I look at my massive collection of books that are taking over my living space. It’s to the point where I fear that if not kept in check, I might resemble Yomiko Readman in more than just appearance and literary passion. Yet upon reflection what is the responsible culprit of such utter chaos?
The answer: used books.
This massive flow of used books to take over my living space and increase the volume of my TBR
pile mountain is something that’s only really taken off in the last five years. Until then my source for used books were from the library book sales that would happen a couple times a year. Those books would be selling for twenty-five cents each and you could get five books for a dollar if you were so inclined. Despite the expected temptation to go wild on a few dollars, I tried to never go above five books. The library had a nice little selection, but it wasn’t very extensive for my tastes and usually by the time I arrived the books had been picked clean of anything that might be of interest.
Then one day when I spent the afternoon shopping with my mother in one of the bigger cities, I spied a new and used bookshop. Although to be perfectly honest it had more floor space devoted to the used books. I think I was in heaven. All these books I would want to read and most of them are fifty percent or less than what you would expect to pay for a brand new copy? The sections for horror and the classics were my constant haunts for a long time when I visit this place. I learned that they accepted books in trade for store credit, which was a good bit of news for me because I had a lot of books at home that I had read and didn’t want to keep anymore. After this experience I noticed more new and used book stores popping up within reasonable driving distance from my house. Some of my favorite books were ones that I acquired from the used shelves at these establishments.
It was also around this time that I was getting a lot of disposable income that wasn’t needed for pressing concerns. Oh my, what’s an obsessive reader to do with all this extra money in the face of cheaply priced books?
Over the years I’ve found books I loved, books I hate, and books that I just don’t know what to think. I’ve discovered books I’ve been wanting to read and books I’ve never heard of until I seen them sitting on the used shelves. I’ve found books I was excited to read only to find them a great disappointment. I’ve found books that I never expected much from only to label them as some of my favorite reads.
The only problem with obtaining a lot of books for the price of a few new volumes is that one fails to read as much as they manage to purchase. In the past week alone I’ve bought seven books, most of them being used books. I need to learn how to say no . . . And so I must deal with the result of an explosion of unread books. My e-Reader has been a great help in controlling the classics so far and I save space on that front. My addiction to owning books doesn’t look quite as extensive as it really is.
Or I could be in denial that I have a book buying problem and just assume that they’re breeding like rabbits.