If I could build a house from books…

…I’d easily have a mansion. And I mean that in the literal, not the philosophical “books = knowledge = wealth” sense.

This is something I never thought I’d say: There might be such a thing as too many books.

When I was moving all over the place last year, I had to store my entire personal library in Rubbermaid containers. They were carted here and there, some stacked in family members’ basements, some tucked away in my apartment attic, some <cough> used as an end table beside my couch. Recently I had the opportunity to move all my book boxes to a single storage unit, and holymackerel! That unit is filled to the brim. Don’t ask how many containers are in there….

In case you were wondering, I still have at least 500 novels double-lining my bookcases and stacked around my apartment. And I may have also <coughcough> purchased another 10 books in the past two days. (It’s not my fault! There’s an adorable independent bookstore called Squirreled Away Books near the place I’m working this week, and I’ve spent each lunch hour exploring its treasures. Those books just jumped into my possession, I swear it.)

I have heard of the amazing new device called an e-reader, believe it or not. I own a Kindle, and I use it all the time. But for me, it just can’t quite compete with the feel of paper under my fingers, the smell of old ink and binding glue….

This week, I’m planning to weed out my collection, donating not-favorites and double-copies to the library, Books For Soldiers, or beloved family and friends. We’ll see how many book boxes I have left at the end…. [Still way too many, no doubt.]

How do you prefer your books, paper or e-reader? Any suggestions for the book-weeding process (or should I stand proud on my library-mountain)? Also, pray tell, do you know of any local meetings of Book Buyers Anonymous? 😉



Filed under Daily Grind

3 responses to “If I could build a house from books…

  1. I can completely relate to this, although I don’t think I’ve ever owned as many books as you! When we moved abroad, I got rid of a LOT of books – even Ryan was greatly impressed. I agree that reading electronically does not have the same romance nor pleasure, BUT – I can read at night in the dark; I can read on my phone during unexpected breaks. I get through books much more quickly if they’re stored electronically. Not to mention – it was emotionally healing to downsize the number of objects I own!

  2. JenDempsey

    I know downsizing my possessions *will* be extremely cathartic, and I’ve been wanting to make these changes– but the books! The books! They will be the most difficult objects to eliminiate. Sigh. Time to buck up, Jen. 😉

  3. JenDempsey

    Mal, I can’t do it. I cannot do it. At least not as much as I wanted to. I was able to weed out about 20 books from the first box, leaving, oh, 100 keepers. Geez oh petes. 😉

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