Confessions of a Book Hoarder

Help! I’m being crushed by all the hardcovers, trade paperbacks and over-sized soft covers in my house! Maybe not literally, perhaps emotionally. . . and what is that strange pain in my back anyway? Could be from lifting, hefting and shifting my mountainous collection of books from one room to the next. Are these things rabbits? How have they multiplied beyond belief? And the better question is why can’t I part with any of them?

I’m a book hoarder. If anyone has ever seen an episode of Hoarders then this needs no explanation.


Definition of a hoarder: a person who accumulates things and hides them for future use.

Only, these things are books, and I am running out of places to hide them. In fact, I’m not hiding them very well! Linen closets, under the beds — including the guest bedroom — under my desk, next to my bed, covering the floor in the library, books stacked three deep and squashed in every which way on the bookshelves. Yup, all the signs are there.  I’m a hoarder and I can’t seem to help it either. I like my books.


They are comforting, much like macaroni and cheese, or lasagna, or chocolate pudding is. . . which in retrospect, I like all those things too. Of course I don’t hide food, not yet anyway. I don’t think I have gone that far, thank goodness. But, seriously my desire to read strongly outweighs any capability on my part to actually get to all these books. When I was fifteen I could stay up all night reading. No matter how many times my father came into my room and said, “Lights out! Get to sleep!” I would always turn the light back on and continue where I left off.  Unfortunately, now that I’m grown-up and can’t keep up with a simple magazine let alone War and Peace, books don’t get consumed with as much ease as they used to.

Every summer I say to myself: this is my reading summer. I’m going to read every book Agatha Christie ever wrote. But alas, it never happens. Now summer is nearly over, the kids are in school, the pool is about to close for the season and I have not dented The Tower of books. And yet, I add more and more to the pile.

In Summer at reading, 1959

It must be a disease. Well, I guess as diseases go, it’s okay with me. One day, perhaps in a thousand years, I will have read most of the books in my home. But, till then I will just keep adding more and more to the heap.

When authors quit writing fascinating books that I just have to add to my collection, maybe my obsession will be over. But, as Wise King Solomon said, “To the making of many books there is no end.”


5 responses to “Confessions of a Book Hoarder

  1. April – same here with the piles of books. They’re spilling over in the spare bedroom where my husband and I each have our own bookcases. Funny, how the comfort of having a good book to read is easy to pick up, as it was a pet peeve of mine in my early years.

    With fall and winter just around the corner, I’m looking forward to curling up with some of those books I’ve accumulated over the summer. It’s been nice to have a chance to get about 4 of them read this summer, too!

  2. Next time I’m up your way we’ll do a trade.

    I could have written this post. I have boxes and boxes of books. I have stacks. I have shelves. Once or twice a year I find homes for them, but they’re like rabbits and crazy relatives – they just keep showing up!

  3. Pingback: You Might Have Too Much Stuff If. . . | Reno Gal Says

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