Hoarder or Not?

I’m going to be honest. I own a LOT of books. Probably more than 1,000, though I have never counted them. I have read a big chunk of them. I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 boxes of books in my garage. They are in my closet, on my nightstand, on the floor by my nightstand, and on my dresser. There are 10 bookcases full of books. I know it irritates my husband that there are books everywhere. It doesn’t irritate me, but house cleaning isn’t one of my virtues.

Some people joke that I am a book hoarder. I don’t think that’s really an apt description. I also don’t think collector covers it either. I’m not sure what covers it. Tsundoku is the Japanese term for someone who buys books, lets them pile up, and doesn’t read them. I guess the same as a hoarder. But I don’t think I’m a hoarder. First of all I do, occasionally, get rid of books. I don’t own multiple copies of books. I have read probably two-thirds of the ones I own. I hand on to them, thought. I’m loathe to loan my books largely because I do not get them back. It bothers me.

I changed schools right before I started fifth grade. I had a horrible time making friends at my new school. I spent most of my summer vacation alone. I was babysat by my grandparents. My grandmother took me to the library every week. I must have read Baa Baa Blacksheep a dozen times. She gave me Agatha Christie to read. And James Harriott. I do not remember not having books in my life. When I was really small, I had a little golden book about an elephant on roller skates. You better believe I found that book when I had my son and read it to him. Books have always been part of my life.

I like having books in the house. First of all, television is pretty much shit. There is almost nothing on, despite having access to a trillion channels, Netflix, Hulu, etc. There is very little on television that feeds your brain. I am not a snob. I watch the Real Housewives of Orange County. I watch Little Women: LA. But, given the choice, I would rather read. I would rather use my brain to imagine what characters looks like and the places they go, the things they do, and the people they meet. I would much rather read something entertaining or nerdy or funny.

Books give you the opportunity to exercise your mind. They provide entertainment that doesn’t have batteries that die. They provide knowledge. Quite frankly, I think a lot of people need some knowledge these days.

Maybe one day, I’ll live in a house that will allow me to have a library where I can put all my books. Or a she-shed. At some point, I would love to be able to display them all. I hate that I have boxes of books in the garage. So, call me what you want. I will stick with bibliophile. Works for me.

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