Book Hoarding – Delve into the Psyche

I knew someone like Penelope Lively could explain why I hoard books (see post “Revealing My Boo–ks” to give you an idea of just how bad it is)

Bookshelves 011

in an NPR interview (via Literary Man’s link):

http://literaryman.com/2014/03/18/why-do-you-keep-all-your-books/

I feel so much better now that I have a “rationalized justification.” It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

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29 thoughts on “Book Hoarding – Delve into the Psyche

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wow, you really do have a lot of books! Might be a fire hazard. 😉

    We had shelves and shelves of books, too, but over spring break last year, we did a major house cleansing and gave away many of them. We still have far too many books though, and I still keep buying them, so we’ll soon be back to square one. I wish I was as philosophical about it as Penelope Lively, but alas, I’m not. I just like to read, and I love books. 🙂

  2. FictionFan says:

    I’m not as bad as you or Penelope Lively – mainly because I don’t have the space – but yes, the books I keep when I do the irregular charity run are the ones that say something more than the words inside – books I’ve been given, books that changed the way I thought about something, books that I pull out when I need some comfort-reading…and of course, books that are just too bloomin’ heavy to drag to the store… 😉

  3. Lady Fancifull says:

    Oh thank you Jilanne, I feel SO much better now. I’ve only got about 1000, and it hurts like pulling a tooth when i have to take an armload to the charity shop to make room for what is still being bought (and yes, I AM into double shelving, on one blessed, blessed deep bookcase, but I have reached the limit of wall space that can have shelves attached to them.

    If only some one would give me a mansion I would not need to have this one in one out policy. Well, its more like 5 in one out, really.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Ha! Scientists and science fiction writers spend so much effort on developing time machines. I think we really need someone to work on space machines, ones that will let you do exactly as you say–five in, one out—or forget the “out” part—for as long as you like.

  4. 4amWriter says:

    So true — everything I have ever read marks the interests and curiosity I had at that time. Books really do track who we are, at any given part of our lives. I am not able to keep a load of books in my small house, but sometimes I do wonder at my check-out history at the local library. It’s got to be pages and pages long, and of what? I should take a peek. 🙂

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      I fondly look at my copies of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead that I read in my teens. I have since “grown out” of them, but I can’t bear to part with them, either. I am still regretting my decision to donate copies of a whole string of Faulkner books that I read but didn’t understand in high school—all because I took a Faulkner class that required an entirely new assortment of specific editions for a class I took while earning my MFA. I couldn’t justify keeping so many duplicates. But at least I can still remember how lost I was in Faulkner’s words when I was sixteen. I guess I don’t “really” need those old copies….I guess….

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      If you were to ask my son, he’d say he’d keep them all. In fact, he’d keep everything he’d ever created, every scrap of paper he’d ever made into a paper airplane, every… You get the idea. But it’s worse with books. The angst, the angst.

  5. Sheila says:

    Very true. We’ve got books stacked or shelved in practically every room. I love to look at them and remember and every once in a while will still pick one up again. I also keep a notebook and add any sentences that strike me while reading so it helps to do that in case one of those books finds its way out of the house.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Yes, it’s been awhile since we’ve moved. Who knows what will happen if/when we leave this space. I put myself on the waitlist at the San Francisco Public Library for Michio Kaku’s “The Future of the Mind.” I’m 70th in line. The public library is fabulous in concept, but not always convenient when you want to read a book within the next two years. It’s good, I suppose, that many other books are not so popular–or at least, have passed the “I need to read the book because it just received a great review” window.

  6. dkatiepowellart says:

    Okay, I played, and used the hashtag #shareyourbooks. And I prefer to call it collecting, not hoarding! “Share Your Shelves: Bookaholics Anonymous” and I visited all your list!

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