Confessions of a Book Hoarder
While lifting weights one afternoon, I told my trainer I had a couple books at home I’d been meaning to pass on to her. She was happy, then added she really wants to read the books she has before she gets anymore. My workout buddy echoed “Oh me too,” and went on about having “too many books.”
I put the dumbbells down, flabbergasted, “Wait what? Why?!”
Hello, my name is Ramona and I’m a book hoarder.
I just don’t get it: Why do you think you need to read all the books you own before you can acquire more? And more importantly why in the world would you want to read all he books you own before you get more?!
When I volunteer at the library book sale, the room is always filled with a chorus of voices muttering “Oh, I really shouldn’t buy more books…” I always respond with “Yes, yes you should!” Not only am I a hoarder, I’m also an enabler.
I cannot resist acquiring books, especially if they’re super cheap. If they’re free forget it, I’m taking the whole dang box home.
Yes, I know my home is full of wonderful books. I want to read them, I should read them, I will try to read them. But if I have this many wonderful books in my house, imagine many more incredible books are out there in the world waiting for me! More great books are being written right now! There will never cease to be a supply of great books to read.
And likewise, there will always be an endless supply of duds. That’s why it’s important to have lots of books, too many books to read in a lifetime. It’s not irresponsible, it’s wise.
My friend Jenny recently moved out of town, and while packing texted me a photo, asking “Do you want any of these?”
I’ve read a few of them but was interested in the rest so I told her I’d take the whole stack off her hands. When I arrived at her house to pick them up, she’d left them in a bag on the front porch and had added other books that weren’t in the original photos. I felt like I’d won the book lottery!
My dad was sitting in my office while I was re-working his resume and asked “So what do you do with all the books?” motioning toward the stacks next to my bookshelf.
“Uh, I read them. Dun,” I replied without looking away from my monitor.
He shrugged, “And then what?…”
The thing is, my stacks are strategic. Sure, the majority are To Be Read, but then they’re sorted into likely to read and maybe not so likely. I have stacks of books I’ve already read set aside for friends, I have a stack designated to go to the Free Little Library and there’s a box for the used book store.
I use books as decorations around the house, for reference and inspiration when writing, and I give books as gifts every chance I get. Having them around is comforting, they’re a core component of my life.
What about you?