Unleashing the Book Dragon

WHAT’S PLAYING: Prince “Guitar”

Last week, a couple of friends came over for dinner to celebrate the removal of my braces. Liquor was flowing freely and everyone seemed to be having a good time. That is, until I glanced across the room and saw one my friends reaching for my signed copy of American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Now, I’m not one for spontaneous action. In fact, I tend to overthink things. But one look at my friend’s greasy, pizza-sauce covered fingers reaching for one of my favorite possessions….

Well, to put it mildly, I went apeshit.

I don’t know what scared my friend more, the primal roar that emerged from my throat or the sight of me charging across the room with murder in my eyes. Either way, he backed away from the bookshelf with both hands in the air.

Unfortunately, I was moving too fast to stop.

In my defense, it was signed. By Neil frickin’ Gaiman. Later I found out that he was actually reaching for my signed copy of Snuff by Terry Pratchett.

I damn near threw him off the balcony.

I’ve always been something of a hoarder when it comes to books. I can’t help it. Being surrounded by books makes me feel calm and safe—which is odd since my house is a firetrap in the making. Good books, bad ones, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, all have places in my library.

Lately though, I’ve gone from simple hoarder to full on psycho book dragon. For every signed book I have, I have another unsigned “reading” copy. When my book collection outgrows my current living arrangements, I simply move to a bigger place. I keep my signed copies prominently displayed, and have been known to just sit there and stare at them with an intense pleasure that anyone but a true bibliophile would find a little creepy. And—as my unfortunate friend discovered—I will physically attack someone if I feel my books are being threatened.

The good news is that my friend forgave my little outburst and we can laugh about it now.

But the next time he decides to reach for one of my books, I won’t be so gentle.