I have always imagined paradise to be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges
I'm with Borges on this.
I think it's fair to say that I couldn't (or don't want to) imagine my life without books. Reading is like air to me. Or friends and family. Or, at the very least, like clothing. I suppose if we want to be literal, clothes might be something I could manage without - 'specially if I lived on a warm, desert island or in a house with underfloor heating... but really, how practical or pleasant or indeed, possible, would it be to try to lead the life I love, without clothes? Not very. Same with books. I feel I need them like I need shelter and clothing and chocolate.
I know I'm not alone in this and I love that there are people out there (and lots and lots of them apparently inhabit this lovely blogosphere) who get it. Truly get it.
I read every day, no matter how briefly, and luxury equates to hours and hours of uninterrupted reading time. I can never have too much time for reading. I know that for many Summer's when they especially indulge their love of reading but for me, it's when the days draw in and the chill increasingly invites me to snuggle up under a blanket with a warm spicy chai and a selection of snacks, that I start to get excited about spending more time with a book in hand.
Something I know some people find weird about my reading habits (and even infuriating if they have to share a space with me and my multiple piles of bookmarked books) is that I find it impossible to read only one book at a time (yes, yes, trouble narrowing things down... it's a recurring theme. Deeply ingrained, this need for variety, even here). In general, I'll have at least one novel, a non-fiction read, several dip-in-and-out-ables (creative books usually fall into this category for me) and a few magazines... all on the go at the same time.
The thing about reading like this is that I'm constantly looking for new things to add to the pile. New inspiration. And much as I love them, I do sometimes find bookshops a little overwhelming - so many books, never enough time to read (or even browse) them all. So I like reading what others have recommended. Whether they be reviewers I've come to trust, friends, family, or kindred spirits briefly encountered, I love to hear what other people are reading and enjoying. This way I'm often introduced to new authors or individual gems that I might not have discovered otherwise.