• Octavio Cesar Martinez

If Books Were Lovers, I'd Be a Whore.

Hello.

My name is Octavio.

I'm a Bookalholic.


My parents read, at first newspapers, magazines and only sometimes books. I can recall the stacks of LOOK and LIFE magazines strewn around the house. My mom began reading Readers Digest magazine and then Readers Digest condensed books. She decorated with books. Made crafts from books. My parents bought me my own books when I was only 7 or 8 years old! Sometimes they would read to me.


In school I read to fit in, to be sociable, or to relax. I read because my friends did, but soon I was reading all alone, just for the pleasure of reading. I loved the first few days of school because it meant more books! Did I mention I was spent the summer of my 15th year studying with Jehovahs Witness because they sold books? No? Well I did. Clearly I was in trouble. My addiction led me to search for more digital thrills on the internet. Here's the best site: https://bookshelfporn.com


Now I have come to understand that books made my life manageable. So I surrendered [occasionally] to the God of my understanding Who is an Author; Who speaks the Word which I buy it leather-bound or hardback versions only. Why? Because only a Philistine or a plebeian buys paperbacks. The extra cost is always worth the instant gratification of holding a hardback book. On average I purchased a book a week. Currently my library is about 400 volumes and it's this small because I have given away over 350 books in the last five years.


“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” ― Erasmus

I have unwieldy stacks of books in my home—by the way my home has an actual library! I log each book I read, add up the pages and total the amount for each year. As of this writing, for 2019, I have read 3,919 pages of books, not counting one newspaper [yes, I still get one], online articles, the three monthly magazines I subscribe to, the the sacred Scriptures, my Daily Roman Missal or the daily readings from my four-volume Liturgy of the Hours.


And most days I believe I do not read enough. So many books, so little time.


I love the smell of books. I am a book sniffer from an early age. To this day, I cannot help sniffing books, but I also love the smell of bookstores. I wear a cologne that is described as "...hints of cigars, blending leather, wood, animal notes and bookstores." Of course I bought it.


I am annoyed at the sight of a torn dust jacket. I cover the dust jackets of my books with Brodart covers. What are those? Those clear plastic covers on library books. I will clean, mend, and repair book covers with the combined skill of a surgeon and love of a mother. To me, books are holy and beautiful.


When I travel, I always visit a local bookstore. Every country and every city. After churches and cathedrals, it is the one certain place I will visit. I will purchase books or book bags from famous books stores like Moe's [Berkeley], Powell's [Portland], and Politics and Prose [DC] and even... B&N. Once, I asked my son to bring back three books from Germany because their weight exceeded the weight limit for my luggage; written in German and I do not read German, but who cares when they were only 15 euros!


I organized my library by subject: Philosophy, Theology, History, Fiction, Art, and Personal Development. I own a $400 copy of the works of Edward Hopper that I purchased for only $19!


When I start a book, I am in love like a teenager. When I finish a book I am depressed like a teenager. I inscribe my name, date I start date and end date in every book. I use, a Pilot mechanical GraphGear pencil with 0.5 HB lead, a Pilot sleeved white eraser and a Sharpie SmearGuard yellow highlighter to mark my books.


I have travelled with and learned from the dead through books.

And I completely understand Erasmus.


Did I mention I love books?






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