Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

Owning and storing books

Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Patrick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:55AM) (new)

Patrick We've had some good input on where we get books and how many we're reading at any given time, so time now to explore another aspect of our addiction:

How many books do you estimate you own?

Are they all stored at the place where you live, or do you actually have a collection in a storage unit or something similar?

Do you have a room or a significant amount of space in your home solely dedicated to your book collection?

Are you able to weed out books easily as you obtain new ones, or do you find making those choices difficult?

Any funny or interesting stories out there about the impact of your book buying or book ownership addictions on your life and the lives of the less addicted who live with you?

message 2: by KC (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:55AM) (new)

KC | 2 comments I estimate that I probably own about 1,000 books. My mom and dad probably own about that many (if not more each).

Since I'm still renting, I have probably 100-200 books with me at my house. Another 50 or so are are the shelves at my parents house and the rest of the books are in a storage container.

Once i buy my first house, I plan on having a library and put all my books together in one place so I don't have to consult a list to find a particular book and dig through piles of boxes!

People who come over to visit always think that I have so many books. Their eyes grow wide with amazement when I say that there's more at my parents house. I also get funny looks when I say that I read for enjoyment, not just because I have to.

message 3: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Laura D | 2 comments I probably have about 300 books, and they are all here in my house - most have been banished to the garage for now while I clean my house out to get new floor coverings.

I have old books from my childhood and from my grandmother & dad that I keep in the house, most of them are on a dresser or shelf somewhere around the house.

It's pretty easy for me to weed books out as I read them. I have ones that as I'm reading I know I want to keep, and I have those in a certain area in the garage - not sure where I'll put them once I get my floors done!

I'd like to blame my book addictions on my mom - she gives me all her books once she's read them, and I can't keep up with how much she reads! So when she comes over & makes a remark about how many books I have, I just roll my eyes at her!!

message 4: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 2 comments I have something over 200 books in one small space...they always surround me but I like it that way. I've always dreamed of having a proper library or of living in a library, getting locked in a library, etc., etc. Anyway, these hundreds of books were more numerous in the past and I had to (painfully) pack some away because of allergies, etc. Books do unfortunately hold a great deal of dust and other allergens (incl. mold if there is enough humidity in the air) because they are made from organic material. Luckily, we live in a digital age and many of those books that I might have bought in a used bookstore, along with all the requisite nostalgia causing mustiness, I now own in electronic form. With a large enough screen and good backlighting, I have found reading text in electronic form to be quite rewarding. Recently, Sony came out with a nice reader just for this purpose. This may be a little reminiscent of those flat pads the crew used to read from on Star Trek: TNG but, even without being a fan of new technology, anything that allows me to carry around an entire library of books in my pocket is a winner with me. Note: I carry about 180 titles on my PDA and have had no difficulty reading from it, even in dimly lit environments.

message 5: by Ashley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) I own under twenty...those books are to read though. Usually when I'm done with a book I like to donate it to a library or give it to a friend who would like to read it. What they do with the book afterwards, I don't know. I know it may seem like I'm not really a Book Buying Addict, but trust me I am. Everytime I go to a bookstore I have to buy a book. I used to keep a list of books I wanted to read. It was like 5-6 pages long.

message 6: by Cathy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Cathy mun | 5 comments I'm a true bookworm...or librarian. When I was a child I actually owned about 250 books which are not all literature...they included comic books etc. Anyway, even at that age I actually made my own library cards and stamp for each a roster! Then through the years, I've given or sold my books by the pound every time I move. Now that I'm hitched, I have at least 250 books on shelf plus 8 boxes in storage. (These are the books that I could not bear parting with!) I had asked my husband for a small office on 2nd floor where I can have a nice shelfing unit for my "library". (My mother-in-law exclaimed to us that she's never seen anyone with so many books in her life!) Am accumulating more books as the weeks go by...of course still on my side bed table. I really try not to buy books...but there are so many I have not even had a change to peruse as of yet. What I would really like to figure out is how to read books while on the bus (commute daily from NJ to NY) without getting motion sickness!

message 7: by Patricia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Patricia (theinfophile) | 3 comments I'm horrible at estimations. I'd say I have a few hundred books.

