It's inevitable that when meeting someone for the first time, or enjoying (or not enjoying) yourself on that first getting-to-know-you date, the question "What do you like to do?" will make its way into your conversation. At this point, you must provide a list of general hobbies and interests, but because it is the first meeting you must slightly censor yourself for fear of revealing too much too soon. You might even say, "I really like to read." which is a perfectly respectable hobby, provided you are not addicted to bodice-rippers or graphic novels for children. However, you absolutely cannot say, "I am a book addict. It's a problem. I really LOVE books." That comes later. When you have a wedding ring and some vows behind you. You cannot reveal your obsession with the written word because it might entail providing some of the following behaviors I am about to describe.

These are all from personal experience. A special thank you to my husband, Brian, for contributing to this blog and loving me in spite of my book addiction.

I know I am a book addict and not just a book lover. Here are twenty two embarrassing reasons why.

~ I must go through all of my library books when I return them to the chute to be sure that the right books are getting to the right library.
       ~ While going through said books, I must also flip through the pages to be             sure I did not leave important  papers behind because the books can       
        double as a sort of file folder.
~ At any given time, someone could find one, or even two books tucked into my purse.
~ If I see someone reading a book, I "stalk" them to try and see the cover. This sometimes leads to conversation, and sometimes just makes me look creepy with no end result.
~ The librarians know me by name and have actually said things such as, "Thank goodness!" when they see me enter the facility because I have so many books on hold to pick up.
~ I have, on occasion, had to plan library trips around errands with my husband so he can carry my bag of books.
~ I once spent approximately fifteen minutes trying to select the perfect book light at Barnes & Noble...and there were only about ten to choose from.
~ Finding fantastic books in great condition at the Goodwill has become a personal Olympic event.
~ I am generally in the middle of at least five books at the same time, and one of them is always an audiobook.
~ Sometimes, before going to bed, I literally stare at the bookshelf for a full five minutes before deciding what I feel like reading that evening.
~ I always read on the twenty minute commute to my in-laws'. If it is not a classic title, this drive generally equates to about sixty pages.
~ I read more than one hundred books each year.
~ I printed out my goodreads "to-read" list last week and it was thirty eight pages long.
~ With no printer available at my house, I am constantly sending my husband email attachments at work so he can provide me with task lists for the book challenges I belong to.
~ I monitor my reading lists in at least five different locations - goodreads, a list website, a journal, a calendar, and a binder.
~ When I must choose user names for various websites, they are usually characters from books I love. (Yahoo: my user name incorporates Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged)
~ I moderate four book groups with ideas for more...but I am trying to keep this in check.
~ I have tried to assist customers in bookstores because I know I have probably read more than the employees. (I only do this if they look like they are in need of help or are holding a book with a quizzical look on their faces!)
~ I enjoy rearranging my bookcase.
~ A person who shall not be named has joked that bookstores and libraries are like foreplay for me.
~ If someone asks me my favorite book, it takes approximately ten minutes to provide a truly accurate answer.
~ I have logged 2000 steps on the pedometer browsing the library for "random reads."
~ When my husband asked my father for permission to marry me, my dad replied "You know that you also get the boxes of books in the attic, too, right?"

What makes you a book addict? To contribute to this topic, please click on the comments thread at the beginning of the post.