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Footnotes > Am I a hoarder?

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message 1: by NancyJ (last edited Aug 29, 2020 08:04PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5676 comments Yikes. I maxed out my library card and my husband's card (don't tell him). That's 100 books. I don't know how this happened so quickly. I have about 30 electronic books through libby too.

It's not that I don't already have a large kindle library, audible library, and an office (and basement) full of books.

Is this a form of hoarding? Or greed? Maybe it's a response to the PTSD I suffered during the library shut down? Or dare I ask if this is normal for PBTers? Does anyone else feel the need to have scores of books handy for all the poll tags, and any potential tags that might come up soon? And is anyone else already making piles for Flurries?

On the other hand, I don't have all the hoarder symptoms:
*I don't scrounge in other people's garbage looking for books or other treasures to bring home.
*Last week there was a book sale outside my library, and I managed to walk right on by! Sure, it was 85 degrees and humid, but still.
*You can walk through any room in my house without tripping over books... Well, except for my office. There is no room to sit or work at the desk. And there are some precarious piles near the fireplace. And maybe in the dining room. And definitely in front of my night stand. And there might be a big bag of books in my car, and by the back door. So, I like to keep the lights on.
*I threw away 3 books this spring that were a little water damaged or moldy. (A true hoarder would have kept them.)
*I don't think I'm in danger of someone calling the fire department or the producers of Hoarders on me.

Are there any other borderline book hoarders here?

message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8952 comments Oh this is hillarious! You're probably ok, except advice from us on this matter, birds of a feather, is probably useless....

I think we all like to plan, to make deadlines for challenges, etc, and therefore, we are all probably guilty of having some form or another of addictive behavior around books. I think many of us were frightened when the library shut down, but looked to it as the ultimate TBR home cleanout oppotrunity.... I myself am guilty of the following things. My car trunk looks I have saved a library from imminent fire..... There are places in our home where books are neatly stacked, where I try to hide the truth of the problem. But the greatest evidence is in the constant attention that is paid to both goodreads, library lists, and the secret phone TBR. I am constantly fiddling with my lists. Adding, switching around, refining.... Making plans. If you are a borderline hoarder, I am an inner dormant hoarder, or a hoarder wanna-be.

message 3: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1212 comments It could be worse! As long as your house is cleaner than the houses of the people on the TV shows, you should be good.

The good thing is that you don’t have to read them all now, and you get to decide which ones may not be as good as advertised.

message 4: by David (new)

David Putnam (davidputnam) | 283 comments I'm definitely a book hoarder I have more books (unread books) In my book room than I could read in twenty years. And I'm still buying them. The wife is now call it an, "Issue,"


message 5: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6323 comments I am a book hoarder.

message 6: by Jenni Elyse (new)

Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1382 comments I’m not a hoarder but I like to buy books whenever an author comes to town and get them signed. So I’m a book collector. About half my library is full of unread signed books. I’ll get to the eventually ... I hope.

message 7: by Theresa (last edited Aug 30, 2020 09:46AM) (new)

Theresa | 7595 comments I am not a book hoarder....I just have lots and lots of shelves overflowing, piles on all surfaces, towers in corners and in front of overflowing book every room. Even kitchen and bath.

There may be a few boxes of books in storage...

But I am not a hoarder....nope not me. No way.

And the books at my office relate to NYC or legal history...mostly.

So absolutely positively, I am not a hoarder.

Oh, yeah those are big picture books layered evenly on the hassock to bring level of jigsaw puzzle board to a reasonable height.

Book hoarder? Moi?

message 8: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 976 comments We are not hoarders, we are collectors ;D

My colleagues at the library joke that I have my own indepent library branch at home... Plus all the owned books I haven't read yet.

Not going to say any more.

My husband has 208 different copies of the 'Born to Run' record. So no one is pointing fingers in my house :)

message 9: by Book Concierge (last edited Aug 30, 2020 04:57AM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6084 comments Amy ... my book twin ....

A few years ago my husband stated ... "If you bring one more book into this house, two have to leave!" (He's said the same thing about shoes ... I think HE has a problem.) So I keep them (books and shoes) in the trunk of the car until he's not around and sneak 'em in.

