Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Confessions of a book addict

They say the first step to curing an addiction is admitting you have a problem. So okay - I’ll say it. My bookshelves are out of control.

It’s not like anything has changed recently. I’ve always been a book addict. But it used to be that whenever I’d need more room, I bought more shelves. But then the shelves in our bedroom were full. So I moved some books into boxes in my son’s room. That worked out (mostly) unless I absolutely needed to read Pride and Prejudice at eleven o’clock at night, at which point I’d be shuffling through my sleeping son’s closet with the teeny tiny key light that I got for free five years ago at a festival and it *still* works (go AT&T for your choice in flimsy plastic key lights).

Anyhow, I have no more room in my son’s closet (even a four-year-old needs room for a wardrobe) so I moved onto my daughter’s closet. She has these high shelves that she can’t reach anyway. We don’t want them to go to waste, right? Really, I was just being economical by stacking about a hundred or so books on her shelf. Forget that I didn’t go through them for content. My bad, since last week I caught six-year-old Maddie “reading” an Ellora’s Cave title called Manaconda. And yes, the cover had a sexy guy backside with a big snake curled around it. Maddie claimed it was her “favorite” book about snakes. I was just glad she’s still on basic spelling, words like “ran” and “saw.”

So what is a book addict to do? Short of letting go? What do you do when your bookshelves get out of control?

18 comments:

Diane Kelly said...

I have this exact same problem! Except instead of shelves, it's stacks with me. Stacks on the end table, stacks on the nightstand, stacks next to the bathtub . . . As much as I love holding a real book in my hand, I'm going to ask for an electronic reader for Christmas to free up some space!

Christie Craig said...

Oh, Angie,

Try behind the sofa, in boxes in the extra bedroom, or packed away with next year's Christmas paper. I need to confess right up there with you.

We need to start our own support group. Wait, I think we have. The only problem it's to celebrate our problem, not to solve it. LOL.

Dru said...

I had the same problem, only I couldn't build extra shelves, so instead I had to donate my books, but now I found the perfect solution...I bought an e-reader and now my virtual bookshelf can expand and expand and expand, well until I run out of room.

krisgils33 said...

My name is Kris and I'm a book addict. As much as I hate to admit it, I have one extra large bookshelf and when there is no more room, I do a purge. I hate giving up books that I might one day read (there are soooo many books out there that I really, really, really want to read). But the reality is that I know I'll never get to them all. So, if they're more than 5 years old since they've been written and have been sitting on my shelf for a really long time, I bite the bullet and say I will probably never read it and I have to let it go. It's horrible, but even reading 3-5 books a week or more, I'll never get through my TBR!!! It is so very sad.

Robin Kaye said...

Oh yeah. I'm an addict--I have been since I was a little kid. I remember every time we moved (usually every 9 months) the first thing I had to unpack was my books. If the books were within reach, no matter where I was, I was home.

Over the years, I had to start giving away books. I pack up a box, say a short but meaningful prayer, and remind myself that these are not the only copies of said books printed. I can always buy myself another copy if I really really want to. Then I give the box to my husband who knows to get them the heck out of there fast before I lose my resolve.

While he takes them out, I find myself pulling down a comfort read, Pride and Prejudice or See Jane Score, or Reflections Without Mirrors (I know, I'm strange) I curl up on the couch with a great cup of coffee and a blanket, and read until the feeling of panic subsides.

Zita said...

I feel you all. And you're right, Christie, we don't need a support group. What I need is to win the lottery. Then I can buy the old library building the city is selling so they can build a new one. I will then have many many shelves to fill and the money to do so. And once all the shelves are filled with all my favourite books I will be content. Or have a contractor build another floor.

Becky LeJeune said...

Yep, I'm a book addict as well. Since we rent, I just box up the books as I read them. One day maybe I'll have shelves for them all, but right now I don't have enough shelving for the books I haven't read, much less all of them. I do, however, have space for more shelves in our current abode, so there is possibility!

Angie Fox said...

That's how I am, Kris. I read 3 books a week easy and I think surely I can read everything on my shelves again (or once in the case of my massive to-be-read pile). When is it wishful thinking and when is it real? I don't know.

Angie Fox said...

Glad to hear I'm not alone! Because sometimes I do get these cock-eyed looks from my husband as I come home from the bookstore. He's like, "You bought more. Good for you." But I can tell he's wondering just what kind of crazy book person he married.

As far as e-readers go, I do have Kindle for PC and that has been really neat. But I also love paper books. Sigh.

TerriOsburn said...

I'm a card carrying member as well. Though if I used my library card more, this wouldn't be such a problem.

I kept adding more bookshelves and finally admitted something had to go. I've been giving them to friends, donating them, and trading them through bookswap for about a year now. Sadly, still not enough room on the SIX bookshelves have scattered about my house.

Mo said...

I have six full walls in my house that have ceiling to floor bookshelves packed tight with books. When I ran out of room 2+ years ago I bought a Kindle and have rarely bought paper since. I was surprised how quickly I got over my love of paper, it really is the words and story that matter not the medium holding them. I now carry my library with me everywhere.

catslady said...

I am soooo close to having to start giving my books away - in fact I did let a couple old ones go the other day but it' hard, hard, hard. I give them to the American Legion and tell myself what a good deed I am doing. I really have no more room but somehow I squeeze a few more here and there lol.

Tori Lennox said...

I have the same problem. Thankfully, I bought a Nook not too long ago and I can already see it's going to save me tons of shelf space!

Leslie Langtry said...

Once you find out, let me know! We have books upon books, upon books... Literally, the Kindle has saved my life. In a year and a half, I've downloaded 200 books to it. Still, there are some books I buy in hardcopy. Sigh.

Minna said...

Well, I'm a book addict, but because I have very limited amount of space, there is no way I can keep them all. I only keep books I really, really, REALLY like. It's a good thing I've become picky over the years! The rest of the books go to second hand bookstore or I send them to another addict through BookMooch.

Cheryl said...

I had that problem until I became a Librarian. Now the public library is my bookshelf. I don't have ownership but I do have more space and money!

Michele Benard said...

Install floor to celing bookshelves lol. I too have a problem it is like I cn't get enough books so I had to do it I haave book shelves for my "special Books" autographed copies and I recently bought a Nook I never thought I would go to an ereader but as I was talked into it it saves space. so I gaave in and bought one so I hve my shelves for my autograaaphed copies and the rest will be nook copies.

I also use to put them in the drawer under my dryer when we bought the washer and dryer they told me we needed the stands for them whaat they didn't mention was the detergent bottles don't fit in the drawer so I put books in them.

Daz said...

I switched to eBooks. That opens up a whole different can of worms!