There’s no such thing as too many books. Even when you have no room for them.

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?

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5 Responses to There’s no such thing as too many books. Even when you have no room for them.

  1. Sarah Rettger says:

    Oh, you should see my bookshelves. (And the bookshelves in the rest of the house where my books tend to end up.)

    I sympathize completely.

  2. Bella Literati says:

    Move across country twice and back twice and suddenly owning so many books, shoes, and whathaveyou seems ridiculous. But if you never plan on moving then it’s a non-issue, right?

  3. Dyricci says:

    I canhonestly say that a good deal of my cashed out 401k (this summer to live on) actally got spent on many more books (and some movies,too) and I really haven’t the shelf space, nor room for more shelves! I find I have to rotate books from the bedrrom closet to the livingroom shelves to…wherever…and yes, I have many more in storage I haven’t seen in years!

  4. Michele says:

    Oh, I plan on moving eventually. After all, we only rent the place we live in. A move across town can be just as much a pain in the butt when heavy boxes of books are part of the equation. But I don’t mind toting them. I like owning the amount of books I do. At this rate, I’ll probably have to get a separate house for my books twenty years from now. What about you guys?

  5. Russ says:

    The only frustrating thing for me is I often can’t keep up with my book purchases – I’m constantly reading three books, the one I just purchased and two I purchased ages ago but haven’t had the chance to read. I do love owning them all. And someday I’ll get to every last one of them…

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