I have always loved reading. For my birthday and Christmas (and any other holiday that involves gift giving), I usually end up with at least one or two books. My husband learned quickly that while flowers are pretty and nice, books are even better.
Over the past week, between birthday gifts and a REALLY good sale at BarnesandNoble.com, I have added a whopping total of 12 new books to the “to-read” pile. While I may have been a bit over-zealous in my birthday shopping, I really am more than excited to get into these books (if I EVER finish Sense and Sensibility). They range from YA to Nonfiction; Crime to Vampires; Classics to Pop Culture phenomenons.
As I look at the list, I realize that those books are 12 more books closer to my goal I set at the beginning of the year. Goodreads.com has an annual reading challenge. It’s nothing truly competitive. It’s more just for people to set personal reading goals for themselves. This year, I pledged I would read 100 books. I know that sounds a bit outlandish, but I figured what the hell, aim for the stars. I am nowhere near that goal but I’m going to keep trying to hit it, after all I have five months left.
These new books will hopefully help me get a little closer to that goal but in all honesty, I don’t really care if I hit the goal. There are just so many books and not enough time!
That being said, I have to wonder if I have a problem. Am I a book hoarder? I cannot ever bring myself to give away a book I buy. I once saw an interview with Neil Gaiman and proudly showed the interviewer his basement in which he had every single book he had ever read. I felt like I had found a kindred spirit. When I read a book, it’s like it’s part of me and I can’t just give it away. I want to keep it. I may want to re-read it some day and see if I find a new meaning in the words. It happens, you know. Take a book like the Fountainhead. I read it my sophomore year in high school. I hated every minute of it. It was haughty and seemed to really push away what I thought I knew at that point. Then I reread it after I left College #1 because I remember someone saying that they re-read it and enjoyed it the second time around. I was at a crossroads and thought maybe now was the time to pick it up again. As I read it for the second time, I started to understand different things in the book. It had new meanings in different places. It held new insights to life, whether it meant to or not. I haven’t picked that one up in a while but I’m sure in a few more years, I may consider tackling it for a third time.
But keeping all these books I have read over the years can take up space I don’t have. Yes, there are Kindles, Nooks, iPads, e-readers but honestly, they are not the same. They don’t have beautiful cover art. They don’t have bindings that can be organized alphabetically by author and then chronologically by title, after being sorted by genre of course! They are great space savers but, I feel like something is lost in their cold electronic fonts. Does that stop me from filling mine up? No. It just lets me hide my books a little better.
I posted something to my FB wall today stating that I might have to admit a book hoarding problem and I was quickly answered with the idea that I was a bibliophile.
Call it what you will: Book hoarder, bibliophile, book collector. I just know that nothing makes me happier than knowing I have worlds waiting for me (well, my kid might make me happier than that, but a good book is a close second). I suppose I need to get started on that pile…after I finish that other book…