They're all in my home, with the bulk in bookcases that line my bedroom wall and then a few shelves of cookbooks and health books in the kitchen.

So hard for me to get rid of books! I've been using the county library more as of late.

I have passed on my bibliophilia to my 7 year old godson. Today we spent an hour and a half in the library, then went straight to Border's for another 40 minutes, and we would have hit one of our favourite used bookstores on the way home had we not needed to grocery shop for the rest of the family.

message 8: by Indhisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Indhisa | 2 comments My family sells books, so practically; every now and then my house is filled with books.

One day, we got send a container full of books, while our house isn't that big. So there were flood of books all over the house. From the garage, living room, in front of the kitchen, to the stairs. It was psychotic, but thrilling at the same time!

Since then, we start making these shelves out of steel and wood [since the books will come and go:], but also use wooden shelves to keep our favorites. In where I live, we have a very humid climate, so it's better to cover the shelves with glass. Yet I rather keep my books in ordinary open shelves, but wrap them in plastic, so the paper won't easily go yellowish. I take them out and clean it from dust occasionally.

I personally own hundreds of books, shamefully some of them I haven’t got the chance to read.

message 9: by Kelly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Kelly (knitterkelly) I haven't counted the exact number nor tried to add them all to GoodReads (someday!), but I own somewhere around 800-1000 books, most of which are with me in my condo, though a few boxes worth are still in my parents' basement. My boyfriend lives here too, and he owns 300-500 books, most of which are also in the condo (he had more, but lost them in a fire). It sounds like we'd be drowning in books, but I bought this condo specifically because the second bedroom had been converted into a library with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall built-in bookshelves. I remember my real estate agent asking what I was going to do with all the "extra" bookshelf space. Ha! Even with the library, we have books in two more bookcases in the dining room, on the bottom shelf of the coffee table, stacked up next to the bed. :)

I have recently purchased the Sony Reader and am going to attempt to move myself over to mostly electronic reading to save space. That way when I have the urge to buy a book, I can buy an ebook and not take up even more space.

Since having most of my books neatly contained in the library, I've encountered fewer strange reactions to my book collection. The worst reactions were always by the people who offered to help me move in and out of apartments and regretted it once the saw the boxes and boxes of books!

message 10: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) I recently went through a cycle of purging books I knew I would never read again, in exchange for credit to buy books I'd like to read.

So, at this point, I'd estimate owning a 150 books, having given away, traded or sold 150 within the last two or three months.

I tend to pick up books by the armful, so those three bookcase shelves are destined to be full once again (quite soon).


message 11: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 10 comments Sherri. I love that your mother-in-law collects Swarovsky Crystal. It says so much about her in just a few simple words. LOL!!

My grandma used to collect Hummels. 'Nuff said.

message 12: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 10 comments Oh mother and I live in different states and see each other (in person) about two times a year. Invariably, the first words out of her mouth are always, *with eye roll* "Ugh! The hair!!". I wear it short, like a boy's, and she despises it.

message 13: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) My grandmother collected Hummels and then they came to me when she died. I hate the darned things, but they seem to be worth some $$. Now if I could just offload them on

message 14: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:02PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) My live-in partner and I guesstimate that we own about 600 books...primarily hardcovers,and like Sherri we buy for value as well as love of books. We can't seem to part with any of them, not even the paperbacks! We have 5 really nice bookcases which are overfull and some we stack on the floor. But, I know every single book that I have in the house, and I'll bet you all do too even tho people might think "Oh, he/she has so many, she'd never miss it if I took this one".
I probably have more "to reads" at home than I have "reads"....yet I just keep buying...Being surrounded by them comforts me. Guess we're all a bunch of Bookaholics!

message 15: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Hey, Sherri, I just posted to you on Books I Loathed! You surely are high tech, but it's a great idea about the phone - what good is the list if it's at home and your meandering in a bookstore, like what happens to me!

