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Topic: Advice needed, ladies - SERIOUS book addiction!

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Subject: Advice needed, ladies - SERIOUS book addiction!
Date Posted: 7/31/2007 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2006
Posts: 670
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I got an itch today to guesstimate how many books I have collected over the years, and came up with nearly 1400 books - yes, that's right, I didn't double-tap the zero :( 

I had no idea it was that many, and even if I could read one a day (which I can't) it would take nearly 4 YEARS to read them all, assuming I didn't get anymore along the way (like that's gonna happen!)  I tend to find authors I enjoy and then collect as many of their titles as I can, but only if the plot sounds good.  I am a little discriminating :)  And I'm not afraid to let a book go once I'm done with it  - note my shelf here of 300+ titles (which unfortunately are in addition to the 1400 mentioned above) - but I do have dozens of keepers that I have a tendency to re-read instead of picking up a new one sometimes, which doesn't help the backlog any!

What on earth is the matter with me?  I have no other addictions or compulsions.  I don't collect anything else.  I am neither terribly neat nor terribly messy, but I do have all my books alphbetized by author on the shelves and cataloged on my computer - it's the only way I can avoid getting duplicates. 

I haven't spent a great deal of money on them, which is most likely part of the problem.  I love going to yard sales and getting boxes of books for cheap.  My library sells paperbacks for 10 cents and hardbacks for a quarter, so I have gotten many from there over the years.  I just can't walk away from a "great deal", but once again it is only on books, not clothes or shoes or knickknacks of any sort.  I have stopped going to yardsales since this spring, per my husband's request, because the books are starting to concern him, too.  He has been very tolerant of my collection until recently, because I don't read until after he and my son go to bed so I still have quality time with my family.  But I have finally run out of bookshelf space in my "library" - yes, I have one whole room dedicated to books (yikes!), but there is no room for any more bookshelves and I promised never to overflow that room.  My only option now is cardboard boxes on the floor, which is what compelled this soul searching today.

Before you ask, yes, I check lots of books out from the public library, but that keeps me from reading my TBRs, too.

My husband was concerned that I like books because I don't like my life, and specifically that I feel I am missing something with him since at least 75% of them are romance.  But I adore my hubby, and we are going on twelve years together and I am still very happy.  Is our life a romance novel?  No, but I never expected it to be.  I have been reading and collecting romance since I was a teenager, and always understood that  "real" marriages aren't like that.  I favor historicals, and have tried to explain to him that I enjoy the history in them just as much as the romance, and since the majority of the rest of my books are historical fiction, I think I have him pretty well convinced.

Here at PBS, I have committed to not buying any credits, from the kiosk or from other members.  I can only order what I have earned credits for.  But when I go to the Book Bazaar and can find awesome deals like 4 or 5 books for 1 credit, I can't resist!  I guess I am afraid of missing a story that will really move me, but what's the point of getting the books if it will take years to get them read, right?  My brain understands this disconnect, but my soul doesn't.

So, am I beyond help?  Is anyone else anywhere near this bad, or do I get the blue ribbon?  If anyone has ever had a similar obsession with books and has gotten over it, please share with me how you did it.  I can't quit cold turkey, but I would like to have a healthy relationship with books.

Whew, confession is good for the soul, I feel a bit better already.  Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this whole thing :) and to anyone willing to make suggestions.

Katrina

 

 



Last Edited on: 7/31/07 10:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/31/2007 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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yep, but I'm way more addicted than you!  i buy credits and one 'supplier' asked me what in the world I was doing needing so many (not in so many words but then I realized it had only been  a week!) I think the bazaar should be banned LOL! btw not to enable you or anythign but int he current what we're reading thread I listed al ot of books I'll do deals on or send free even if someone wants them..figure it's cheaper to pay postage and send them free than take them to the used bookstore cause last trip there cost me over 30 bucks and that was WITH credits..and I have trouble letting mine go but like you I see a great deal or her about a series and away I go collecting them. Now thanks to somene's thread about the dang bachelor battalion series (that I have 2 then found a 3rd on my shelf in) now i want THOSE! no hisotricals though so maybe you wont' be tempted!

unfortunately books aren't myonly addiction..I also quilt and buy fabric..books..patterns...and also get on a music 'kick' here adn there...

don't know why your hubby would be upset with teh romanc enovels..Iknow my dad wasn't happy when mymom ws reading them but she'd come in from work in a bad mood and crash on the couch with 4 of them in her lap and just read and raed and read and didn't want to be interrupted...now that I'm older I can understand that but still don't think it was a threat..I find I like reading the romance as well as the'story/setting' and probalby wouldnt' wantt o actually 'do' all the stuff LOL! it's nice to read and daydream though.

