Is there any doubt that reading is far more than a hobby? Those of us who value books have a devil of a time giving away a single copy of our favs. Some of us have difficulty dealing with library books. After all, at some point they must be returned.
Although I must admit that there are titles that I finished because I felt compelled to follow through on my commitment to the author, there are thousands of other titles wandering around in my brain offering examples to support a variety of arguments that I have with my colleagues.
I just moved my major book shelves — you know, dusted and re-arranged. In Australia if one doesn't do this periodically, the mud wasps lay eggs in the tight small spaces between the tops of books if they aren't all the same height. Geckos are also egg layers in the tiny corners where the books don't quite touch the back of the shelves. Not that I mind critturs taking advantage of my sacred spaces, but..sometimes I simply need to touch, fondle, caress the covers of my favorites.
Rumi is one of those. I need to pull him off the shelves and peruse any page that happens to open in my hands. Always a joy, a new awareness of how life celebrates itself.
Another is "Travels In West Africa"...never out of print since Mary Kingsley published it back in 1895. I smile every time I think of her 'necklace of leeches" or her exhaustion at the top of Mt. Cameroon.
Books are essential. Just walking into a room filled with books causes some part of my brain to hum, to settle into a relaxed mode.
Don't you agree?