Life of a Book Hoarder

Confessions of a Book Hoarder

My name is Camille and I am a book hoarder. I not only accept this, but embrace it.

I’ve always enjoyed reading, but I can’t pinpoint when exactly I became a book hoarder. It seemed like one day I just had hundreds of books and I hadn’t read as many of them as I thought! I’d say over the past five years my hoarding has really increased and I’ve made little effort to control my constant buying. I do keep track of all the books I own and have read on Librarything – If I did some digging I could probably figure out how many books I’ve added per year since joining the site back in 2010. Maybe someday I’ll do that and then make little infographics.

For now, I can say that I have 986 books and I am positive that I’ll reach 1,000 this year (probably within the next two months – I know I’ve received a few books that I haven’t logged yet). What I really think classifies me as a hoarder is the fact that I have 425 books marked as To Be Read. A handful of these are books that I read years ago and really want to revisit, but I can safely say most of them are completely unread. Seriously you guys, 43% of my books are unread! I’d say that classifies me as a hoarder. I wish I’d been able to keep up with reading the books as I’d purchased them, but now I’m not sure I’ll ever catch up. I know I’ve owned books since high school that I’ve never read (I’m 26 now, for the record) – but you know, I’m strangely okay with this.

I like being a book hoarder! My hope is to read 100 books each year, however, if I buy 100 books each year, I won’t really make any progress. But it’s okay, I have the freedom to read any of my books, whenever I choose. Sometimes I read books right away – or a month or two after buying. Other times, it’s just nice knowing I own them. I try not to be too material and I don’t really spend my money on too much else. Maybe physical objects shouldn’t make me so happy – but they do! They’re more than just piles of paper bound together; they’re works of art,  they’re 1,000s of lives that I can dive into whenever I choose.

And now for a little questionnaire about my reading habits, courtesy of Into The Bookcase.

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
Typically I read in bed during the fall/winter. Now that the weather is nicer, we have a covered porch, so I like to sit out there. Occasionally I sit at the table by my large bookcase, but the wooden chairs we have aren’t very comfortable. Someday I hope to get a cushy, high-backed chair to make it more of a reading corner.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Bookmark – bookjig to be exact! These are a wonderful little invention and since discovering them (and purchasing three for myself) I almost never use a traditional bookmark anymore. (As a side note, when I first discovered these, they weren’t really available online and now Franklin Mill has made them readily available here and I WANT THEM ALL!)

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?
I prefer to stop at a new chapter, but if I’m tired or I need to stop for whatever reason, I can.

Do you eat or drink while reading?
Not often. In the winter I like to have tea or cocoa, but it’s  not often enough that I would consider it a habit.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while reading?
I try not to because sometimes I can’t fully focus on my book.  But if someone else is watching something that I find boring, I can usually tune it out and read.

One book at a time or several at once?
One, please! I’m not very good at alternating and usually, a book will fall to the wayside if I start another. The only exceptions are graphic novels/comics. If it’s something that I can finish the same day I start it, then I’ll interrupt my current read.

Reading at home or everywhere?
Everywhere! Except in the car – I get sick :/

Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Always in my head – except for the rare occasions when I’m asked to read out loud to someone else.

Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?
No – it will just spoil things! Unless I’m bored, then I skim, but even then I don’t skip full pages. I’ll usually touch base with a few paragraphs to see if there’s anything interesting before moving on to the next page.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I typically break spines – I like a well-worn book. However, I do have some books that I consider to be special editions (typically hardcover) and those I try my best to keep intact.

Do you write in your books?
Never! Recently I started using little sticky tabs to make note of something I want to include in a review. In the past, I just wrote down any interesting quotes in a separate notebook.


Well, those are some of my habits! In future posts, I’ll talk more about my collections and take some nice pictures of my shelves. Do we share any of the same habits?

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