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Kicking a Habit

April 11, 1985

In my more mature years my policy is to concentrate on whipping one vice at a time. Having finally knocked off smoking for sure, I am now working on staying clear of book clubs. This is an addiction caused by greed, like offers of 10 books for a dime or a dollar plus (substantial) shipping and handling.

Once hooked, the grief sets in. The last club to catch me specializes in mysteries. They sent me a notice every 28 days, usually featuring two books, one expensive, the other less so. It was easy to overlook the notice, which has a junk mail appearance. If you do, you're the proud owner of two more books. At best it costs 22 cents to say no. The books range from good to mediocre and by my standard they're not inexpensive whodunits, e.g., my last "cheapie" cost $6.91 for 147 pages (including the insidious postage and handling).

I'm now quite sure that I've kicked the habit, but cautiously I just claim to be a recovering book club junkie, taking it one day at a time.

WILLIAM J. LODGE

Reseda

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