News Editor

Stephen Milligan is the news editor of The Walton Tribune. He lives in Monroe and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

As you may know, I like to read.

A lot.

Like many voracious readers, I’m not just satisfied with acquiring a book, reading it and throwing it aside for the next book.

No, if I happen to really like a book, I want a copy of my own, one I can place on a bookshelf with pride and easily access to revisit down the line.

Plus, books easily double as decor, as well as a way to signal your tastes to guests, which is why the classics go on the bookcase in the front room, while all my sleazy horror novels get deposited in a back corner where visitors are less likely to judge my more prurient tastes.

The problem is, when you read as much as I do and acquire books at the rate I do, finding space for all of them can be a hassle.

At last count, I own nearly 2,300 books. A great many of them are sadly stored away in boxes, out of sight and out of mind due to my chronic lack of library space.

But I can’t bring myself to store the books I haven’t read yet, because I’m unlikely to read them I can’t easily grab one to tackle when the mood hits me.

Which means I have bookcases overflowing with such books, books shoved in the closet, even an ever-growing patch of books on the bedroom floor threatening to take over the entire room.

It’s driving my mother crazy. She entered the bedroom to find something and nearly fell over some of those books trying to navigate past them. She feels I should stop buying books until I’ve shrunk that pile to manageable size.

She is, you may can tell, not a reader at the level I am, or she’d know book piles don’t really shrink at all. They just keep growing, unless attacked in some way. Flamethrowers might work.

I keep telling her if we move the bed out of the guest room and replace it with more bookcases, much of this problem would be solved, but she seems to think guests might like to sleep in that room on occasion.

Weird idea, right?

Well, I’ll just have to redouble my efforts to push through my backlog of reading material to bring my book pile within manageable levels. It may mean curtailing other social activities, but who’s going anywhere during a pandemic, anyway?

I could actually stop buying books, of course, but we all know that’s not going to happen. I have a few coming in the mail right now, after all, and the next time I come across a great sale, I’m sure to add more.

I may have a problem, but hey, it beats a drug addiction, at least.

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