Do You Have This Human Weakness?

January 15, 2024 | Author Friend Promo

by Catherine Castle

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?-

-Henry Ward Beecher

 When I read this quote I said, “Oh, that is soooo me.”

As a kid going into the library, I could never choose just one library book. Three was the minimum, and I’ve been known to go as high as seven, or ten, if I was checking out non-fiction for research or skimming.  I always returned before the two-week borrowing limit was over and checked out another armload of books. Of course, back then I had the luxury of time on my side. No housework, cooking, gardening, or other jobs to do. I don’t read books as fast as I did as a teen, but I still collect them. I haven’t lost my love of books, or my weakness for the written word.

That love of books bled into bookstores, and my pocketbook, as I grew older. My kindle is filled with books: books I’ve bought, free books I’ve downloaded, and books given to me by other authors to review. In fact, I’ve even got books on my phone—a place I never thought I’d read books on. I have a stack of snail mail advertising books that I think I might like to buy someday. And we won’t even mention the home bookshelves. Or maybe we will, since this post is about my human weakness when it comes to books, and bookstores. They, too, are crammed full and spilling onto the floor with fiction of all genres, non-fiction of all sorts, cookbooks, crafting books, research books, writing books and even dictionaries. A quick glance around the shelves in my office and I can find at least 5 different dictionaries.  Really, who needs that many dictionaries?

I am without doubt a confirmed bibliophile, a disease that apparently even Henry Ward Beecher had, as well as many of America’s wealthy homeowners, as witnessed by some of their great libraries.

Pictured above are the bookshelves in the living room of poet CARL SANDBURG. Every room, including the bathroom, and every hallway had shelves like these. All I wanted to do was stop and peruse them, but the docent wouldn’t let me. Sigh.

I’ve always thought it would be fun to work in a library or a bookstore. Being surrounded by all the tomes filled with historical knowledge, poetry, facts and tips about anything you were interested in, and stories that could carry you away to foreign lands, imaginary lands, and let you live vicariously through the characters’ lives has a great appeal. But as I grew older and the desire to own those volumes began to overtake me, I realized I wouldn’t make any money working at a bookstore, because I’d spend my entire pay on the store’s merchandise.

In fact, the disease, and the accompanying human weakness, is so bad that while signing my books at a bookstore, the author next to me mentioned a book that sounded interesting, and I popped onto my phone and downloaded it using my Kindle app. It was the only book bought at my signing table that day. LOL. When I attended the Lori Foster RAGT event and couldn’t find a book that interested me (which is a wonder in itself), I ended up buying books for my niece!

Here are just a few titles to which I’ve succumbed most recently. I’m in the process of reading some, some have been read, and others are on the TBR list.

  • Alienated by Melissa Landers
  • Gateway to Gannah series by Yvonne Anderson
  • Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown (a cozy mystery)
  • Mama, I am Yet Still Alive: a composite diary of 1863 in the Confederacy, Jeff Toalson, Editor
  • Best of the Covered Wagon Women, editor Kenneth L. Holmes
  • Desperate Deeds by Patricia Gligor
  • Confederato de Norte by Linda Bennett Pennell
  • Hog Insane, by Carole Brown
  • Dating Cary Grant by Emelle Gamble
  • The Marital Bargain: Wife for Five Months by Eris Field
  • Recipes to Create Holidays by Sloane Taylor
  • Hair Calamities and Hot Cash by Gail Pallotta
  • My Fair Guardian  by Suzanne G. Rogers
  • A Season for Killing Blondes by Joanne Guidoccio
  • A Musket in My Hands by Sandra Merville Hart

This is only a sample of my 50 Kindle pages of books, plus a few print books from my shelves. I have many more on my wanta-buy-list.

What about you? Do you have the Bibliophile disease and the weak human nature that Henry Ward Beecher speaks of? Be honest and let me know how it has manifested itself in your reading life.

Catherine hopes you’d like to add her books to your list of  wanta-read-books. Here’s a teaser from her multi-award-winning inspirational romantic suspense The Nun and the Narc.

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.


A drug deal! Of all the things Rafael could do, this was the worst.

Esperanza had fought so hard to keep her son away from bad influences. Now he appeared to be involved in the very thing she’d hated most. Margaret imagined Esperanza banging on the gates of purgatory, trying to get out and rescue her son.

She hesitated for a moment, hearing Mother Superior’s admonishment. Stay out of trouble while you are in Mexico, Sister.         

Silencing the nagging voice in her head, Margaret charged forward, protective instincts in full swing.

Stopping Rafael and talking to him about the dangers of drugs surely wouldn’t qualify as trouble. Bluntness, maybe, but not trouble. It was more like saving. Yes, that’s it. I’m saving him.

Margaret grabbed Rafael by the shirt. “I’ve been searching for you, young man.” She faced the stranger, giving him her best withering stare. “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

The man stuffed the plastic bag into his jacket pocket. “Who is this?”

“Some crazy gringa.” Rafael shrugged, hard, trying to escape her grasp.

The plastic bag contained something white. Heroin? Cocaine? Margaret tightened her hold and drew Rafael closer. She would save him whether he wanted to be saved or not.

“Get out of here,” Rafael snarled.

“What would your mother say if she saw this?”

Rafael’s expression darkened. “Leave my mother out of this!” He wrenched out of Margaret’s grip and spun around to face her. His expression morphed from anger to fear. “¡Madre de Dios!”

The man’s head jerked around. “Get down!” he shouted.

Rafael took off running down the street as the top row of pottery in the stand exploded like popcorn.

Margaret jumped at the loud noise and whirled around searching for the source. The man removed a gun from his jacket, swung around, and scanned the area.

Margaret’s knees buckled at the sight of the handgun. Her body tensed, her gaze frozen on his weapon. He fired off a couple of shots. Heart thumping like a jackhammer, she ran for cover behind the open car door. The window glass shattered as bullets whizzed over her head. She scrambled into the car and crouched on the floorboard. Another row of pottery shattered, sending fragments into the car like tiny projectile rockets. Sending up a quick prayer, she covered her head.

Slamming the door shut as he passed, the man leapt over the trunk. He jerked open the driver’s door then jumped behind the wheel. Jamming the car into gear, he roared out into the market street. Shoppers and vendors screamed, leaping out of the car’s path.

Margaret scrambled into the passenger seat. “Stop this car immediately!”

“Keep down,” he ordered, “unless you want to get shot.”

The rear window glass erupted into the car’s interior, punctuating his words. The man fired at the attackers through the shattered back window.

“Shot?” Her voice rose an octave. “Oh, dear Lord in Heaven, what have I gotten into?”

“Trouble, Lady.” He fired off another round. “Big trouble.


Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer, she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing, she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow her on Twitter, FB or her blog.

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