the most expensive book EVER!

For a girl who has professed "frugality" on this blog from the get-go, I am not setting a very good example. Take today's topic, for instance. The terms "frugal" and "most expensive" don't generally hang out in the same neighborhoods. Perhaps, I need to explain. By "most expensive" what I actually mean is . . . "really, really, expensive". Once again -- I don't care.

This book was first "published" in the summer of '98. It was actually a craft project of sorts to fill the time while spending 3 weeks away from family to care for family in another state. I brought along a huge stack of magazines and a three-ring binder. I tore out pages of rooms that I liked and placed them in page-protectors in the binder. The purpose of the book was to place it on the book rack on my treadmill where it would lay flat, as opposed to trying to lay a single magazine there which . . . wouldn't. Oddly enough, that's exactly what it has been used for all of these 9 years.

What I hadn't anticipated was that the book would take on a life (not to mention a credit line) of it's own.

I am sure you can see that I would be rather bored looking at those same original pictures after nine years. So, from time to time I change the pictures, depending on my mood and my "phase du jour". I save the old ones in a file and from time to time I weed out the file. I have very specific rules as to what magazines can be ripped through and when. The act of changing out the book has become a hobby unto itself. And unfortunately, like any hobby -- there is a price to pay.

The problem comes when I buy magazines for the very purpose of ripping them apart. Seriously, neither chocolate bars nor the National Enquirer have any hold on me in the checkout line at Safeway. It's the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications that give me a tic as I hand over my debit card and grab the latest issue before my total has been wrung. I drive home on an adrenalin rush, barely manage to put away the frozen foods, and sit down to edit the "book". The bigger problem is that I sometimes find only one or two pictures to my liking (I'm quite picky) and they average out to $2-$3 a page.

Hence . . . the most expensive book EVER.

After nine years I have learned to flip through my magazines before purchasing them and I have become a little more discerning in my choices. But let's face it, any hobby that gets you on the treadmill for nine years can't be that bad.
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Ginny said...

I have benefitted from the most expensive book ever on the roughly three occasions I have ever used your treadmill.

I know you regularly change out the pages in the book, but I think you should keep the old ones and start a multi-volume library of the most expensive book ever, to track the changes in your decorating taste. Just a suggestion.

Mrs. Dub said...

ooh, i second ginny's idea.

also, while i think your "book" is worth every penny spent, i can't say it's really treadmill material for me. sadly, when i work out, i need the smutiest of magazines and hardest hip hop music to keep me motivated.

here's to your willpower.

mommie said...

I must not have made myself clear . . . I definitely save the old ones. It's just if I saved ALL the old ones, I would be an episode on Oprah about people who can't leave their house because papers are stacked up against the door.

Amy G. said...

...That would still be better than the episode of Oprah (or was it Phil Donahue?) about people who have on OCD that gives them a compulsion to lie in the street. I don't get it...I was under the impression that OCDs were established by doing the same thing over and over in a such a routine matter that you then become obsessive about. How did these people come about lying in the street in the first place??

Oh, and can I look at your book when we come visit in August?

Leslie said...

i'm a devout magazine ripper-outer, too. in fact, that's why i started my other blog. i got sick of trudging my boxes of magazine pages around every time we move.
but i do not rip up my blueprint magazines. i don't know why.

Leslie said...

btw, thanks for the link to my room somewhere in your sidebar. you're super nice. :)

Annette said...

i love how you put that...i have had one, which is now 2 or 3 divided into rooms, for years now. It is starting to get to me how I too spend $3-$5 to more (Veranda!) on a page or two. Found you via Mrs. Dub.