I always thought I was a hoarder but having read recently about the number of books people kept from their childhood, I’m beginning to wonder where my hoarding gene is hiding. Maybe what I am is a collector rather than a hoarder – is there a difference other than collector sounds better?
My childhood books were frequently passed around my friends and as we outgrew them, passed on to younger siblings or cousins’ kids (as were our toys). My Mother was not a hoarder and believed in passing on “dust collectors” be they books, toys or clothes to someone who would use them.
After I left my parents’ home my tendency to “collect” books became dominant so that when with GOM (Grumpy Old Man) I moved across the country to Western Australia, I had to contend with 5 “full to bursting”” bookcases. The costs of transporting my treasures from one side of the country to the other … and later back again, was prohibitive.
This was the first time I seriously downsized my book collection. I remember my mother taking a number of very large boxes which she said would be divided between Vinnies and Sallies. Back in Sydney for a visit, I found a box still in her store room – seems she had a quick look before donating the books and found a number she decided to read, then, donate. So although I may not have inherited a hoarding gene, I certainly inherited a reading gene.
Since going to WA, returning to Sydney, on to Queensland, then into a one-bedroom home, I have become an expert at downsizing, books included, although GOM did remark that we are not adding another room any time soon just to store the number of books currently residing in numerous nooks and crannies.
It doesn’t seem to matter if I am in a four or one bedroom home, I manage to fill the available space with books! Thank goodness the contents on my eReader are not visible, I daren’t count how many eBooks are stored on my Kobo and Kindle.
I have found one way of downsizing my library which I am happy to share with you. At my library book club meeting, the first half is a discussion about the set text, but then we discuss what else we have read. I take along some books and put them on the “help yourself” shelf. A book can spend many months being passed onto the next reader – I love seeing this happen. When you think about it, books are not supposed to collect dust on a shelf, they are supposed to be read. (Reading over my shoulder, GOM says this statement is an example of “do as I say not as I do!”)
So tell me – how big is your home library? Are you a Book Collector or a Book Hoarder? Is there a difference and where do you draw the line?
Back to video next week everyone when I have some awesome books to share with you! Until then, happy reading from one “collector” to another.
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