Confessions of a recovering Book Hoarder
Hello, my name is Natalie, and I’m a recovering book hoarder.
I love to surround myself with books and have them piled and shelved all over my house. Since childhood, I’ve hoarded books and even filched copies of some of my favorite novels from high school English classes–The Collector by John Fowles comes readily to mind.
I have college text books and novels that haven’t seen the light of day since the early to mid-90s, but I hold on to them on the off chance that someday I’ll need to reference one of the esoteric books. If you need an interpretation of Stevie Smith’s Novel on Yellow Paper, I can lend you my annotated copy!
My personal library has been pretty sizable since forever (some of my birthday and Christmas money was always spent on books), but after starting Book, Line, and Sinker in March 2009, things started to get crazy. I started buying, borrowing, and receiving more books than ever. My house runneth over with books.
Recently, I took the situation in hand, going through my bookcases and removing anything that wasn’t a perennial favorite. In one weekend, I filled an entire suitcase and tote bag with books to share.
I packed up several novels and sent them to various friends and relatives across the country but took the lion’s share to a hospital I’ve been frequenting almost daily for the last month.
The Isolation Unit of the hospital (the floor my family member is restricted to) had a tiny and depressing collection of dated paperbacks on the mostly-bare shelves. I remedied that situation by wheeling my giant book-filled Samsonite. I filled all of the shelves and left scores of magazines on the coffee and end tables.
When I stopped by the reading nook just yesterday, I was delighted to see that many of the books I brought had been borrowed. I can think of no better way to share books than with patients (or their family members) who need an escape from their current situation. I’m happy to be a recovering book hoarder!
Do you hoard your books or do you spread the literary love? If you share, who reaps your bounty?