But, NO, I do not have a hoarding problem.

message 10: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7988 comments Ha! I have a blanket chest at the foot of my bed that has not been opened in years-truth of the matter is that I could not open it without disturbing the books I have lined up across the seat of it (in orderly fashion, a hoarder would not do that!). It started to look a little bare during the shut-down, I got sweaty and shaky and my daughter offered to move what was there, just for a few minutes she said, to see what was inside. There were more books....What a life saver that was! My blanket chest is once more overflowing.

And the funny thing is that you should bring this up, Nancy. My best bud has been sending me "pandemic relief" mail all summer. Last week she sent me a T-shirt- the front of it reads

..And just like that I went from hoarding books to being prepared. 😁

@BC-more proof you and are SBM friends-I was a shoe whore in my working days-a pair to match every outfit and then more that needed outfits to be purchased

message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8952 comments Yes, my husband too has a negative relationship with the books in the house. Interesting we are also talking about shoes. I definitely could add jewelry, purses, and shoes to my "collections issue."

message 12: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte | 1600 comments Ditto on the books and the shoes... my husband tried the whole if one pair of shoes comes in then one has to go out. I'm glad that he doesn't try that crap with books... he knows better. There was a whole negotiation around how many pairs of converse I could by when I went to the factory store, we agreed on 3. I brought home 4.

My office is getting bad, I definitely need to reorganize my shelves.

Luckily he loves books too so he never comments on the increasing number of piles. I use my mom's house next door and her piles are increasing.

In my tiny house I have two bookshelves full of books.

I'm generally pretty good about taking books to the used bookstore depending on the book and the author. I have a pile near the door in my office for whenever I feel safe enough to go take books in.

Since I haven't been working, I have definitely slowed down my buying and spend way more time on libby. I haven't maxed out what I can borrow yet.

For me it's books, shoes, and office supplies (mainly pens and notebooks)

message 13: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 110 comments It's not hoarding if it's books!!! That's what I keep telling my daughter when she threatens to call the hoarders show. It's also not hoarding if it's shoes and purses. I'm proud to sat two weeks ago I gave a friend two bags of books for her little free library. A true hoarder would never do that. :)

message 14: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6323 comments Listen, a preschool teacher knows all about hoarding. There are just so many ridiculous things that one could hoard that will prove useful in a preschool classroom. Salad dressing jars are excellent for making potions.
Bottle and jar caps and tops are great for collages.
And since we are talking about books, I have a 6 foot tall book case for my children's books.
And then there are resource books.

I'm retiring at the end of the year and I've been slowly moving things out, but it is very incremental.

Shoes, I've got some great heels that I've given up wearing that I've only worn a time or two. I'd love to give them to somebody who would appreciate them. That is why I still have them, really!

message 15: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 7595 comments Joanne wrote: "then more that needed outfits to be purchased

I think you actually meant to say...'for the right outfit to appear! '

Damn autocorrect. 🤣👠😂👡🤣👢😂

message 16: by Theresa (last edited Aug 30, 2020 10:01AM) (new)

Theresa | 7595 comments Oh and my virtual ebook TBR Towers are not hoarding, cannot be hoarding as they are not tangible! Only take up memory in the cloud.... don't take up space...

Shoes are not a thing with me at all because I have very hard to fit feet (cube shaped - very wide, high instep, stubby toes, short) and there is just not a lot of variety or choice in shoes.

But I still have music cassettes and cds, movie tapes and dvds (many of movies still not available to stream) which many in today's world of downloads would consider hoarding.

What really rivals my book collection is my needlework stash - charts, fiber, fabric, tools...which lives in bins under the bed and in closets.

message 17: by LibraryCin (last edited Aug 30, 2020 11:34AM) (new)

LibraryCin | 8718 comments Theresa wrote: "But I still have music cassettes and cds, movie tapes and dvds (many of movies still not available to stream) which many in today's world of downloads would consider hoarding.

I still have all of those, too... along with ways to play them all! :-) I don't move often, but when I moved 6 years ago from one rental to another - the next one didn't have as much storage - I did get rid of most of my cassettes. I kept a few "real' ones (I don't know what to call them - published?) mostly Christmas, and a few others) , plus I kept all the ones I had taped stuff off the radio - remember that!?

