When you buy books, do they immediately go onto your bookshelf to wait until you’re ready to read them (even if that means months/years from then!), or do you read them right away? What makes you do this? If you’re a ’shelver’, why do you think you don’t read the books right away? Do you ever feel guilty for letting the books sit there, unread? If you’re a ‘read-em-now’ person, why do you feel they have to be read right away? Do you give away the books when you’re done, too?
I must admit that I am a shelver -- although at times I wish I were a "read-em-now" person.
I rarely buy on impulse. In fact I often drive my family and close friends crazy with all my deliberation. So when I do make a book purchase it is because I know it is one that I will enjoy and wish to add to my own personal library.
Now I must admit that my book buying sprees have grown exponentially since I started reading book blogs a little over a year ago. You all have such a way of reviewing your latest read that I feel I absolutely cannot wait another moment to read it for myself. This has a compound effect: I purchase the book that I know I want because I read a review; the next day I read more blogs, find more books that I cannot resist, purchase those books, etc. The next thing I know I have purchased several books and I can only read one book at a time (and unfortunately I tend to be a slow reader - due to other obligations as well as reading speed) and I simply cannot keep up.
Do I feel guilty? Sometimes. I look at the ever growing TBR mountain of books and think that I simply must catch up before I purchase another. But then I stop and realize that most of these books were purchased for a fraction of their original cost (I frequent the clearance section of second hand shops on a weekly basis) and I KNOW that someday I will indeed read them (I know that this hectic pace of life will someday quiet down, and I am ready with plenty of reading material to prevent me from becoming bored).
I like that I now have a personal library where I have "choice" in what to read --- and I can match the book to my mood. I like that I can talk with family and friends about books, recommend books that I think they might enjoy, and then be loan them the book to see if indeed it is something they might like to purchase themselves. I like that my bookshelves are full (and I am truly in need of more) and I can hibernate in "my cozy book nook" surrounded by literary friends to keep me company. There is something very soothing about being in a library, and now have somewhat replicated that environment in my own home.
I do harbor visions of my retirement years being filled with reading and re-reading. Those books that I think I might enjoy reading again, I keep. Those books that I think I might enjoy passing along to others, I keep. I do, however, believe in recycling and about twice a year cull through my collection and give a few to the library book sale, or take them to the second hand bookstore for store credit. I have not yet joined Bookmooch or Paperback Swap, although I can see myself doing this within the next few years. Cathy of Kittling: Books is always giving an update on the number of books that have left her house vs the number of books that arrived via this method and I think it is a great way to keep a personal library constantly updated with worthwhile reading material.
So how about you? Are you also a shelver??