Monday, September 11, 2006

Books, books, books

by Susie

I missed the acquisitive gene somehow. I, mostly, hate shopping. I looked at those shoes yesterday and, while some are quite lovely, I see them mostly as a piece of sculpture on my shelf, because really, what I think is "ow!" (Says she whose Merrill jungle mocs are kicked off at the moment.)

Pretty much all my shopping/lusting impulses are directed towards books. When we remodeled our house a few years ago, we put in an entire wall of bookshelves in my office, and a huge one on one (large) wall of my bedroom. The boys each have a bookshelf in their rooms.

It's not even close to enough. My attic space is filled with boxes of books, and that bothers me . . . I can't SEE them there. I want them out, where I can read those titles and think of how much I enjoyed them, or dream about when I'm going to read them someday.

Periodically I try and purge. Was it really that good that I have to keep it? (Yes, I do reread regularly.) If I haven't read it in the ten years since I've had it, will I ever? (Hey, there's always retirement.)

Getting rid of books is painful. It's very difficult to NOT buy one that sounds good when it's right in front of me. Don't tell me it will always be there . . . you know it won't. (I've been looking off and on for years for sets of the MAIDA and MARY JANE books I read when I was a child, with little luck.) So I have to get them, and really, a book is whole lot cheaper than a pair of Jimmy Choo's.

Unfortunately, both my husband and my decorator don't agree. But really, a girl's gotta have a vice. And since mine are pretty much limited to books and Diet Coke, I figure I should have what I want.

How about you? Hoarder or purger? Do you keep around mostly read or mostly unread? (I think I'm about 50/50. Which means the to-be-read pile is massive.)



Candace said...

I used to be a hoarder. Every book I read, I kept. Every single book. I also used to finish every book I started, whether I liked it or not. But I've decided (1) there are too many good books out there to waste time reading a book that doesn't hold my interest and (2)I already have too much stuff.

So, now if a book doesn't hold my interest, I put it aside without guilt. And once I finish it, if it's not a "keeper" (and that's a visceral reaction) it goes in a box to be donated to the library.

Having said that... I still have shelves and shelves and shelves full of books.

Helen Brenna said...

What Candace said. Exactly!

Southern Writer said...

Hi. I came over from Anne Frasier's blog, I think. I'm a hoarder, too. I have more shelves than you do - neener neener - but not as many books. :(

Ever hear of I just heard of it myself, today.

I'm enjoying your blog, and now I'm off to read some more of it. Nice meeting you.

Betina Krahn said...

For a long time I wouldn't get rid of a single book. But then life changed, totally. And through two major moves I accomplished what my good friend Judy Duenow (aka Judy Baer) calls a "ritual shedding" of non-essential stuff. That included books.

Goodwill now takes books and between them and my local library, I've managed to whittle down the collection to three fairly large shelves in my office and several boxes in the attic. This is Florida, folks. NO STORAGE SPACE. I keep at hand: current fiction, things that inspire or intrigue me, and good general and writing-related references.

Books I read for pleasure stay on Rex's shelves (we share) in his workout room/study. The TO-BE-READ pile is in the family room for both of us to pick from.

Didn't know I had a system until just now, but there you are.

Helen Brenna said...

Hey, Southern Writer, thanks for stopping by! What is