I've just accepted that I need to cut back ( !) says me who just went through 20 more credits on deals *blush* but I think I like being surrounded by books and I also enjoy the hunt for them so no suggestions I don't guess..sorry!

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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I think I have had a tendency to collect books like that in the past.  Never got up to that many but I have 4 bookshelves of paperbacks and 4 underbed storage boxes full of books and a couple of plastic crates.  Plus the TBR pile is piled on top of the bookshelves.  It's definitely too many.  I have been dedicating myself to de-cluttering.  I don't do very well at it, I have several other things I collect besides books and it's all getting a bit much.

If you have a tendency to go to yard sales and buy books or the library and buy books, then just don't go there.  Don't stop at yardsales, don't go by the library.  If you must, take someone with you.  Someone that will pull out a picture of your library and say, hey, you don't have any room in here for more books.

Start sorting thru what you have and posting stuff.  Offer good deals to get your shelf moving.  Donate books to Goodwill or the library or to organizations that send books to soldiers overseas.

My library used to have a big booksale every year.  That was my cue to sort thru my shelves and I always donated a couple of boxes of stuff.  They haven't done that for several years so I've accumulated a lot of stuff.  Then, I found this site and this is where all my books are going.  I'm sorting thru stuff as I have time and posting it.  I'm loving cleaning out the crates.  I would love to set a goal of having everything on my 4 bookshelves and that's it.  I don't know that I'll ever get there.  It would be nice to reclaim the space though that the boxes take up.

It's hard to let go.  I get obsessed with series of books and with authors.  I MUST have every book in a series.  I MUST have every book that my favorite authors put out and I MUST keep that book.  I'm learning to let go.  I'm learning to sort out the books I really like and will read again from those that I won't.

Oh my, I think I've rambled on here too!

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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LOL, and then there's Susanna who just about cleaned off my shelf over the weekend!

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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hee hee..I've also cleaned par of katrina's, Eileen's, Fedora's.... I also got a huge box of loveswepts from someone on ebay since I've liked the ones I've read and a deal on some harlequin duets..

anyone have that bachelor battalion series?? serious, I'll be done when I get the rest of those..seriously... I love you guys at least we're all in this together! :-)

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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I can not search Ebay for box of book deals anymore.  Espeically Loveswepts.  I spend WAY too much.

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2006
Posts: 670
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I've been pretty good about Ebay, because I limit myself to ridiculously low bids and almost never win!  Plus, I limit myself on the computer these days and most of that time is taken up by PBS!

Katrina

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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sounds like you're doing better than me Katrina! I've been buying credits too much I think...afteral they're j ust books..but gosh I love having books around me! I hate to see how much pbs has 'saved' me though..sigh..good thing a lot were deals!

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/1/2006
Posts: 26
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I don't see anything wrong with buying the books, or reading the books, but saving the paperbacks to me is a little excessive.  With that many books, do you really go back and re-read favorites?  Perhaps you could make a list of those that you wish to reread someday.  Then begin to get rid of the ones you have already read.  When I buy a 10 cent book at the library I do not hesitate to toss it after I read it.

Your problem has nothing to do with reading; your problem is hoarding.  It is a very common affliction and I hope I am not being too harsh.  I had a similar yarn addiction; I acquired more yarn than I could possibly knit or crochet in my lifetime.  (Yarn collectors call it SABLE - Stash acquisition beyond life expectancy! lol).  But when I thought I was moving I began to sell off my yarn on ebay and now I have a much more manageable amount and I only kept the quality stuff.  I imagine you could do the same with paperbacks.

So why not have your own yard sale or donate your books to the library.  I really don't think you will miss them.

