I experienced something pretty confronting on the weekend. That awful moment when you realise you don’t care for half your books anymore. I haven’t read heaps of books on my shelf, which is a common problem that us booknerds have, but I finally realised the underlying cause – I just don’t want to read these books anymore.
This stems from my hoarder mentality which I’ve tried weaning myself off during the years. Go to a sale, grab a bargain, add it to the collection and experience instant – also limited – gratification from my purchase. Then put it on the black hole of my shelf and admire it every once in a while, while continuing reading what I usually read – ARCs and new releases.
I’ve had several phases during the years, my body lotion phase. My perfume oil phase. My makeup and japanese cosmetics phase. My DVD and gaming phase, my nerd tshirt phase and my gaming merch phase. But books are here to stay, which is the problem – I’m just going to continue accumulating while promptly filling up the precious limited space of my bookshelf – and my unit.
Because I get sent so many review copies (of which I am eternally grateful), the rate of which I’m accumulating is much less than the rate I’m removing books. So I deal with this by donating books I am no longer attached to every six months or so, holding giveaways, giving them to my fellow Aussie bloggers and putting them up for trade.
But while going through my shelf and realising I’m never going to pick up the Blue Blood series or I shouldn’t be hanging onto the Twilight series for old time’s sake, I realised there’s a bigger problem at stake. I should be treating my space like it’s a precious limited resource rather than a commodity. There shouldn’t be a “I’ll make space for it”, there should be a “do I have space for it?”. And realising that the book is really going nowhere if I happen to stumble across it and am drawn by the inherit need to own and acquire. After all, I’m lucky enough to have a job and the means to purchase it at any time.
My shelf should be filled with my favourites, which I am proud to own and to display. Not filled with books that I wouldn’t even take a second glance at or even borrow out from the library. Time to cleanse, time to get rid of the old to make space for the new.
…It’s going to be an emotional road ahead.
Are you a hoarder?