I looked around the room with pleasure. The space is bright and cheerful: we recently painted the walls and moved out some of the furniture. But the real difference? There are no books on the floor.
Bloggers write about book hauls, but gloss over book hoarding. The official definition of book hoarding, according to Rachel Kramer Bussell, is having 1,000 books or more.
Bussell wrote at The Toast in 2014:
I wish I could honestly answer “there’s no such thing as too many books,” but as I learned from experience, that’s not true. Nothing brought this home for me like watching paid professionals cart away hundreds of books—read and unread, purchased lovingly or attained at book parties or conferences—when I hired a trash removal service last year upon moving from my two-bedroom apartment after 13 years.
In my experience, it is all about square footage. We used to live in an old house where the attic alone could hold 1,000 books. Now we live in a nicer house with less space–and if only we had only 1,000 books!
If the public library were better, I would depend less on bookstores and own fewer books. On the rare occasions when I visit a university library I find everything I need, but the local library has a policy of weeding books every five years. See the picture above? Only three of these books are available at our library: the Anne Brontes, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and The Butcher’s Daughter. (And, by the way, I’ve read all the books on those shelves, so I’m not just a hoarder.)
The great thing about “redoing” the bedroom: I can now read in bed without getting distracted by the messy stacks of books on the floor. With fewer books in the room, I get more reading done. And I am so happy with the less cluttered space hat I am determined to address my shopping problem
HERE’S WHAT I’M DOING ABOUT IT. (And I would welcome any suggestions.)
1. Read fewer book reviews. I don’t need to keep up with the latest books, because I have so many good ones at home.
2. Read Goodreads reviews and blogs. There is less urgency about blogs, probably because it is a volunteer activity. And bloggers write about both old and new books: there is no expiration date on the product, so we can add the books to our TBR and enter the conversation when we’re ready. Hence, there is no voice in my head saying, “Buy the latest books! Buy them now!” Now the voice says, “Oh, a reissued book by Rachel Ferguson. I will buy a copy next month, after if I finish X, X, and X.”
3. Stop using bookstore sites as databases. There is much information about books at bookstore sites, but it is too tempting to buy the books.
4. Find a new hobby. But what? Politics? Knitting? I can’t imagine.
All right, any other hoarders out there?