lundi 7 décembre 2009


Someone told me, "I like thinking of my books as more of a flow than a stock…"

Well, I definitely like books as objects. It must have something to do with how I associate the books themselves to the act of reading, I don’t know. Being surrounded by books makes me happy. I love knowing that I can just pull one off the shelf anytime. And I’ve always loved organizing and reorganizing my books (I've always wanted to become a librarian!).

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I never had enough to read when I was little. It was a very traumatizing childhood, you see… I mean, I had food on the table, a roof over my head, and loving parents, but imagine: I had to reread the same books over and over again. And wait for Christmas or my birthday to get a couple of new books. I read every single (fiction) book at my school library and it still wasn’t enough. Sad, isn’t it? (I’m kidding, by the way.)

But seriously, I don’t understand how my parents never thought to bring me to the public library (we lived “out in the country”, so I couldn’t go by myself. But it was only a 15-minute drive away.) That's one reason I wouldn't mind raising my kids "in town", like where MB was raised, as opposed to out in the country. (Could it really be a way to censure what I was reading?!)

Anyway, when I moved to the Big City of Ottawa, all of a sudden I had access to all these books… so I went a little nuts. I was like a squirrel storing away acorns for the winter. I spent every penny I made on used books. But I went a bit overboard, and now I probably have enough reading material for the next few decades at least. I keep thinking that one day I’ll be able to spend days and days just reading. Maybe when I retire? Or maybe I’ll be on bedrest during my entire pregnancies (if/when they happen). In all cases, I’m prepared!

There are two book-owning models I have in my mind, which leaves me feeling kind of conflicted sometimes. There are those like MB and his family who can “read and release”. But I’ve always imagined my future home filled to the brink with books. I don’t like being an acquisitive person. But surely books don’t count? Especially used ones? And I mean, plenty of people have collections. At least mine has a purpose.

I am working on weaning down my collection, though – I’ve gotten rid of all the books I didn’t like. (Makes sense, right? I won’t re-read them and I won’t pass them on to people I know either.) But I still have a couple hundred books in boxes and on shelves at my parents’ that I’ll have to go through when we buy a house someday.

See also:

Can You Ever Have Too Many Books?
I like her idea of keeping TBR books out of sight, because she doesn't want anyone to ask questions about them, or worse, ask to borrow them! I agree that if I haven't read it, you're not borrowing it. I've had "friends" borrow my unread books without my permission before - and then lose them (actually, not even admitting they have them). Argh!

Feeling Guilt about acquiring books

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