#ShelfLove: The Perils of Book Hoarding


This month, those of us participating in the #ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge are discussing the pros and cons of owning a significant number of books.  For myself, I’ve only seen having a large personal library as positive, with one exception: moving.  I’ve been packing and unpacking my belongings throughout my entire life, and I don’t even know the number of times I’ve moved.  I’m uncomfortably familiar with the general workings of Uhaul rentals and storage units across the country and during one move I managed to double the weight of my poor Nissan.  I’ve also hurt my back a countless number of times from overfilling boxes with my book collection.

You would think I would have learned by now and tossed the majority of my Smaug worthy hoard.  Think again.  Despite my efforts to pare down the number of books I own, my library has only expanded in size.  Thanks to ebooks, and the No Book Buying Challenge, that’s no longer happening exponentially, but it’s still happening.  I have bought with gift cards or received as gifts, more physical books than I’ve read this year.  The books I have at my apartment are double stacked on the shelves, I have several more boxes in storage, and the Boyfriend and I are planning to move next year.

The boxes of books are the ones I hope always to own.  The ones at home are mostly books I’ve never read; which has led me to think that perhaps there is another con to book hoarding.  I’m not getting any younger and tomorrow is never a guarantee.  Either I need to make peace with the idea of never reading many of those books, or I need to make a decision.  Do I cull my collection (again) or develop the discipline to choose a book I own instead of a library book or one borrowed from the Boyfriend’s shelves? I think I’ll just throw my hands up in the air in frustration when I move again, just like I’ve done every move before *sigh*

0 thoughts on “#ShelfLove: The Perils of Book Hoarding

  1. I tend to avoid thinking about the fact that I will never read everything I want to because of that whole pesky aging and dying thing, but maybe it’s easier because I don’t have an enormous book collection. I definitely feel that way when I visit the library!

    Didn’t you make a TBR jar recently? Sounds like it’s time to break them out in earnest! 🙂

    1. Yes, I made two TBR jars. The problem is that I start thinking about all those unread books and the books I’m currently re-reading. Then I start spiraling into how I have less time to read non-school related books, saying goodbye to my university’s library at the end of the year, and getting a full-time job. At that point, I start to feel overwhelmed.

  2. Yep, I just can’t cull the shelves either. Though realistically I’m not a re-reader so why even own books? Because the pretty.

    1. That’s exactly why I keep some of my books around, Julie, they certainly are pretty!

      When I moved, I culled a lot of books that I had never read. I donated them because we didn’t have a place to sell them. Now we have a Half Price Books and I take advantage of the chance to sell books I didn’t particularly enjoy and buy MORE books.

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews

      1. I’ve gotten really good about getting rid of books I know I’ll never re-read, but I can’t part with the ones I’ve never opened. What if they end up being new favorites?! Some of them are Classics, but most of them are Fantasy. Then there are the non-fiction books I’ve read that I’ve meant to go through and decide whether or not I want to keep them for reference or if I no longer need the information. About once a year I manage to get through one or two of those, but it’s tedious, and there are so many other books I could be reading. The most books I ever got rid of at one time were the several boxes I took to Half Price when I moved in with the Boyfriend.

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