I’m an Addict

Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. So, here goes…

I’m addicted to books. When I’m feeling good, I read. When I’m feeling bad, I go book shopping. My town doesn’t have many good bookstores (the really good ones are like an hour away), but one of them has a fair number of used books. Those are my crack cocaine–powerful but cheap and accessible.

I’ve had some really bad trips before. Sometimes I wake up the next morning and think “what the hell was I thinking? I’m never going to read that.” But mostly I keep going back because it feels so good. There’s a certain satisfaction in owning books of my own, sharing them with friends (don’t worry, we use bookmark-exchange programs for safety), and especially the ultimate rush–finishing a book one’s been meaning to snort for a long time.

I get a special kick from nonfiction. And today I got a little more money than I was expecting, and I bought four new books. Like any good addict, I justify my habit with excuses. I did get 4 books for $12.59 (including tax), all by authors I had heard of or on subjects I was interested in before I got the books. They are:

The Mating Mind, by Geoffrey Miller, subtitled “How sexual choice shapes the evolution of human nature.”

A Generous Orthodoxy, by Brian McLaren, some emergent-church theology, subtitled “Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN.” Yeah, so he’s not that concise, but I got to hear him speak last year and thought he’s rather more likable than the majority of ministers/ pastors/ preachers (though I count several of those as friends).

Through a Window, by Jane Goodall, subtitled “My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe.” I know she’s influential/ well-known, and now I’ll get to learn why.

And, Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong, author of the A History of God, which I much enjoyed.

So, I’m happy now, high as I am on my fix. I’m shaking a little, and don’t think I’ll be able to get much sleep until I’ve inhaled a little wordage, so I should go back to my alley and read. I promise I’ll stop. But not tonight.

10 Responses to I’m an Addict

  1. LH says:

    Four books… at once? That’s quite an appetite! :)

    You have an intelligent blog. I write a science blog called Fresh Brainz mainly about evolutionary biology and some neuroscience.

    Would you like to exchange blog links?

    Best regards!

  2. sarah says:

    Do you have any recommendations that are along the lines of The Mating Mind?

    These others look great.

  3. globalizati says:

    Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale (which is a thorough study of the history of evolutionary biology) has some significant sections on sexual selection. One reason I picked up The Mating Mind is because it had an endorsement from Dawkins on the back, which told me it wasn’t anything off-the-wall or wholly unsupported.

    I’ve got Matt Ridley’s The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature on my shelf, bu haven’t read it yet. I think it will likely be very good, and I hope to get to it this summer.

    And if you haven’t read it, E.O. Wilson’s On Human Nature, it’s a classic.

  4. sarah says:

    Thank you! Much obliged

  5. Jimmy Shaw says:

    Globalizati wrote:

    he’s rather more likable than the majority of ministers/ pastors/ preachers (though I count several of those as friends).

    Why do I feel like you just called me out?

  6. globalizati says:

    The meaning behind that possibly awkward wording was that Brian McLaren is pretty cool, cooler even than most of the ministers I know, excepting a few I count as friends. And besides, you’re not really a minister unless you’re getting paid for it, right? :-D

  7. Jimmy Shaw says:

    Oh. Okay. I feel better now…

    And yes, getting paid for it was so much more fun because it was so lucrative and headache-free. But unfortunately, it prevented me from enjoying late night coffee and open, freewheeling theological/ethical/philosophical conversation with bloggers.

  8. fairlane says:

    Since you seem to be on a theology/philosophy kick have you ever read any J. Krishnamurti? Excellent, challenging to our Western way of thinking, but excellent nonetheless.

  9. globalizati says:

    I had never heard of Krishnamurti before so I just googled him. Interesting stuff, do you have a favorite work that I should read first to introduce me to his thought?

  10. fairlane says:

    “Total Freedom” is a good place to start. As I said, he can be difficult, but not because it’s some kind of complicated philosophy, in fact he’d say it’s not a philosophy at all, but because it challenges the very way we view reality and ourselves. The basic tenet is the mind is a prison, and as long as you live through your mind you will never be free. Sounds simple enough but…

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