My name is Erin and I am a book hoarder. No really, don’t laugh… I hoard books. I am an avid reader, but there are not enough hours in a day to read enough books to mitigate my compulsive buying habits.
My dream job would be one where I could read most of the day – maybe as an editor for a publishing house or a book reviewer for Chapters! But since those jobs are not in the cards for me right now, I must settle for reading on my commute to and from work and at home when I find the time (usually before bed).
What this conundrum has led to is a very full bookshelf and piles of books everywhere!
Now, I do perform an annual cleansing of my bookshelf and donate all unwanted books to the Ottawa library (which in case you didn’t know has a GREAT used book store for all donated books that do not go into their stacks!), but I have a very hard time giving away any book I enjoyed. Since I tend to buy books that interest me, that really means I do not want to part with the vast majority of my books. I think: “I am sure I will want to read that again” or “what if I want to recommend and lend them to someone” or “this is definitely one my kids will want to read when they are grown”. I should point out that although I am married, I have no kids, nor am I pregnant – yet, this is still a thought that goes through my mind. Because obviously no great books will be written in the future that they will read (note the sarcasm).
As previously noted, I buy a lot of books… way more than I can actually read. So despite an annual cleansing, at least half of the books on my shelf are unread so I CANNOT get rid of those! I will read them all one day! Now I own at least 80 books that I have not read, but still intend on reading. This number rarely goes down, even after I read a book. There are a number of contributing factors to this issue:
- I buy my monthly book club book from Chapters online, but to get free shipping I have to spend $25 or more… you can guess what happens next.
- Chapters has a rewards card (plum rewards), which I use often, obviously… this leads to free books.
- Everyone knows how much I love reading, so when in doubt they buy me Chapters gift cards as gifts.
- I like going to museums, but when I do I often find some fascinating topic that I just have to buy a book about from their gift shop.
- I win free books from Goodreads! You can enter for draws, which you are more likely to win if you review books (as the goal is for you to review the free book and build publicity for it)…. Well I do a good number of book reviews, so I win a fair number of books.
Now what all this comes down to is: Is book hoarding actually a problem?
I suppose I do spend more than a bit of my spending money on books and my free time reading. But, I figure it’s better than a heroin, crack or gambling problem… At least I usually learn something from the books!
Do you have a book hoarding problem? What contributes to it? Tell us about it below!