Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book hoarding

I know about real hoarding. I’ve seen the TV shows. More personally, I know a woman who deals with real hoarding at her mother’s houses (there are two). The attempts to clear out one house and get it on the market. The citations from the village. One house condemned. Fix it up before the village tears it down. Hoarding spilling into the yard. It’s painful just to hear the stories. They did eventually find the body of the cat they knew had died several years ago. But the struggle never ends, because apparently it’s very difficult to cure hoarding behavior.

Then there’s pet hoarding, which is awful. Our guinea pig rescue group just took in 50 pigs from one such situation. They aren’t well socialized, so they are hard to find homes for.
Hoarding in my family is much more manageable. My mom has 50 or 60 jars of jam in the basement at any given time. Nice, tidy hoarding.

My hoarding centers around books. I finally went around and did a rough count in our house, out of curiosity. I did get rid of a few hundred children’s books last summer, so that helped a little. Plus we have two Little Free Libraries within walking distance, so sometimes I can stick a few books in there. Granted, sometimes I have to bring a new one home, too. It’s only fair.
Starting upstairs, Boo is a minimalist and a big re-reader, so she only has her 50 favorites in her room. Nea is a bit of a hoarder of everything, plus she’s the downstream book-catcher from the older sibling, so no surprise that she has circa 650.

The master bedroom has 175 in a bookshelf, and 130 on the floor/nightstand. Yes, that looks just as well-organized as it sounds.
Ok, so we have a couple book-free rooms. The sunroom and dining room have none. There are only 5 of the most used cookbooks in the kitchen. The other cookbooks are in the living room, with the gardening books and some kid books. Total living room – about 450.

There’s some board and early childhood books I couldn’t bring myself to give away, boxed up in the basement. Let’s say 300.

And that leaves the study. N finished these bookshelves awhile back. There’s books in the cabinets underneath, too, where the board games were supposed to go. Yup. That’s another 1260 or so.

Grand total? Just under 3000 books, roughly. That’s in the realm of normal. Right?
Oddly, I find myself at the library at least weekly.

I did some navel gazing not too long ago and decided that my need to be surrounded by books appeals to my most optimistic and pessimistic hopes and fears.
Best case scenario: I live a life of leisure and have time to read for hours a day!

Worst case scenario: society collapses, and all technology is lost. It’s not safe outside and hurrah! Nothing to do but read all day and wait for the end! See, now where will all you e-book types be then, huh? That’s right. Pillaging the library, fighting over Danielle Steele and Louis L’Amour paperbacks. Ha. Suckers.