(stands up and clears throat) "Erm....hi" (smiles feebly and does a little wave. The others in the circle smile back, encouragingly)
"my name's Ewar..." (everyone else continues to smile and mumble 'Hi Ewar')
"I'm 23, and I live in Lovejoy Towers, Battersea. Erm...I am related to the Corrs"
"How lovely. Of course, we are all here for the same reason - tell us, when did your addiction start?"
"I don't know, Wendy. It just kind of evolved slowly over time (some nods from the others) and now it's at it's absolute worse. Yesterday was a particularly awful experience, where I suffered a real set-back. I thought I could beat it, on my own, I really did, but it seems I cannot"
"That is understandable. Don't worry, you are in good company here, and we are committed to helping you. Tell us, what exactly did your setback yesterday entail? It is better to say it out loud and get it out in the open, we believe"
(looks nervous) "Well....I just happened to walk past the Waterstones in Telford Shopping Centre. Of course, I knew it was there, but normally I close my eyes and ignore it. But yesterday, I couldn't. I JUST COULDN'T! I walked in, and was immediately confronted by a section dedicated to notable US literature..." (bursts into tears)
(An old man shakes his head, slowly. 'The bastards, the absolute bastards. They prey on us' he says, sadly.)
"Let it all out, Ewar. What happened?"
John Updike - Rabbit, Run
Mark Twain - Huck Finn
Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse 5
Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God
That's what happened. Which wouldn't be too bad, if it weren't for the fact that earlier on today I logged on to The Book People and ordered a reference book and a crossword dictionary. AND THEN I just happened to pop into The Works in Wolverhampton and picked out a book by a chap called Paul McDonald. No idea who he is, bet it's rubbish.
Anyway, my transformation into The Plashing Vole gathers pace. I'll be waving a red flag next.
Now, don't suppose you could lend me a few quid, could you. I'll pay you back, I SWEAR!
EDIT - Just to give you some scale - I think that splurge now brings the amount of books I've bought but am planning to read one day to a rather impressive 27. And that does not include a whole series of books I wish to re-read. Wow.