Thursday, May 14, 2009

Is there a 12 step program for Bibliophiles?

Today's Booking Through Thursday prompt is quite timely:
Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?
I was just discussing this very topic with a good friend of mine. While I have always enjoyed reading, I have been able to curb my book buying sprees to perhaps 3-4 times a year. I always had a few books on the shelves that were waiting to be read, but mostly I purchased books that I knew I was going to read immediately.

That was the past. That was before discovering book blogs. Now, I have a voracious appetite to not only read more - and more variety - but I want to own more. I want to have a personal library where I have choices - LOTS of choices.

In the past my book buying decisions were based on one of three possibilities: it was a classic that I wanted/needed to read for school; it was prominently displayed in the bookstore as either an end-cap book or new release; OR it was available on the bargain table (buy one get one half price --- buy 2 get one free etc). NOW I have excel spreadsheet, which currently includes over 100 books and I continue to add to it each and every day. I take it with me everywhere I go (I just never know when I might pass a bookstore and I MUST venture inside). The list is organized by author, title, and genre so I can easily match my wish list to the store's layout. My real weakness is the Clearance section of Half-Price Books. In that small corner of the store my two obsessions are found: books and bargains. If I can find a book that is on my list for under $3.00, I feel as though I have hit the jackpot.

At this point I have far more books on my shelves than I can read in the next 5 years. Does that stop me from buying more? NO!! I figure that I have at least 25 good years left to read (and maybe more than that) -- so by my (rationalizing) calculations I can buy at least 5 times more books and still expect to read them all - eventually :)

And, if I ever want to relieve any guilt I have about buying too many books, I can always visit this video at Barnes and Noble.com and know that as "out of control" I think I might be in this book-buying obsession, I have a long a way to go to catch up with Joe Perlman:

19 comments:

Shari said...

I want a personal library too, and am busily amassing the books to fill it, until I can afford to buy the house!

farmlanebooks said...

I am so impressed with your organisational skills! My book buying is much more rando than that!

farmlanebooks said...

I've just watched the video - it's great! I love his recommendations -I'm tempted to buy that Gunter Grass book right now!

He must have a massive house though. 35, 000 books normally needs a warehouse to be able to fit them in.

JonJon said...

I'm too far to have a personal library but I wish one day, I could have one!! :)
Have a nice day & take care ya!

gautami tripathy said...

I got 2000+ books. It is no library but I love owning those and some more and some more. Mind you I keep giving out books too, to orphanages, old-age homes, local library and anyone who asks me.

Book gluttons, are we?

JoAnn said...

Thanks for the video...he must have a huge house!!

Missy said...

I need another bookshelf. I don't want to curb my book habit...I enjoy it too much!

bermudaonion said...

If you find a 12 step program, let me know. I need to sign up too. When a great book comes along, I just can't leave it behind.

Kim said...

Oh My! After watching that video I don't feel quite as obsessive as I did before. ;)

You are such a systematic person Molly--an excell spread sheet?
That is what I call organized. My book buying habits are way more random and spontaneous at times.

Great post and thanks for the video!
*smiles*
Kim

Ti said...

I've been a bit out of control lately with the book buying but I was trying to support the bookstores :) Really.

My shelves are all filled up now and overflowing in some spots so I am hitting the brakes for now.

Margot said...

I'm with you on the bargains and books. I always feel so smart when that happens. There is no such thing as too many books.

Holly said...

Book blogs and Goodreads have been horrible for my TBR pile. There are so many out there and I find myself wanting to read them all.

Vasilly said...

We are book twins!! I just found some great books at a thrift store for about $1.50 and I felt like I hit the lottery! =)I love finding bargains and I love using my passion to give back to others when I donate the ones I've read. I think Pearlman is right when he says that once you read a book and love it, you want that text near you for when you need it. I'm slowly building my dream library one book at a time.

mattviews said...

Proud to be a glutton, but I try not to buy. I grab the ones that I'm most desperate to read and leave the rest on a list.

Count me in your club! The main reason that I purchase my books is to build a personal library that reflects my reading history.

Florinda said...

I'm sure I'd be a candidate for this program, but I'm not sure I want to be cured. I can stop whenever I want to. I just don't want to :-).

Nicole said...

I need to be in this program. I just put myself on a book break this past week, so that I can try to do some catch up. Wish me luck.

Rebecca :) said...

Molly! I did not know until today I wasn't following your blog! I don't know how that happened. But mistake corrected! lol

What a crazy video that is! I have to show it to my sisters who think my 200 books are excessive. What does he do for a living? Did it say? How does he make enough money for that kind of a collection??? I am just blown away by that.

If we can find a 12-step program, do you think we will even sign up? Do you think we can give our addictions up? I wonder sometimes. I have probably 1000 books on my TBR list and add all the time. I'm out of control!

Red lady-Bonnie said...

I think that most of us book bloggers love books so much that our TBR piles are overflowing and we can't pass up a good book. That's me!!

Susan @ Reading Upside Down said...

I sought out this post in the hope that you were actually offering a 12-step program for my book addiction. Oh well, I guess I will have to simply continue to indulge my book cravings. *sigh*

I love that you have a spreadsheet. Am I allowed to confess that I have my books listed in a book database? I was offered a Collectorz.com book database program to review and now I am busy adding my collection and books that I still "need".

I would love a library room in my home. I guess I will just have to wait for one of the kids to leave home so that I can convert their bedroom (they are still in primary school, so I could be waiting a while).

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