On a side note, when someone has an eight page (or more) bookshelf I really don't have the patience to go through all their books looking for a deal or a box of books exchange.  I have had a manageable list of 40 or 50 quality books on my shelf and consistently have new stuff coming in via Box of Books.  When I see someone with that many books I just assume they are old, musty, yellowed and I turn away. 

This is all just my opinion, and we all have one, just like....bellybuttons.

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Or you could go through them and post them here in some deals on the deal thread.  Maybe 5 for 1 or 10 for 2 or something.  My grandmother had a hoarding problem and before she went into the nursing home, you could not even get INTO some of her rooms they were so full of things she would never use.  Some even had tags still on them.  I wish you luck with it!

Sherri

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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hmm. I AM bad about saving stuff but I think I like being surrounded and having 'excess' of stuff I like. And I guess I"m one of the few people who do re-read stuff and I've recently spend a lot of time/money tracking down something I want to re-read and one I stll can't find since Idon't remembe rthe title and only a gist of what was happening in the book...plus just seeing the book on the shelf reminds me of the pleasure I got out of the book. I think one of these days I'll have to start getting rid of stuff just because of the space issue and the 'if' I'll really ever want to re-read this book...there are some I've enjoyed b ut probably wouldn't re-read and those I'll probably post or trade at ubs...

Date Posted: 8/2/2007 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 6,447
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I can't help at all. Tho now I do repost books I've read only because I figure if I ever want it again I can get it here. Til then it's on someone else's shelf.

I thought for sure that I would get rid of a lot of books after I found PBS. Only problem is this:

I read the forums.  Everyone talks about how good this book was or how good this series was. 

I play the games.  Same thing.

I look at the Book Bazaar.  Not a good thing to do.<G> Even when I offer deals it just means I have more credits to spend.

My TBR is all around me. I can barely crawl thru it. LOL

I have gotten to the point now that books from yard sales, goodwill and the UBS stay in my car so they can be quietly assimilated. There's no hope for me.

Date Posted: 8/2/2007 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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gosh Kathi..I thought I was the only one with boxes/bags of books in the car! glad I'm not alone...sigh...I even have 3 flat boxes in the garage..no, 4 I think...

Date Posted: 8/3/2007 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 305
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First let me say, since you are on PBS at least you are trying to cut down on the number of books:D  Honestly I think it is quite normal to love books.  I have always been crazy about them which was fed by my dad who would take us to the bookstore and we could have whatever we wanted (he never did that at the toy store!).  I am crazy about the condition of my books, I don't bend pages or spines, most of my books look brand new because I am so crazy about taking care of them.

I don't know if anyone else has suggested this, but prisons, hospitals, and nursing homes usually take book donations.  There are also great programs to send books to the troops overseas.  Good luck!

Date Posted: 8/3/2007 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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Katrina, You aren't alone!!! I did stop keeping the majority of my books, though, because I never have time to re-read book, there's too many out there that I haven't read yet! Plus, DH was complaining that we had no space for more book shelves, and I was running out of room on the ones I had. Although, we are in the process of buying a bigger house...;)

I don't buy credtis either, and I am never above 10 in my account:) I order at least 1 a week.

Date Posted: 8/4/2007 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2007
Posts: 391
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Date Posted: 8/4/2007 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2007
Posts: 391
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I am also sure that I have the same addiction .  All you have to do is look at my bookshelf.  That is a very small fraction of what I have.  When my husband and I go to Wal-Mart and we get seperated, he knows where to find me.  I just keep buying and buying.  But as I tell him, there are a lot worse things to be addicted to

Date Posted: 8/4/2007 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2006
Posts: 173
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Well, I have 490 books in my inventory, including about 100 in my TBR pile, plus over 60 ebooks and another 30 on my shopping list.  I have 652 book listed as recycled, but I know that number is higher because I've lost my database on what I have read, so that probably just covers the last year.  I do reread my keepers, so I do keep them although every few years I will go back through the boxes and if I can't remember why I kept it I'll either re-read it or recycle it right away.   I also go through my TBR pile once a year, trying to remember why I bought some books and if I can't remember, and the first few pages or last pages don't catch my attention, I'll recycle the book without reading it. 