Because I did find a place that would take them as donations, so the taped ones are useless. And I can't bring myself to just throw them out. Wish there was an easy way to recycle magnetic taped things.

message 18: by Jenni Elyse (new)

Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1382 comments Theresa wrote: "What really rivals my book collection is my needlework stash - charts, fiber, fabric, tools...which lives in bins under the bed and in closets."

I didn't admit to hoarding books, but I'll admit to hoarding yarn. I have a whole closet full of yarn. If I see yarn I love, even if I'm not in a crocheting or knitting mood, I will buy because I may use it someday. I'm especially all about rainbow yarn. I love rainbow yarn.

message 19: by Joni (new)

Joni | 624 comments I work at a public library and have A LOT at my disposal but I have more than enough check out at once that I can’t possible read during their check out period. I just continue to renew them as long as no one else requests them. And then I continue to check out more....especially when new book orders arrive.

Our library is not open for public entrance yet, only curbside check out. So we have a lot available right now.

Plus I purchase three new books this summer because I didn’t know when they would come in at the library. They will be donated or given away when I am done with them.

message 20: by Sallys (new)

Sallys | 289 comments I definitely have a problem. Even though I own tons of books I am constantly reserving books from the library-when it was closed I really was able to begin to tackle my stacks at home. Since it reopened for reserves I've reserved 6 books. I'm finally reading And Ladies of the Club which, at 1200 pages, I probably never would have tackled before the pandemic. i also love looking at my lists and pondering my next read. I have begun to give away books I have read but only to people I think are worthy.I may have a problem but I relish it!

message 21: by NancyJ (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5676 comments A few years ago, my husband used to make a lot of empty threats. He would tell me that he's boxing up books, and if I didn't miss anything, he'd toss out the whole box. I just asked him if he ever actually threw anything out. He said, no, but I will soon. But he's really mellowed. It really helped when I started my "library card, not credit card" resolution. I haven't stuck to it completely, but I spend very little now compared to the past.

He gets more mad about the teaching materials. I saved everything (notebooks, handouts, folders) from every course and seminar I took, and everyone that I taught. I finally went through boxes of old exams and threw out all but one copy of each one. But I can't bring myself to touch the boxes from the last year I taught. I still have a lot of old handouts and books of training activities, cases studies and exercises. I never know what I might need in the future.

I used to get free textbooks for all the courses I taught, and I had multiple editions of the same books, going back decades. I finally picked out the ones I wanted (the most recent editions) and told him to take the rest. I feel sad that the library doesn't accept used textbooks. A lot of the material doesn't change, so they could be of use to someone.

message 22: by Karin (last edited Aug 30, 2020 06:23PM) (new)

Karin | 7257 comments Since we moved fairly often for the first 14 years of our marriage, my husband didn't like me buying too many books, so I keep my purchases down and use the library (now it's just budget considerations as well as the fact that I can get so many books from our library network, etc). Otherwise I would definitely be a book hoarder. Ironically, he is the biggest hoarder of all of us since we bought our house, just not books (he does have some)l. That said, you can walk through most of our house (but he has the basement pretty packed and I am not so great in our "dining" room since my mother in law gave me this awesome recliner to match his, but our living room doesn't have good space for it). Most of my books are in our dining room on my bookshelves, but I don't have nearly as many bookshelves as I would have if I could have (I have the most, though).

message 23: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8952 comments Since we are on the hoarding discussion, I have been cleaning out a small room in our home on the bottom floor, that we call the Hall of Shame. After considerable begging and badgering, my 15 year old has convinced me to try to clean this out so he can turn it into a teen lair, a teen cave of sorts. He has already installed LED switching lights, had bought all kinds of power strips and plugs, and there is a desk and chair in the garage waiting to be assembled. So instead of preparing for my course or doing virtually anything else, I have instead been attempting to clean out the Hall of Shame, a job that can be done only by me? What is in there you ask? (You didn't). I even wrote an essay on it once. Lets see -library shelves filled with books of course, but those stay high and organized. What else? Dishes, candles, wrapping paper, photo albums and books, old toys, bar mitzvah things, lego's, tons of papers, old school projects, music, basically the kitchen sink! But I am cleaning it out. Its amazing what a person can accumulate. And what the 15 year old doesn't understand, is that all this stuff actually needs to go somewhere in the house. And that this project takes time. He is most insistent. In any case, I found two beautiful cat themed picture frames. I thought I might send one to Margie and one to Cindy. So I will be calling for those addresses shortly. They are meant for Cat Lovers. If anything else interesting turns up for anyone specific, I will surely let you know. Meanwhile, the hall of shame is quickly turning into the Hall of Shain..... You wouldn't believe what a hoarding type can accumulate in 24 years of marriage, and 3 kids.

