Monday, December 08, 2003

My Addiction

My Addiction

Went to the QBWorld bookstore at Jalan Sunda yesterday and saw two books that I wanted to buy: Living to Tell the Tale by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Indonesia: Peoples and Histories by Jean Galman Taylor. Surprisingly I managed to resist the urge to do so.

Given my incurable addiction to books, it is a rarity for me to come out from a bookstore empty-handed. It forced me to adopted a rather brutal way of controlling my irresistible urge to buy books--by not stepping into a bookstore at all. But yesterday, I wanted to test my willpower by purposely walking into a bookstore, and I succeeded magnificent, in resisting its many allures.

Maybe I am being morbidly harsh on myself. Everyone indulges in something; we need to reward ourselves sometimes by buying the things that we like. And I suppose being addicted to books is not as bad as having a craving for cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, or even food. At most it burns a big hole in my wallet. So what. I hardly spend money on anything else.

I suppose I am just wary of succumbing to immediate pleasures. Impulse buying is a fun thing--we see what we like and the next thing we know, we already own it. Instant gratification.

We all know what gives us immediate pleasure--we want to stop working on that difficult proposal and go surf the Net, chat with our friends, send an SMS, enjoy a cup of coffee or switch on the TV. That is the root of procrastination. We procrastinate because we do not want to take the pain now and enjoy the long-term pleasure. Instead, we choose instant pleasure and long-term pain.

Even though there is no great harm in buying books on the impulse, the act of succumbing to the immediate temptation is to me a damaging one in the long term. Everytime we satiate our desire, we give strength to it and we set ourselves up for a tougher battle the next time round. That's how addictions are formed.

I am already a book addict. This one addiction has already consumed my entire life. I don't need more.

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