes down in history as being the darkest winter on record, with major ice storms and gloom, I didn't stop til I was finished. Hard working women in the hills of Indiana, defending themselves as they are known to do, while living hard scrabble lives harvesting their small crops for the winter.

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    1. lotta joy: Welcome - to another temptress. I really like stories by and about women. Is it available in hard copy - because I don't really like reading books on an ereader...

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  29. I'm in agreement with Paper Chipmunk!! if it makes you happy do it, and don't have any regrets!!

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    1. Nicky HW: I am half way there. I have done it - and don't have many regrets.

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  30. I've often noticed your impressive list of completed reading at the side of your blog, EC. I used to read more books than I do now - these days I tend to read blogs as they require less time - and I don't have to make the difficult decisions about keeping or not keeping them afterward!

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    1. jenny_o: I do love my reading. I have read less this year (largely due to brain death) but I am still reading. And buying. And coveting...

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  31. I enjoyed reading about your addiction to books and your futile resistance to their lure.

    I read in spurts. Blogging and photography give me little time for it for long periods but when something keeps me from photography for a while (usually bad weather during winter) I get hooked again and enjoy the heck out of it!

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    1. Ron Dudley: I am an obsessionist (if there is such a word, and even if there isn't). I read every day. Not necessarily a lot, but necessarily some...

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  32. I've been an obsessive reader since I was about four, later one of those people who read the milk carton on the rare occasion that I forgot to take a book to the breakfast table. This continued for 60+ years but since I've been living close to the grand kids, I find I'm reading far less. Maybe this is also because I spend way too much time on the computer. I rarely buy fiction these days, but I'm still crazily buying books on natural history, gardening, art, and any other subject that suddenly appeals. I think I'm in love with the Book Depository.

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    1. Carol: I too have always read. Everything. And I have a love/hate relationship with the Book Depository. They put temptation in my way far too often. And I weaken.

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  33. Buying books that inspire and encourage you is NOT a failure!

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    1. daisyfae: I can (and do) justify those ones. And then there are the ones I read to amuse me, distract me, or just because they are there...

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