Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Hoarding...

I recently watched the first season of Hoarders on Netflix. It left me thinking about clutter and with a burning desire to clean. Just the state of some of the fridges on that show lead me to clean our fridge at like 11 at night. Then, I tackled the one closet that still had tonnes of junk in it. I literally just threw things out the door and the cc went behind me and bagged it up. The thing that I haven't tackled recently is my books.

I used to be obsessed with rearranging my shelves and changing the organization. The thing is that I live with the cc in a place too small for a lot of books, so my books mostly still reside in my mother's basement. The goal is to get them out, but I know that when I do there are a lot of them. I have no probably purging anything else but my books. I do it, of course. I more often than not have at least some book credit at the second hand bookstore. I only have about 100 books with me at the cc's and a few months ago I went through and took out all the books I wasn't very interested in anymore. So, I know that if my books were here, I would be cleaning through them all the time.

My goal was always to keep the books down to a level that they could fit on my shelves. Last time I rearranged my books, I even had leftover space. So, as long as they fit, I never really considered myself having a problem. Moving them, though, hurts my head. I have a lot more books than I did when I moved last. Mainly because I had more room for said books. The basement room they are in has one of those ledges. Then, I have shelves hanging on the wall and six bookcases. Everything is such a mess right now, though, I have no idea if they would still all fit on the shelves. I go over occasionally and drop off books that I have read and take some more for the pile here. The thing is that I don't take the time to rearrange the shelves to make up for this movement of books.

The main reason? I know I don't want to move all those books, but trying to purge that many is overwhelming. And, I know that I have to do it because while I want to have my books the same place with me, I know that as long as I keep pushing it away, the more books that I can keep. I am not sure if that makes me a hoarder, though. I know if I put my mind to it, I can easily get rid of books. It is just the overwhelming task that gets to me. Not just the actual decision making, either. Then you have to do something WITH the books. Normally I take them to the second hand bookstore and then what they won't take, donate to charity or something along those lines. I don't like taking all of them in at the same time. I usually stagger it... I'm weird.

Anyway, so, what do you think? Are you a book hoarder? Do you think I am and am just in denial about it?


  1. I'm not a book hoarder and I don't think you are too. I think you're just procrastinating when it comes to organizing your books. The longer you ignore the problem, the more overwhelming I think you're going to feel about this. What about doing a set number of books at one time? Maybe once a week, you go through twenty books at a time. That way it doesn't feel like such a big job and you can pat yourself on the back too! :-) I procrastinate when it comes to school-related things or paperwork but not when it comes to space. I refuse to look at clutter for long periods of time.

    Good luck with everything.

  2. I was going to suggest the same as Vasilly... that you do a few at a time. That way it's not such a mammoth task. I'm trying to get control of mine too and have been keeping a charity shop box at the top of the stairs that books go into. It's almost turned into a challenge to get it full! And I've been strict, if I read it and know I won't read it again, out it goes. I even have room on my book shelves again. Not much... but some. Good luck! You can do it!

  3. I'm a total book hoarder. Very rarely do I keep a book after I've read it but just the thought of getting rid of one that I haven't read makes me ill!!

  4. Every couple months, I look through all my books (both read and to-read) and cull my shelves. Normally I pull off between 10 and 40 at a time, though usually on the lower end. I also try to think real hard after each book I read if I need to keep it. Unless I adore it, I usually put it in the donate pile, and then once a month or so, I'll bring everything down to Half Price Books and donate the non-sellable ones to the library for their book sales. This way I can keep my shelves pretty free from clutter.

    I hoarded for awhile in 2009 & 2010 and found out that I hated that!!

  5. I got rid of a lot of books before I moved last August. The prospect of picking them up and carrying them to a new place made me really think about what I wanted to keep. I've been trying to be more proactive about donating books I don't want anymore, but they're still accumulating.

    I don't think you're a hoarder, just reluctant to take on a task that's daunting. Take little steps and you can do it!

  6. When I got my new shelves right before Christmas, I was so proud of myself for organizing them. But they are getting out of control again. :( It doesn't take much really.

    I'm getting to the point where as I read them, they leave the house. I only keep my favorites. The trouble is the come in faster than I can read them.

  7. Anonymous3:32 AM

    Yes, you are a bit of a book hoarder (in my opinion) and only because I consider myself one too and I have the same problems. I've tried many times to clear out the books that I "don't want" but, at the last minute - at the place where I'm going to donate them - I end up rummaging in the box and slowly taking most of them back with me. But on the plus side, I did end up giving some away...


  8. Like Vasilly said, I don't think you're a hoarder. It's so much that you're not willing to get rid of any books, more that it's just such an enormous job to go through them that it's easier just to put it off.

    As much as I want to move, packing up and moving all the books in this house is not going to be fun--we've got five people who accumulate books at what some would call "unhealthy" rates. :P

  9. So, my friend is coming to visit tomorrow and we are going to purge my bookshelves. :) I am hoping that it will be successful. I know doing small things sounds like a good idea, but I am all for just getting it done...

  10. I have such a morbid curiosity about that show. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels the urge to clean after I watch Hoarders.

    I used to be a book hoarder but now I'm not. I have my tbr and about a dozen books I can't bear to part with, the rest get donated to libraries or to the used bookstore.

  11. I have to clean my house every single time I watch an episode of that show...

    I don't think I'm a book hoarder, but I could be in denial too. I'd like to believe I'm not. But the overflowing shelves may be a sign that I am. Hmm.

  12. *Bella: I think I watch Hoarders JUST to inspire me to clean... lol

    *Court: lol I purged books. Yay me!

  13. I'm totally a book hoarder. I can't part with ones I loved or ones I haven't read yet. It's getting out of control.


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