I have a guilty confession to make. I know a lot of you are becoming “e-readers”, some of you especially because you don’t want to accumulate more “stuff.” While it might make me appear materialistic, I have to tell you, I disagree. I am a bibliophile in every sense of the word. I don’t just love the words on the pages, I love the pages themselves. Why just today, I ordered six more books! We check out books by the dozens from the library, but even the large library where we pay for membership in a neighboring city doesn’t have many of the older books I love. Or, if they have the books, they are lacking the original illustrations that make a book really beautiful. This is another reason I don’t love e-books. The illustrations often make the story.
Another reason I love book ownership is that everyone in the family can read the book at his or her own pace without running out of renewals. We often buy books that we want to read aloud as a family — the pressure to read it in the 6 weeks allowed by the local library just isn’t worth it. We buy books that we want to use for school, and we often buy cookbooks (Eden and I just made the first Tres Leches cake from the new Pioneer Woman cookbook today) because we want to be able to take them on trips and get them messy. We buy books to replace books that we have “read to death.” We buy books so that we can loan them to our friends.
We buy books online, through Amazon, Abebooks (my favorite for used books) and Alibris. We buy books at library book sales, yard sales and thrift stores. Our friends and parents give us books they think we might enjoy. The fact is, we hardly ever say no to a book. We do sort occasionally and pass books on. In fact, we are needing to pass along a lot of fairly good condition children’s books right now — Max is outgrowing all but the very favorite of the picture books. I wish we could find a place to donate them. Then we would have room for more books!
Thank goodness I am married to a finish carpenter! He has built wonderful bookshelves in nearly every room of the house. There are a few rooms lacking bookshelves — the bathroom (Our last house had a bookshelf in the bathroom, but I couldn’t keep any books I really valued there. It was too dusty.), the kitchen (but I would love one, I just can’t find the spot.), and my bedroom (I know, strange.) All of the kids have their own bookshelves in their bedrooms, and consider it a privilege to have certain series in their own collection, along with books purchased specifically for or by themselves. You should have seen the joy in Max’s face when he was allowed to put all the Mrs. Pigglewiggle books on his own shelves.
Don’t you think there is still plenty of room for books on all these shelves? I mean — look closely. There are holes!
What do you do? Do you collect books, or do you love them and let them go? Leave me a comment.