Thursday, March 12, 2009


I ordered 11 books off of last week. I got them for a total of about $60 including shipping. That is probably the most I have spent in a single time on books in over a year. It is certainly the most books I have purchased at once in well over two years. They are either books I have heard on audio & want to read again or books I have checked out of the library often enough I decided to just buy them.

So they have started arriving the past few days and I went to put a few of them on my bookshelves. This proved more of a challenge that I expected.

A couple or so years ago I got rid of ALOT of books. HUNDREDS of books actually. Boxes and boxes of books went out of this house. About a hundred or so were listed on or  So many books left my house that, despite the evidence of my own eyes, I firmly believed I had gotten rid of most of my books and all I needed to do was reorganize what was left & there would be all this space on my bookshelves.

I am not exaggerating either, several hundred books have left my house. When you lug boxes and boxes of books out of your house it is natural to think “Gosh I have given away nearly all my books”

Unless you started with 1800 books and are in denial about that.

This is what is left. Books in the office


more books n the office


books in the living room


books in the bedroom


books in the kitchen DSC_2731

Rough estimate is that there are 1000-1200 books still in the house (and those are just *my* books. I haven’t added DH or the boys’ books to that total)

So, um, yeah, I haven’t really gotten rid, proportionally, of that many books and it is clearly obvious there is little to no room on those shelves.  But for the past year or more I have thought of myself as book deprived because I got rid of so many & have bought so few.

Even now I look at those shelves and think “but there can’t be *that* many books. this isn’t *that* many books” Probably because I am used to the shelves being double stacked & double packed. I mean really, just WHERE was I keeping all those books anyway?

So now I face the unpleasant task of once again purging the books and this time it will suck. Last time wasn’t too bad. I was able to go through them fairly easily & get rid of the ones I didn’t enjoy that much or was fairly sure I no longer needed, ones who’s thesis have since been disproven, the information outdated, ones on topics I am no longer interested in. 500-700 books fell into those categories.

Which means the ones left are the ones I like. I have read every book in my library at least twice, many I have read many times. Nothing on those shelves is superfluous or unnecessary. All of them are books I am likely to read again or want for information.  Maybe 20 of them can go… some of the travel essay books & some of the romances. But 20 books doesn’t even make a dent.  That’s not even a whole shelf.

I’m going to have to make some hard choices. There is no space for more bookshelves, every possible open bit of wall has a bookshelf on it, even the bathrooms, except the hallway and in the interest of letting people get to their bedrooms I can’t in good conscious put bookshelves there.  Unless….Dh could make the inset kind in the wall cavity in the hallway. That would be really neat actually. But meantime, I have 2 little up and coming readers & I have to make some space for them. Their shelves are filling up and soon they will need more room.

I guess Sunday I will start the doleful task of deciding what stays & what goes.  ::sniff::


ptooie said...

I may have to show these photos to my husband- you've got me beat on books and yarn. Good luck sorting through... I had a tough time when I recently cleared out a couple dozen books. I love Half-Price Books. They buy and sell used, and the new books they sell are (duh) half the price marked on the cover.

Wookies Mama said...

Oh my goodness, you do have a lot of books! When I read your post about how much you just spent on books, it got me thinking, I hope you are signed up with ebates! You can get 3% back at that store (I think). Sign up if you haven't already and they give you $5 to start your acct. If you do sign up, click through here and we both make out:

Too Many Hats said...

Okay, you can obviously have a larger bookshelf in the bedroom and do you really need that lamp in the family room - looks like more room for a book shelf. That will tide you over until dh can build out those new hallway bookshelves :)

You are an amazing reader.

Monique said...

Wow, and I thought I had a lot of books. Of course moving to a place with no used book stores (or even new ones) has helped... lol. My place was covered with books back when I used to work in a used book store, now that was heaven! Good luck with the perging :-)

Jenni Jiggety said...

Holy Moly! You have your own personal library!

Azrood said...

I think maybe, just maybe that you might like books, lol! What a wonderful hobby though. I mean really, it could be much worse - what if you were into lawn gnomes instead.

janis said...

you have so many books!!!
i think you need to have a real library...

Creative Junkie said...

holy smokes, that's a lot of books!

I think you need an intervention.

I had never heard of ... going to have to check them out now!