you'd think she'd have stopped at one thousand...

...that's what they'll say when they find me entombed with all of my books. I know it's not unusual (well, not that unusual) for someone to own a lot of books, but from the reactions of my friends, family, and Pete, it is apparently not exactly sane either.
What am I going to do in response?
Buy more.

That's the beauty of being *not quite sane* (although, now that my home will be in England, do I qualify for the more genteel "eccentric"?)--you can then go whole-heartedly into whatever particular compulsion suits you. I will be that slightly over the top book lady; you know, the one with the guest room that has a twin bed because a queen would leave to little room for the bookcases--and whose biceps (and, let's be honest, whose husband's biceps) are defined from years of lugging boxes about. Hey, at least you know you will always have something entertaining to read when visiting. Even in the kitchen (cookbooks/food essays), the office (comics/essays/short stories), and the restroom (more comics, books of quotes, epigrams). It is worth having at least one friend like that surely?

But what books am I going to buy now? And at whose feet do we lay the blame?
This time, blame Nick Hornby--and his Complete Polysyllabic Spree. Of course, one of my favorite aftereffects of reading a book like the Spree is that it gives such fantastic options for what to read next. (Although, erhm, I chose to read McKinley's Sunshine afterwards, I rarely follow straight paths). My two absolute favorite books for this were Pamela Dean's Tam Lin (which also sent me to Carleton College) and Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road. Both of these books have sections that are simply lists of good books.
The books from Spree (many of which I will check out from the library first, I may be a compulsive, eccentric book-buyer, but I am an impoverished one who has just gotten married and moved across the Atlantic) are:
1) My own copy of the Polysyllabic Spree--my friends are nice enough to loan me books, but they do expect them back.
2) Fortress Of Solitude--I have been avoiding this book, for the same reason I avoid nearly all books that I feel I see everywhere--I am stubborn about being media blitzed. (Although, this did mean I missed out on the Harry Potter series for far too long; it's not a good habit)
3) Moneyball--Michael Lewis. This baseball book sounds fascinating and like an excellent gift for my father and a few friends. Thank you, Mr. Hornby!
4) How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World. Definitely a library read...sounds interesting.
5) Book of Shadows--I am an addict of epigrams.
6) Against Oblivion--I love the idea that this man set out to make sure that these writers survived--that he was concerned enough to write a book.
7) Hangover Square--this book came up at least three times in the essays.
8) Death and the Penguin. I can't believe I've never run across this--it looks to be fun.
9) Running in the Family--okay, okay I was never able to get through The English Patient, possibly because I could not stand the movie (I can't stand any epic not related to Tolkien, apparently, it's a failing). But, Hornsby made this book sound wonderful.
10) The March--Doctorow. Yet another book I want to read and give as a gift. Priceless.
They should keep me busy for quite a while--and now that I've found these essays, I can put them next to Arthur Quiller-Couch's, and Michael Dirda's, and Anne Fadiman's, well I'll be busy for quite some time.
Thank goodness, really.

(as an aside, when I google a book now, the UK Amazon site is the first one to pop up, it makes me feel like I'm really staying here, somehow.)