Ranting Discussion ~ My Book Hoarding Issues

Posted June 17, 2015 by Tanya in Discussions / 2 Comments


I have decided I have a problem. While I see other readers donating their books to libraries or trading them in at second hand stores, I’m rearranging shelf space to make them fit. I don’t know how this started. Before I became a true read-a-holic, I didn’t really have a special spot for books and they just sort of piled up in a box. Then I became a Paperback Swap addict and my reading habit took off. I think the tipping point was my first signed book. I had started reading Kim Harrison religiously and actually bought her hardcovers. When I found out she was coming to town I nearly died. I had my first signed copies. The same happened when Kelley Armstrong came to town. How did I not know these authors actually came to my town!? So the collecting started. At first my shelf was small, and I had this obsession with standing the books so that you could see the covers.


Then we moved. I had now upgraded to two small bookshelves. They were pretty full. My daughter came across this great picture on Pinterest that would fit beautifully in our new office. I ran out and bought myself more shelves. Glorious shelves just aching to be filled!


Just look at all that empty space. The design fit perfectly, but now I was determined to fill it. The intention was to fill with books I would one day be able to get signed. Also, there was a criteria. They must be in perfect condition. No cracked spines or folded pages, so I was a general in the second hand book stores. The goal of potential signed books turned into books that I may want to read. You know, those books and series you see with awesome reviews? Well, they started to accumulate on the shelves too. It didn’t matter that I would probably end up reading them on my Kindle or listening in audio.

I had it all figured out. Hard covers on the tall shelves, paperbacks on the short. But then I started getting trade paperbacks. Well that threw me off. How could I make those fit? So I had to designate a couple of shelves for that size.

I will admit, I have gone through them a couple of times and removed books that are just a genre I would not read and were not signed. That weeding out didn’t normally help much.

Going around the room

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So next step, buy more shelves. I measured and I had one more wall I could fit a couple of shelves on. This was good because I had completely run out of room for paperbacks, and I could not bring myself to have them on the tall shelves. (Can you see the crazy setting in?) I have discovered a fatal flaw in the sale of shelving. They make the unit itself a nice big size, but they do not give you enough actual shelves to fit lots of books. I have seriously considered buying another shelf just so I can use the inside shelves to add to my current units. That would kind of be a waste of a unit, but it would give me more space. It is either that or I will have to task my husband with building bigger units where my last medium size shelves went in. He’s not crazy about the idea.

I think a few of the things that have indicated the turn from obsession into hoarding are:

  1. I buy books I have already read on my kindle
  2. I’m now buying books I know I will never get signed
  3. I went from a hard cover obsession to not caring what format it is
  4. I have multiple books I had intended for giveaways but have yet to part with them

I also need to mention that where most people decorate their shelving with knick knacks, I have found ways to display all my swag. I have some cool clip things that hold bookmarks up. I am running out of space on those too. I now have nice little boxes to fit all the swag. I need to have giveaways for some of that too. Yes, I even hoard swag.

Tell me I’m not the only one with this problem! What do you do when you run out of space?