Daily Archives: June 24, 2010

Weekly Geeks 2010-22: Hoarding Behavior, or “Yes”, I Have a Problem.

The week, Weekly Geeks asks whether we have a “gigantic” TBR pile waiting for us at home, and if and how we intend to resolve it or if we are happy to hoard books.

Librarything says I have 172 titles on my TBR pile.  I’m afraid you will have to make do with a link to my virtual To Be Read pile, since I don’t keep my TBR pile separate from my read books, because quite frankly, any kind of system except for the simple system of putting them in alphabetical order takes up too much room. Room that I don’t have, since I own too many books for the tiny apartment in which I live as it is.

So why is it that I still feel the need to go out and buy books, even though I have 172 books waiting for me at home? I don’t know. There is something really comforting in finding a book that you know you will love and buying it. I usually browse bookstores if I come across one, I don’t always buy though. Bookstores aren’t all that cheap around here and sadly ordering online will save me half the money. That all changes however when a bookstore is having a sale. I often feel a compulsory need to browse the sale shelves in bookstores. And I have to look at every single book, because I’m always afraid I will miss out on the little corner that usually hides the English books that are on sale. And if I find a book that looks even the slightest bit interesting for 3-4 euro’s or less, I have a hard time not picking it up.

When I discovered online websites that sell books and charge no shipping money, it felt like I was browsing a continual book sale. And so I went crazy, for a while. I tried to change all that since I started blogging. I have a huge wish list that contains books I want to read after reading the review on one of your blogs. And I try to more consciously choose the books I want to buy and read. I even tried to buy no books during May and June (I almost succeeded, since I bought 4 books a couple of days ago). But I have to admit that I like the spontaneity of picking up books that simply look appealing at the time. As much as I would love to say that I am very meticulous when it comes to choosing the exact books that I know I’ll love, I really am not. Yes, I act like that when I have a gift certificate to spend. But when it is my own money, I often buy on impulse.

Do I want to slim down my TBR pile? Yes. Do I want to give up buying books completely? No. So where does this leave me? Honestly, I don’t know. I admire all of those bloggers who have instigated a book buying ban. I have talked about it a lot on twitter, but in the end I can never make myself write down my own set of rules. The prospect of not being able to buy that really cheap book that you know you’ll love when it is staring at you on the bookseller’s shelves, the idea that Peirene Press is releasing a new book later this year and I won’t be able to pre-order it, the notion that I could acquire bookmooch points, but not mooch books myself, is frankly all a little bit too disturbing to me.

And so yes, I have a problem. My biggest problem however, is that I can’t seem to find the motivation to resolve it. My dream, ever since I was a little girl, has been to have a huge library of books when I grew up. And since I started living on my own, I seem to have made an effort to fulfil that dream. I am not quite ready to give it up.

Note: all of this does not mean I intend to just buy and buy and buy. I am after all a student, living on no income whatsoever.