It will be part of my recovery process to admit that I am … yes, I have to steel myself  and say it out aloud: I AM A BOOK-BINGER.
There.  Now you all know.  One of my deeply personal flaws revealed.   Finally, after a lifetime of over-consumption I have made a public confession for all to hear.  Will you still like me? Still be my friend?  Can you try to understand?

My addiction is not so glamorous as the world class cocaine snorters; nor so classy as the Big League Dipsos – all those famous British actors working on their under-eye-portmanteaux and gently slurring their cut-glass vowels as they consumed heroic amounts of Beefeaters’ Gin or single malt whiskey, and still managed to produce rave-worthy performances every night in the grandest of theatres. Nothing so elevated.  Mine is a secret vice, kept behind a closed front door, feverishly carried out under the dim light of my eco-approved, low watt bulbs, my secret sin …. it is a solo guilty pleasure.

I’ve known its wrong.  For years and years I knew it wasn’t healthy, but I couldn’t admit it to myself and I couldn’t stop. I lost all sense of time, all sense of responsibility, I cared not a fig for the morrow, when I knew – oh ! how I knew! – I would be less use than a zombie.   I knew that the next day I would barely function, my strained eyeball muscles unable to focus, my social and civic  obligations abandoned.

And worst of all, much worse than the damage to my eyes, my life and my blood-sugar readings, worst of all, my book binges led me to neglect of my cat. Yes:  Cat  Abuse.  I have to whisper this one.  I feel  so ashamed.  Forgotten meals,  careless handfuls of kibble flung in the direction of the feed bowl, stale  water in the dish, a smelly sand-box. My desolate cat roaming the midnight  streets in search of a kind word, a warm bed. How could I have been so selfish,  so neglectful of my cat ? As I write this, my cheeks burn with shame.  I hang my head.

But my faithful cat always returned the next day, to cheer me through my binge  hang-over, take my mind off the crick in my neck, my sprained eyeballs, my  soggy brain, my sleep-deprived shambling.
Although once, possibly in a fit of exasperation, she fatally chewed the
corner of a hard-cover Library Book which I had to replace at vast personal expense,  but a fitting punishment I suppose, for my selfish addiction.

But I am determined to be a better person, a disciplined reader, a caring cat owner. I  have seen the light.  I will no longer binge read.  In fact I am planning a  letter to the Ministry of Health suggesting that all books in the leisure  category be branded with a warning on their covers. Like cigarette packets.  Perhaps something like “Over consumption of the printed page is dangerous!  Read with  discrimination.”  Or maybe something snappier “Binge Reading buys more Mercedes for Optometrists”.  I’ll work on it.

Meanwhile, I hope we’re still friends.  I have managed to  forgive myself, and  determined to make a fresh start.  My magnificent cat has forgiven me, and I hope you can too.




  1. I confess, I too am a book binger.

    Boy! I do it feel better now!!!

    By the way, I had a dog, who ran away and ate my books too


  2. Mule Springs

    What was the last book you binged on? Inquiring minds need to know.

    I noticed we share a few all time favorites such as The Last Samurai; I don’t know anyone else who has read that book. 🙂


    • I’ve just devoured an enormous, satisfying, big fat book by Deborah Harkness “A Discovery of Witches” – run to yr nearest bookstore, do not pass GO, do not claim $200 – just lay yr hands on it!
      As for The Lasty Samurai – I have read it a number of times (3? 4?) and will read it again. She has written another bk ‘Lightning Rods’ (?) not quite sure of title, which I have on my on-line Wish List. You’re the first person I’ve found who knows about HdW and The Last. Can’t understand why the bk is not more widely known and enjoyed.


  3. Mule Springs

    I came to The Last Samarai because it either won or was a runner up in an international literary award. This was years back when i was leading an award winning literature reading group. If I had not been cruising the award winner aisles, I might have missed this unusual read.


  4. As a book bingers child, I can safely say, I’m glad you passed on these genes. There is nothing better than spending hours devouring a book till the end – damn the consequences!. Love Laura


  5. What’s up mates, its fantastic post regarding educationand fully defined, keep it up all the time.


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