message 24: by Robin P (last edited Aug 31, 2020 06:58AM) (new)

Robin P | 1919 comments During the shutdown, I lent books to someone who didn’t have any new ones at home and always uses the library. I could be quarantined for several years and not read through all the books I own. And that’s after getting rid of maybe 15 bags when I retired. They are mainly from library sales, thrift stores, etc. I still have some from when Borders closed! I also had about 30 ebooks that I had pretty much forgotten about because I never see them. During the shutdown I actually read several of those and listed the rest in a GR category so I would remember to check them for prompts, tags, etc.

I also got rid of about half my yarn stash when I retired. I have a lot of scrapbooking supplies that I would give away but I haven’t found anyone who wants them.

My husband has way fewer books but he saves many other things. He saved every letter his mother and other family members wrote. He has been in choir and music concerts all his life and saved every program. He has been on boards of multiple groups and saved all the minutes and agendas. He has multiple copies of CDs he and his various groups made over the years. He mostly has these things in boxes or binders. I am not a visual person and rarely look at agendas or minutes even during a meeting- let’s just talk! And I am happy to dispose of old responsibilities, for instance- I will never need a resume for a job search again, yay! Into the trash! I know that if I did save these things and actually wanted them someday, I would never be able to find them.

My daughter convinced us to get rid of our VHS tapes but we still have cassettes and we have many vinyl records. We also still have the turntable we bought in 1977 and large speakers that we mainly use as space to pile things on!

message 25: by Miriam (new)

Miriam | 111 comments Oh, I enjoyed reading about your 'hoarding' so much! I am very easily influenced into buying books. Amazon has been a problem for me for years, because it was just so easy to press a button and whoosh, I had bought 5 new books. Also, because at the beginning (in the 1990s) they were the best place to get English language books here in Germany for an acceptable price. Now I try NOT to use it so much any more, because I want to support the local bookstores. And that I do :-)
By not entering them very often I am trying to make sure I don't buy so many any more. Because I can never seem to leave them with only one book bought.
I also have so many books here that I haven't read yet. I have given away boxes and boxes of read books and am still trying to do so, when I feel like the books were good, but I won't read them again, nor really wish to have them. Since I have started using goodreads regularly, I feel like I can always check here, whether I read and liked a book, because I tend to forget titles and authors sometimes (but less so now I use goodreads). On the other hand, goodreads has aggravated the problem, because of the challenges and also because of the huge number of recommendations that inspire me.
I have used netgalley quite a bit this year and gotten free books from them. I used to go to the library a lot, too, but haven't since March.
I am probably going to move next summer. I want to have read quite a few owned books by then and given away most of them afterwards so it is manageable. Because like Theresa and others, I have books in every room of the appartment (except the hallway, unless I leave books lying around there).

message 26: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6323 comments Robin P wrote: " I still have some from when Borders closed! "

Ditto! I remember searching Borders for items on my wishlist and buying all I found and I still haven't read some.

message 27: by punxsygal (last edited Aug 31, 2020 12:43PM) (new)

punxsygal | 290 comments Like so many here, I have a BABLE (books acquire beyond life expectancy) of books in my house and on my Kindle. I have been getting a few read and out during all this stay at home stuff. While not into shoes, I can see your shoe collections and raise you my jigsaw puzzles and my yarn.

message 28: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8718 comments Amy wrote: "You wouldn't believe what a hoarding type can accumulate in 24 years of marriage, and 3 kids. ..."

You don't need to be married or have kids to accumulate... :-)

I probably don't need a frame to add to all my stuff, but thank you, anyway, Amy. A donation, maybe?

message 29: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7988 comments punxsygal wrote: "Like so many here, I have a BABLE (books acquire beyond life expectancy) of books in my house and on my Kindle. I have been getting a few read and out during all this stay at home stuff. While not ..."

I love the acronym BABLE! I have to remember this one!

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