Thursday, May 27, 2010

Collecting or Hoarding?

Has it ever happen to you when you're in a bookstore, you spot a must-read book. Then by the time you're done looking around, you're carrying a massive pile of must-read books in your hands? Let's say you purchase all of them. Weeks later, you take another trip to the bookstore, *remember you haven't yet read half the books you bought before*, and now you're going to buy more. This is the beginning to the road of hoard-om.

This very strange thing happens everyday. Some of the books bought do get read, but what happens to the ones that just lie around and never get read? Still collecting or hoarding?

Let's see the difference between the two: Collecting is accumulating for present use. Hoarding is accumulating for future use.

Collecting is a healthy habit. You buy books you like, you read them and actually get enjoyment out of them. Then you constantly keep buying more. No harm done. Once you have massive stacks you can find good use of them.

The hoard-om begins when you buy books, you don't have urgent desire to read. It's an urge to run to the bookstore everytime you hear great things about a book. After purchasing the book, because you don't have urgent desire to read it you forget about it, eventually you find the book dusty. This is harmful territory. Beware! (Warning: You can find yourself with 1,000+ unread books in the next 5 years.) Keep Out!

Helpful Tips, I've learned:

  • If you must buy super large quantities of books, then set a number X amount of books to read before you buy more.
  • The time to buy a book is when you want to sit down and read it right now.
  • Cut down on the quantity of books you buy. Will the books run out of the bookstore? No, so you can come back and buy them when you do have a bigger desire for them.
  • Share them, let a friend or relative borrow a book you've read, and aren't worried to lose.
  • Purge: Give, Sell, Donate, Trade, Re-Read etc. the books you've already gotten use out of.
  • Keep your favorites, and the books that are special to you.
  • Don't chunk any books in the trash, there's good use for them out there. You'll regret it!
  • Have you heard of book lice? Yes, that's why it's important to trim your book collection every now and then.
I for one have been a book hoard for a great part of my life, so I wanted to share somethings I've learned in the process. I'm no longer a book hoard, but it's taken me years to stop. Hope this has been somewhat helpful.

Once you take control, BUY AWAY!


jacabur1 said...

Dahlia, book hoarder at present myself here. I have almost 300 to read and it all started last year at the holidays when I discovered The Book Depository and the sales they had were too good to pass up. I am however slowly whittling them down and since a lot of the ones gotten in the last 5 months are trade in from Paperback swap, not doing so bad on "buying" books just slowly getting some of the older series together to read all at one time. At present I have bought some more books that are current series books like #4, #5 or more in the ones I am already reading. Having gotten rid of about 15 boxes of mixed MMPB and HB's in the last 2 years am doing better on letting go.

Just so many good books to read and spending too much time on my computer do not go hand in hand to reducing the pile!!!

jackie b central texas

BookFanatic said...

I agree, I've seen some people who have a problem with hoarding. I've never had that problem. Interesting Post!

Martha Lawson said...

I am a hoarder!! I've been working on my books this week - purging ones that have been sitting on the shelves for years!! Some are going to my daughter, the rest are going to my library and the main library. They will be read by someone!!

Anonymous said...

I am a book hoarder. =(

I just love books and have a bad obsession with them... I love the covers and lots of times I will sit in front of the bookshelf and just flip through some of the books for no reason and look at them. Trust me that sounds creepier than it is. I go to the bookstore every week and sometimes multiple times a week to buy books and I haven't been reading much... I'm trying to stop because I know it's unhealthy and I think I'm doing good now. I guess my problem is I can't keep up with all the new books coming out so everytime there's a new trnedy book that comes out that everyone is blogging about I have to get it too. I made a decision to read everything I own now .. which is a lot .. before I buy anything else. Wish me luck lol.

Glad you recovered! This is a real big problem and I thought i'd be the last person on earth to be in this situation... but i'm able to stop it now.

librarypat said...

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!
I have 40 plus Full bookcases in my house and as many more boxes of books waiting for a place. There is no more room. Part of the collection are reference books. There is a large children's collection. I collect old books, there are lots of those. Books signed by author, many. My keeper shelves. Other books are in the "after I read them, they are gone" category. Problem is, there are so many to read.
I still buy in batches. If I am at a thrift store, yard sale, flea market and those books I've wanted to read are there for $.50 to $1, how can I pass them up? Yes I am a hoarder. I can't resist a good deal. I am staying home more. If I don't go out, I can't see something I just can't pass up. I do donate books and take them for trade at the used book store. I loan them out to those who I know will enjoy them.
There are worse bad habits to have. This one just takes up a lot of room.

browneyedgirl said...

I have this problem every time I go to the bookstore! I actually just went the other night with the intent of buying two, then had a couple extra in my hands. I sucked it up and only bought three books. It was very hard putting the others back though! Plus there were more that I was thinking about getting, but I had to restrain myself. It's such a vicious cycle!!

Anonymous said...

I am such a hoarder that I am going today to get a book at borders with the 40% off coupon that borders sent in the mail for memorial day weekend... oh my god. why am i doing this to myself?? i have sooo many books that it really would make someone sick. i havent read even a quarter of them =( wow we have problems people lol

Marie said...

I have OCD so I hoard not just books, but a bunch of other things! But I have gone through my book collection of the days when I'd buy books at Target for no reason (even knowing I didn't have the intention of reading them)!

Now a days I try to buy books that I'm really interested in reading. Its still hard cause everything looks interesting before you buy it! lol.