You might want to check out a book called "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh which talks about how to declutter your home, office, garage, and ultimately, your life.  It talks about why we keep things, what should we keep, how to make the hard choices, starting out easy and then moving on to harder stuff.  Just a suggestion; I'm guessing if you hoard books, it may not be the only area of your house that suffers from the same fate.  My husband and I are working through the book (at his initial suggestion), trying to declutter our house and declutter our lives. 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/4/2007 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 6
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I have a huge collection as well. Mostly ones I have bought in a garage sale boxes. Me and Mom have been collecting for years. I am sure we have over 1000. Luckily, most are at her house. Hubby would kill me if I had that many. I am slowly adding the ones I have here at my house here. I have tried to sell them, but in the end, I would rather trade them/keep them/loan them out. I will definitely look to see if there is any websites I can find and recommend if you are trying to get rid of them.

Date Posted: 8/4/2007 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 10
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I also have this problem. When I first joined PBS I only posted the books that I had already read and no longer wanted or just had not liked when I read it. Now I only keep a few books that are from aurthors that I really like. Some I am waiting to finsih reading the whole series before I post any of them. Right now I only have around 1000 books at one time I had over 3000 but ran out of space to keep them so I sold them to someone that was opening a books store. I am bad about buying online from amazon.com, ebay, and even buying credits from PBS. If I go in Wal-Mart I know I'll come out with another book. I even have friends at work that when they finish reading their books they then give them to me. Once I finish with it  I usually post them here at PBS, so I'm constantly getting in new books and generally don't have the time to go back through the ones that I have kept over the years and I'm talking about I have romance books that  are original publications that were put out before I was even born.

 

 

Anyone looking to make a deal just send me a PM always looking for new books to read.

 

Deanna O.

Date Posted: 8/4/2007 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
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Guilty! 

I've always loved reading, and I remember being a young teen and never being able to find anything that looked good to read.  Then I discovered romance and fantasy....

Now there are tons of books that look too good to pass up!  So of course I don't.  (Rolls eyes at self!)  It would definitely take years to get through them all, and I can be a bit of a hoarder too.  Sometimes I like to go back and reread, and if it's a book in a series I will often keep it in case I want to go back and check on something.  I don't really have an excuse for the rest of them! 

I'm the last person to give advice on how to stop hoarding -- I've started doing it with yarn too.  Pack-rat-itis just seems to run in the family.

But I don't think a love of reading has anything to do with being dissatisfied with your life any more than loving any other hobby would.  Romances are the most commonly sold type of book in the US -- they're just something lots of people like.  I don't see why it's any different than being crazy about movies, or running off to watch/play sports any chance you get, or finding yourself sketching all the time....  Yeah, OK, so we're a wee bit obsessive on the collecting front, but people have adored stories since the beginning of time!

Date Posted: 8/5/2007 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Reading is a marvelous thing and most of us have too many books.   But as the years go by, I have realized that I am happier when I had less clutter in my home.   And yes, books too can be clutter.   I used to hang on to every good book I read.   Then I realized I would NEVER live long enough to read every new book I wanted to read.    So I let go of most of my "keepers."  What was I keeping them for anyway?  They were keeping me from reading new books,  they were keeping me from having a home that wasn't overun by books, and they were keeping me feeling guilty.    hmmm No wonder they were called keepers????   So I began to think of them another way.   When I list and send out my books, I think of them blessing someone else.   I enjoy thinking about someone other than me reading and enjoying a book that I've loved.   It has let me let go of so many books and freed me up to other new reads that are just waiting for me!!!!

Date Posted: 8/6/2007 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 20
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I also have a reading problem, but it could be worse. At least it isnt harmfull!!   The only thing more addictive than reading books is this website! lol  I love it

 

 

 

*AMANDA*

Date Posted: 8/6/2007 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 20
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Hey, I need someone to order from my bookshelf. I just joined and I used my three credits. Now I want to send someone my books, too!

 

Date Posted: 8/6/2007 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Amanda, you're probably gonna have to visit the  kiosk and buy some credits before long LOL! that's what I do then I found a few people on here who'll sell me some via  paypal...addict city!

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