Photo of Shakespeare & Company via Flickr
I’ve had over a thousand books in storage for 2 1/2 years now. I miss them like any friend I haven’t seen or talked to in a long time. Since I put the books in storage, I’ve accumulated just as many. I know a lot of people are just fine with borrowing books from the library, but to me, there’s nothing better than having your very own copy of a book. I’m one of those readers who often likes to underline and write in the margins of my books (the ones that aren’t autographed, of course).
I want to get those books out of storage, but right now I live in an apartment where they just won’t fit. You would think that I’d stop accumulating more until I live in a bigger space, but no, I just can’t bring myself to do that. At least I’m not as bad as Sir Thomas Phillipps, who, according to Wikipedia, “acquired some 40,000 printed books and 60,000 manuscripts”.
I’ve gotten better about selling back some books I liked but know I’ll never read again, like The Bookseller of Kabul and Strange Piece of Paradise. The problem is that I want to keep so many in order to be able to open them whenever I want to and find a sentence or paragraph that I really loved. You never know when you might need to quote an author in an essay or blog entry!
The main reason I love holding on to books is because I love nothing more than coming home to my apartment and seeing full bookshelves. If I ever get snowed in (hey, I live in New England– it happens!) I have a wide array of books to choose from. I find it creepy when I go to a house and don’t see any books on display. It doesn’t feel habitable to me.
Who else loves to own the books they read, and would rather spend their money on books than anything else?