Monday, September 14, 2009

A Bibliophile's Nightmare

It has come to my attention that I have too many books. On a practical level I understand that this is a problem--my apartment is literally (ha) overrun with books. Not good. But on a spiritual level I can't understand what it means to have too many books, let alone imagine parting with them. It's a pretty serious problem, and one that I need to solve soon!

Top five reasons why I should keep the books:
1. I love them. I love being surrounded by them, the way they look and feel and smell, whether read or unread.
2. It's part of my job as a writer to read a lot.
3. I have lots of books I haven't read; I want to read them.
4. I do re-read my books. Frequently.
5. The books I've chosen to bring home, and those I've read, are pieces of my bibliography, my autobiography, in a way that has meaning for me. Walk into my home and browse my shelves and you will know immediately what I value and what interests me, and how do I begin to tear that apart?

Top five reasons why I should part with many of them:
1. I don't have enough space. Period.
2. Books should be shared! Others could be enjoying them.
3. If I've had a book for five years and not read it yet, am I really ever going to?
4. If I read one but didn't like it, what is it still doing as part of my library?
5. If a stack of them falls on me, I could suffocate and die. This has happened to people.

I know it should be an easy thing to do. They're just books after all. (Full disclosure: I shuddered while I typed that last sentence.) I've been working really hard to clear clutter from my living space and from my life, but what I've realized in the process is that I'm willing and eager to get rid of all kinds of other possessions to make room for books.

What's a girl to do?


Christianna said...

I too have the same problem, I love to read and I love to have the books around me. Currently I am packing up to move and I had 6 big boxes of book to pack. My husband asked me, “Do you really need ALL of them?” I defended why I needed them. They are part of me, an experience, a feeling, a time in my life, a new adventure to be had. I finally stop and thought about it, I don’t need all of them and there are others who can use them more. I started researching ways to begin a program thru TWM to find a good home for some of my books (and other members). It has been a slow process but reading your blog today and your comment on books should be shared has gotten me back into motion.

Kekla Magoon said...

That's great. Let me know what ideas you've come up with. I need to move some of them along, that's for sure. I'm hoping it would be happier/easier to do so if they are going to nice homes through TWM!!

Sarah said...

I feel you, girl. I love my books, and I love having them around. My husband and I had to put LOTS in storage to make room for our 1-year-old's books (slightly funny, yes?) and other things. Now that storage is full, we decided to bring back the boxes of paperback classics (many of which I paid $6 for 12 years ago) so that we can really cull. Of course, I insisted that we make a list of everything we get rid of, because you never know, someday I might want to read Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian Wars and keep looking for it!

Disclaimer: Blog entries express the opinions of the respective Bloggers/Contributors/Authors/Commenters solely, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Women's Mosaic. As host and manager of CHICKS ROCK!, TWM acts solely as a provider of access to the internet and not as publisher of the content contained in bloggers' posts and cannot confirm the accuracy or reliability of individual entries. Each participant is solely responsible for the information, analysis and/or recommendations contained in her blog posts.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.