Just how many books do you need?
Does this sound familiar?
…. However many shelves were built there were still never enough. The books in alphabetical rows were overgrown by piles of new books, doubled in front. Books multiplied, books swarmed; they were a papery population explosion. When they had exhausted the shelves, they started to take over the stairs.
This is a comment from a short e book published by Linda Grant about the experience of culling her library in preparation for a move from a spacious house to a much smaller apartment.
I suspect that most of us who love reading have had a similar experience with books that just seem to take over the house. Fortunately I’m not having to do the cull that Grant describes which meant for her “killing” the library she had built from her childhood. But I have got a little better and don’t automatically keep a book when I’ve read it on the basis that I might want to read it again at some point. I very rarely do however – there always seem to be too many other enticing options available.
But still I have this idea, probably a very idealistic notion, that one day when I have retired from full time working, that I will have the time revisit all the books I’ve loved over the years. It would be ridiculous to let all those books go and then buy them a second time wouldn’t it? And so I keep hoarding for that rainy day….
Do you keep books or are you much more pragmatic than I seem to be?