When it comes to books, I have a serious problem.
The issue? I own way, way too many. My book collection is problematic for a couple of reasons.
The first: I don’t own a home with a room dedicated to books. If I did, I could answer the phone or return a text with the super cool statement: “Well I’m in the library, enjoying a cup of coffee.” I fantasize about someday having a library much like the one in the 90s classic “Ever After.” You know, that scene where Drew Barrymore walks around the monastery and talks about how her father, who used to read to her, “was addicted to the written word.” Let me clarify – I don’t want to own a monastery, but I like the multi-storied one stuffed to the gills with old books. Technically, the root of this problem is that I don’t own a home at all. If I did, it stands to reason that I wouldn’t move so often. When you move frequently, you have to pack up your books and then someone has to carry those boxes of books from point A to point B.
The second: I love owning books, and find it difficult to stop myself from purchasing more. At any given time, if you would check the Amazon app on my phone, my shopping cart will contain a few books that I’m “researching.” Sure it’s typically because I’m looking at the books — I should really keep a running list of books I want to research — but sometimes I do end up purchasing them.
The third: Libraries just don’t do it for me. Right before a big move I made a little under a year ago, I sent my friend a picture of my book collection, all boxed up and ready to go. Her response? “Haven’t you ever heard of a library?” I have two library cards (and a book checked out right now, actually). The thing is that libraries stress me out. Loan me a book on a deadline, and for some reason to do with anxiety I won’t enjoy the book. Just a few weeks ago I raced to finish “All the Light We Cannot See” before the library closed for the weekend… This was after I had to return it to a different library after only finishing half of it. I’m going to check it out and read the whole thing again (third time’s the charm!) because it was too good for the way I rushed the ending.
The fourth: My desire to acquire more books outpaces my consumption. I’m blessed to have a very good job, but this job occupies time. The hours I put into my work week are, unfortunately, hours when I cannot be reading. In a given week I could find any number of books that pique my interest. This problem comes down to simple math! Not to mention, I don’t have a good system for tracking my reading (or I didn’t, until I decided to get on board with my friend Chris’s annual book spreadsheet. Read more about it (ha!) here.) I hope to get through the books on my shelf that haven’t yet been read, and be more organized about it, this year.
The thing is, I find comfort in books. It’s great to look at my book shelf and know that in it I can find entertainment, wisdom, and companionship. Now if only I could manage it more efficiently. Is there a book collection organization book? Let me check Amazon.