My Addiction

December 30, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Lately, mixed in with all the holiday chatter, I’ve been hearing a lot about addiction. A friend in Ohio had a knee replacement, but in order to offset the morphine epidemic there, she can only get a renewal of her pain meds by having someone carry a written prescription from the doctor’s office to the drugstore and then deliver it back to her. She’s seventy years old and has a Ph.D. so her potential for heroin addiction,  is, um, modest. Then there was the NCR discussion of whether the New Hampshire heroin epidemic was caused by overuse of pain killers or trading up from teenage drug use at parties.

Me, my addiction is of a different sort. I’m a bookaholic. We live in a nine hundred square foot apartment, and all the book shelves are full, but I keep on acquiring more books. One source of my addiction is Greenlight Books over on Fulton Street; my membership in the Brooklyn Academy of Music includes a twenty percent discount at Greenlight, and it just seems silly not to buy new books there when I am saving so much money with that big a discount.

Then there are all the books that people put out on the stoop over in Windsor Park and Park Slope. I’m a big time walker, and there the books are. Who could resist? And of course there are the one penny second-hand books on Amazon. I just sent a away for a classic 1978 volume on Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. I mean, how could a person live without that?

My esteemed companion sat me down one day and suggested that maybe every time I get two books, I could get rid of one. I told him in no uncertain terms that there was nothing in the prenup about books.

You may conclude from all this that I read a great deal. I do do a certain amount of reading. But that’s not really the point. As my dear Grail mentor Eleanor Walker once said, back in the 1970s, “I don’t read my books; I feel warmly toward them.” Very warmly.

It occurred to me at one point that maybe what I should do is start a Bookaholics Anonymous group (BA). Those who share my need for more and more books could meet with me and we could discuss our problem. Then it came to me that we could also bring some of our books and have a book exchange. Not sure what the Higher Power would think about that part.

I guess before I make supper I’ll go start reading the slightly water-logged copy of Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War that I picked up on Prospect Park West this afternoon.

And may your new year be filled with many, many books.




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  1. NO! My 77 boxes will not fit in my 900 foot apartment, either. I am grateful to you for taking a couple of books from me, lightening my load and adding to yours. With the library right downstairs now, I hope not to acquire any more books — and maybe they will take those I can dispose of.


  2. I got 5 books for Christmas, 4 of them by Jodi Picoult, and I couldn’t be happier. But I am told I need to give away 5 more or our apartment will explode. It may be true! I love the library, too, but they have sales . . .take care, Margaret


  3. Marian……I am laughing here in Minnesota. I wish there was, indeed, a ‘HEROINE EPIDEMIC.” The world needs it right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Marian, I loved your post on addiction, you are so funny (with a serious problem)! It was put in such a good dialogue…too cute! Keep up the good work, I enjoy them when I see them! Much love…Alexa


  5. Books is such a great addiction!!!

    The Sparrow. Have you read it? G. & me are both devouring it.

    Between Christmas & NYE I spent what seemed like 48 solid hours of email with siblings discussing a possible plan to help my dad kick opiates, which would be needed to get him unconstipated so he could then kick enemas. Ultimately, without ever talking to my dad or Pam, we decided to let him keep living his life in opiated peace and do nothing. (He really does need some kind of lifelong painkiller for arthritis … and the enemas are his & Pam’s problem to deal with.) But honestly.

    From: Marian Ronan <> Reply-To: Marian Ronan <> Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 4:53 PM To: Julie Byrne <> Subject: [New post] My Addiction

    Marian Ronan posted: “Lately, mixed in with all the holiday chatter, I’ve been hearing a lot about addiction. A friend in Ohio had a knee replacement, but in order to offset the morphine epidemic there, she can only get a renewal of her pain meds by having someone carry a writ”


  6. Books. Yes. Lots.


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