I recently came across this post on Facebook, and wondered if someone went inside my head and stole my thoughts! Ignoring the fact that a book is incapable of doing what alcohol can ;), I wish with all my heart for this to be the norm soon.
Good books give me goosebumps. Sometimes, in a bus or a train, I see someone reading a book by one of my favorite authors, and I feel a compelling urge to approach them and strike up a conversation. When people ask me what gift they should give me for birthday/anniversary/christmas/festivals/farewell/..., I say books (and chocolates), unabashedly. Everytime I go home, I visit the local book-markets and buy atleast a dozen to bring them with me. Not that I manage to read them all, and the numbers on my 'to-read' list pile up. But their mere presence on the study rack lifts up the mood after a hard day. I borrow books as well, from friends and colleagues and relatives and whoever is willing enough to let me lay my evil hands on their books. The reason I say 'evil hands' is that once I borrow a book and fall in love with it, I find it physically painful to part ways and do not return it- until the owner threatens me with dire consequences. :D
In college, I had a couple of friends who shared similar passion and we stayed up all night and discussed books. In the process, we identified with every female character we read about, drew parallels with our lives, shed buckets of tears and wondered how everyone else carried on with their lives as though we hadn't experienced "emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback".
On a personal note, Jeffrey Archer happens to be one of my favorite fiction-authors. When the first book of the five-book series 'The Clifton Chronicles' released in 2011, the best friend (who, unfortunately, has been the victim of my not-returning-books habit almost always) said to me that each subsequent book would be a birthday gift, for the next four years. Now, as I turn the pages of the third book of the series in these wee hours, the scribbling on the first page makes me happy and sad at the same time :)