Addicted to Books

My bookshelves of my own books

Hello.  My name is Joanne Rock and I’m a bookaholic.

I may as well admit it up front.  I’m pretty sure I’m among friends who share my addiction here.  It’s a self-indulgence and an obsession – both the writing and the reading – and it gets in the way of other things I should be doing some times.  But in many ways, books maintain my sanity and they’re cheaper than the alternatives, I hear.  So they are a craving I don’t plan to give up.

Reading has been a pathway to so much learning and self-discovery for me.  I discovered my love of all things medieval through historical romances and a lovely John Keats poem.  Checking out towering stacks from the library as a pre-teen filled those awkward years with purpose as I read about anything and everything that caught my fancy.  For a farmer’s daughter in a small town, I chose books on wine making and ballet, art and Greek Gods.  Books were my dose of culture, my touchstone to another lifestyle and another world.

Soon, I began reading incessantly.  I got a Master’s in Literature.  I read romances whenever I wasn’t reading books that pertained to my studies.  But the more I read books, the more I realized I’d never get enough of them.  Although, perhaps, I could capture an even more meaningful experience of stories if I wasn’t just reading books.  How about if I wrote one?

Learning Curves

First book I sold

That epiphany brought me to the other side of the fence and presented me with a fascinating puzzle.  How could I ever write a story that would entertain others half as well as I’d been entertained by the authors I loved?

It’s been a long journey since those first tries.  Whenever I got tired of trying to figure out how to write a good book, of course, I could always return to my first love.  Reading.  Thank goodness for that, because it still provided my favorite escape while also fulfilling a new role of inspiring me.

Even now, I spend much of my time either reading or writing.  The reading is still the bigger pleasure, but the writing has been my way of understanding books on a whole new level.  Writing is also my way of giving back.  After all, I’ve enjoyed the musings of thousands of writers over the years.  I like to think my books are a way of sharing a favorite past time.  I hope my stories will provide someone else with an escape.  A fun diversion.  A few carefree hours lost to everything but the story.

*Adapted from a post at Writerspace in 2011.

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