Drowning in Books

I love books and reading.  To be honest, I actually HATED books and reading up until I hit about ten years old. I read the book A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle and from that point on, you would not see me without a book.  I was the kid who hid under the covers late at night with my flashlight trying to eek out one more chapter.  I was also the kid getting in trouble for not paying attention in class because I was ‘hiding’ a book behind the work I should have been doing.

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Yes, this is THE BOOK! We had a flood and many of my books were ruined, yet I salvaged THIS book. I just can’t part with it.

 During my teaching days, I also acquired quite a number of books (many different grade and reading levels).  I saved them for my ‘future’ children… good thing I did too.  I passed those books,  along with the books I managed save from my own childhood,  down to each child as they got old enough.   I also would tell family and friends, don’t bother getting my kids toys, get them books, or a gift card to a bookstore.  Yes, I was determined to make my kids at least LIKE books, if not LOVE them.  I attach such fond memories of sitting down before and/or after nap time and reading to my kids….  Of going to the library and letting the kids pick out books.  Even now as they are getting older, I enjoy helping them do research projects and pick out books for school projects.  These are such fun memories that I can only hope my kids will appreciate and hold onto throughout their lives.

Fortunately, my husband also has a huge love of books and reading… almost more than I do (poor guy is too busy to enjoy the luxury of reading lately).  When we started having children, I was already reading to them in-utero.  My house is FULL of books.  All my kids have at least one bookcase in their room and then we have a ‘library/office/music room’ that has three bookcases FILLED with more books.   I think you get the picture.  We are a Lover of Books kind of family.

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I was late in the game getting an e-reader.  My husband kept asking if I wanted one, but old habits die hard, and I couldn’t see myself liking a book where I couldn’t physically turn the pages.  It took some time for me to warm up to that idea. When I got my iPad, the first thing I downloaded was the kindle app.    Although I loved the kindle app.  I still wasn’t sure I’d like the kindle itself.  My husband surprised me on my birthday one year with the Kindle and I was HOOKED!  Now I have hundreds of books on that too!

So, here in lies my dilemma.  We have TOO MANY BOOKS! They are now piling up in corners, and basically any extra space I can find.  

One of Many piles of books
One of Many piles of books stacked around my house

 So, “why not just get rid of them?” you ask.  Well, that is harder done than said.  Honestly, almost each book we own holds some sort of sentimental or emotional memory attached to it.  Why I got it, who I read it with, their reaction to the book etc.  Especially for the kids books. Of course I also have those books that I would like to read or thought I would read.  Getting rid of those would surely mean that in the weeks to come, I would WANT to read them (you know, a Murphy’s Law type of scenario).   Now sure, I could give my books to a Good Will, or a reading literacy program (which I am leaning more towards), but it’s like I know that book won’t be as loved as it was when we read it.   I know…. I need to just suck it up and realize that somewhere, someone WILL enjoy that book and perhaps give them a happy memory as well.

So, here are some questions for you to ponder, and hopefully answer….

  • Do you prefer reading a real book or reading an e-book?
  • Once your books are read, do you keep them or get rid of them?
  • If you get rid of your books, how do you do that (ie. Good Will, garage sale, donate to schools/Friends of the Library etc.)?
  • If you keep them, do you do what I do and find every available space you can to store them?

On that note, I hope you all have a nice day, week and/or weekend!

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