Opinion | Pop Culture

Addicted to Books

My love of reading has too often become another way to stay busy rather than practice 'holy leisure.'

I took three books with me when I went backpacking last weekend.

When you're a backpacking novice like me, every ounce in your backpack matters; after the first mile, you are ready to toss everything except maybe a water bottle and M&Ms to keep you going. My friend and I debated leaving part of the tent behind, and discussed the merits of toilet paper, but I never considered leaving my books behind. And if I had left them, I would have been reading the backs of our dried fruit packages when we stopped for breaks.

I love to read.

I read War and Peace on a dare when I was 15, read the backs of cereal boxes and shampoo containers when I eat and shower, and rarely leave the house without a book.

So I identify very much with journalist Bibi van der Zee, who decided to go "cold turkey" from books for a week, and wrote on her experience in The Guardian earlier this month:

I am usually reading three, sometimes four books, with a pile of books waiting in case I run ...
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