Hello, my name is Rick, and I’m a binge reader.
It has been three months since I last binged an author (Lisa Gardner), and I only quit because I’d caught up to the last book in her D.D. Warren series. Since then I have strived to season my reading with a sprinkle of Salinger and a dash of Morrison.
I’m pretty sure my wife had always suspected me of binge reading despite my best efforts to hide the weekly Amazon deliveries. She couldn’t help but notice the ever growing stacks of books by Connelly, Sanford, and Parker on the floor in front of our already overcrowded bookshelves.
I might have gotten away with it for a bit longer by borrowing books from the library on my Kindle (I still use the old-school monochrome version), but by then things were so bad, I needed to have the next book in a series close at hand and couldn’t risk being placed on the Library’s waiting list. Have you seen the waitlist for Dan Brown’s latest? The bottom came when I found myself eying the unread stack rather than focusing on the reading at hand.
My salvation came at a writers’ conference. I found myself surrounded by other writers and seriously deficient in my knowledge of non-thriller or mystery titles. These writers put me on the path to recovery, opening my eyes to new possibilities, to a new life, to new authors within and without of my own genre. The long slow climb to recovery began.
One never fully recovers from binge reading, but I am hopeful that I can live a long, full reading life even in the company of my “dark passenger” (yes, I’m a binge series watcher too). I still spend more time reading than I do writing, so at any given time, I may have six books tented throughout the house, their spines straining under the pressure.
They haven’t come up with a name for this malady yet, but I hope I can find the support group when they do.
Rick is an aspiring novelist and an award-winning short-story writer exploring life in Dallas, TX and points beyond.