Monday, June 08, 2009


I have a lot of books. Okay, that's kind of an understatement. There are five full bookshelves downstairs (two of them are my husband's), and each of my kids has a bookcase in their room. Small potatoes to some people, I know, but the real stash is stacked in brown paper grocery bags in our storage shed. At my current rate of reading, which has slowed considerably since I work two jobs, it will take me about five years to read all the books on my paperback bookshelf, and maybe another two to finish the hardcover shelf. So basically, I have enough unread books to last the rest of my life (assuming it's a long one!).

So what's the problem?

In a nutshell, people are constantly urging me to get rid of my books. Why don't you have a yard sale? Why don't you bring those to Goodwill? My husband got mad at me one day because he bumped into my bookshelf and some books fell off, so not only did he throw those books awayl but he went further and chose a bunch of books at random from each shelf and threw those out, too. I was furious, and he was smugly self-satisfied. He thinks I have a mental illness and should seek treatment because I hoard books.

It got worse, though, when my son's friend said, "You have all those books in your house and you still check out books from the library?!"

Why do people feel so free to comment on this? I know from my online groups and my teacher friends that lots of people have way more books than I do. Why does it bother people that I like my books and that it makes me happy to have them?