6 Oct 2011

Guest blogger - Rachel Clarke

How I became a bookaholic, how I got kicked out of the club, and how I became a member once again.
By Rachel from Fiktshun

First, let me say thank you to Mist for inviting me to guest post about how I became a bookahlolic. I feel honored that you wanted me to share my story, which as is always the case with my stories, is a really long one. I’ll try not to be too boring, but as I say on my blogs, I make no promises.

So, now for the introductions, I suppose…

Hi, my name is Rachel, blogger at Fiktshun, and I’m a bookaholic. I wasn’t always one. I did manage, for a few short years, to rid myself of my bookish demons and live my life book-free. But that time, in the span of my life thus far, was brief. I fell off that wagon and have been a bookaholic ever since.

I don’t think there is a cure for me. I’m not too sure that I want there to be. But I live my life, being addicted to books, one day and one book at a time. Who knows what the future may bring, but I can’t imagine being cured of this addiction or living a life without books.

How it started (a.k.a. who’s to blame)…

Blame is placed squarely on my father’s shoulders. He is a bookaholic and to my knowledge was never cured of his addiction. He was my book pusher and during my years of abstinence he tried to lure me back to my bookish ways, using all sorts of tricks – free books, trips to bookstores in which I was forced to walk the stacks for hours, taking (and leaving) me at the library with no means of escape.

So, yes, I blame him solely for this almost lifelong addiction I’ve had to the printed word.

When it started…

It started when I was about two. There was a book with a chick and a duck that I remember being quite fond of – to the point of screaming at top volume if it wasn’t read to me immediately. Soon thereafter, there were books of bears, badgers, Beatrix Potter, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Frog and Toad, cats and mice and all sorts of fun adventures to be had.

While I wasn’t quite capable of actually reading these books myself, I did enjoy having them read to me. Although I think I preferred looking at the illustrations and making up the stories on my own, which didn’t require a narrator with their limited schedules and frustratingly slow page turns.

And so it continued…

My father was a strong believer that only those who were readers, who were creative and had enough of an imagination to be able to connect with a story, were people worth knowing.

As a young girl who wanted to be the apple of my father’s eye, I took to books with a voracious appetite. To see the pleasure he got from my demands for more and more challenging reads and to be able to share his passion from a very young age, gave us a connection that divorce, distance and time could never break.

From the ages of four, where he shared with me his love of Edgar Allan Poe, through six, when he and I read Macbeth together before dinner, we tackled the classics, though I had only the most cursory of knowledge about what I was reading.

By the age of eight, and a full-blown bookaholic, I was reading books on my own. Alone. Whenever and wherever I could. However I could. I preferred the company of a book to most people. I preferred to read rather than sleep or eat, and I preferred the library to a friend’s house.

I wanted to read as much as I could, in as short a time as was possible. Most of my books weren’t age-appropriate, although school reads almost always were. So, from the age of eight through fourteen, I could be found with all sorts of different books in hand. I did not discriminate. I had no bookish drug of choice.

I’d read anything and everything. From comics to classics, from romance to espionage, thrillers, horror, mystery and suspense – you name it, I would read it. And when my favorite reads ran dry, I even tackled science fiction and fell in love with the Dune books.

The tides turned…

Something changed for me during my sophomore year of high school. I wanted sobriety. I needed it. I craved a life beyond books. I didn’t want my mind wrapped up in someone else’s story. I wanted to start creating my own.

Okay, that’s only part of it. I’m supposed to be honest here, right? That is one of those steps to recovery, though I know I’ll never actually recover. The reality was those lovely boys.

Books were no longer my priority. I much preferred those boys. And so, my books gathered dust on my shelves, as I set them aside for the remainder of high school and all through college. And no matter the amount of cajoling or persuasion from my book junkie father, I would not pick up a book unless it was a requirement.

In those seven long years, I think I read maybe five books for pleasure, if that. And a couple of those books were, let’s just call them “not recommended” reads.

And then they turned back…

I stayed that clean and sober book-free path for those seven years, until a new Stephen King release brought me back to the dark side. Well, that and Starbucks. Because if you’re hanging out at a coffee house, there’s nothing you want more than to have an espresso in one hand and a book in the other.

Since then, my addiction took me to new worlds – crime dramas, paranormal/urban fantasy, chick lit and most recently to young adult. And it is here where I get my fix on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

What the future holds…

A life where I am forever bound to my bookish addiction. I will never be free again. I don’t wish to be. With over seven hundred books on my eReader and close to two hundred books on my shelf and in my closet, I’d be set for quite some time, even if I were to go on a book buying ban for a few years.

But, that too will never happen. And so I will feed my addiction and remain that bookaholic you see before you know. An addiction that has gotten much, much worse ever since I started my blog back in November 2010.

One final plea…

Join me. Read. Book addicts don’t like to go it alone. They have “clubs” for this sort of thing, but to me they’re more like cults. And I am so very happy to be a member of the cult of books.
A big thank you to Rachel for guesting today, I'm sure you'll agree this post was fab :)
Here's everywhere you can find (and follow) Rachel
(Yep that's four blogs!)


  1. Awesome interview!!! Rachel be a proud bookaholic! Im a bookaholic and proud. Your dad introduced you to something magical. I cant believe you didnt read for 7 years. Thats a looong time but your mind was preoccupied with shall we say other things!!! Glad you came back to our side, I love reading your blogs.

  2. Thanks again Mist for having me! Love your font on the blog, BTW!

    And Nat, thanks so much! :) Yes, it was a looong time. I mean I probably read about 50+ required reads during that time, but nothing for fun. And yes, I was definitely preoccupied! :)

  3. What a great interview!! I am also a proud bookaholic and am a proud mother of an 8 year old bookaholic as well. I have always read to her and then when she was old enough to read on her own she just took off!! She is in grade 3 and reading at a grade 5-6 lvl (depends on if the book intrests her or not).
    We are glad to have you back in the book cult:) I will be following your blogs for sure, if they are even half as interesting as your interview:)


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