message 16: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Sherri, I wish I started keeping a list sooner because now it seems a monumental task...when I was a teen I read Nancy Drew mysteries! Did anyone else?

message 17: by Melanie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Melanie | 5 comments I read Nancy Drew too. But I probably read more Trixie Beldon, another sleuth girl series.

message 18: by Neuromanced (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Neuromanced | 4 comments I just did a quick estimate and we probably have at least 1100 books in our place. It's the major cost of moving whenever we move to a new apartment. But I don't want to have books in storage. I want access! We have a very small NYC apartment, and one wall of our living room is just bookshelves. There are more books in all of the rooms except the bathroom (no room in there, or they'd be in there, too).

I do weed out books from time-to-time, but I get attached to them easily, so I have a hard time parting with the books I love reading (I do re-read books). I've worked at bookstores and next door to bookstores, which does not help my addiction.

On the shelves, I've arranged our books loosely by genre (children's, science, religion, poetry, drama, women's studies, comics, classic literature, modern literature, art, etc.) but I wish I had the guts to organize it by color. I think it looks beautiful that way, but I'd feel lost if I didn't know just where each book is.

I try to be generous in loaning out books but I almost never get them back and have to re-buy them, which annoys me so much!

message 19: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Neuromanced - ah, moving with all the books. We moved about a year and half ago. we had movers,but decided to get a "head start" by moving the fragile items, and the "books" ourselves. EE GAD. My partner could not walk for about a month after lifting carrying and wheeling about 50 xerox paper size boxes of hardcovers....i packed them and unpacked them and swore we'd use the library from then on until we bought a house and were sure never to move again. That lasted until I got my next 30% off coupon from Borders and was put on a waitlist at the library for a book i wanted to read NOW.

Regarding storing, I have to keep them arranged alphabetically by author on the bookcases; i also have the nonfictions separate, as well as all my animal related books. my paperbacks are kept in yet another pile.....and my partners cookbooks are kept separate as well. This seems to keep me organized for the most part.

message 20: by Alyssa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Alyssa (sdblaine) I own probably around 2 thousand books with 2/3 of them in storage and the rest of the 1/3 in my house or with me at school.

I do go through and donate a TON to my local libraries every year because I read so many none keeper paperbacks and then just pile up the rest as keepers or to trade/ sell.

Storage is a really big problem at this point though so I usually have books out in cycles depending on how long it's been since I read a certain author or series. At the momment I'm trying to find/ read al my Anne McCaffrey books (with mixed results) and finishing up my Nora Roberts which will go back into storage afterwards.

I would however like to have the time/ space to organise my books by series and author on bookshelves instead of having to kill myself digging through dangerously high piles of boxes. Maybe making lists would help in the mean time though...

message 21: by Bronwen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Bronwen | 6 comments 14 years ago my husband and I bought a business in northern Michigan, when we moved the guys who worked at the canoe livery helped my husband unload the moving van. After moving in box after heavy box, they finally asked "Where's the furniture?".
I do not know how many books we own but I was really glad to see all the shelves in this house. 2 years ago I went to the High School shop teacher and asked him if there was any student who needed a project ... he said yes, I brought out my home projects book with a floor to ceiling book shelf design and asked him if he thought this student could build me two bookcases, he said yes, and then figured out what materials I would need to buy. I went to the local lumber yard and they delivered everything to the school, a month later I had my bookshelves installed and unfortunately filled.
I work in a library and I do share my books with certain patrons but I "check" them out to the patron, keeping a list on a spreadsheet of who has what and when I loaned it. Since I started keeping track this way I haven't lost a book. OK I'm a librarian so most of my books are alphabetical by author, non-fiction (home repair and project books, auto repair, etc) are in one area. Cookbooks in another, along with some medical books. Classics (which we inherited from my husbands mother) are on shelves around the dining room (I think they were meant to display dishes). My new shelves hold my paperback collection and a few hardcover favorites. I found we had to keep plant, insect, and animal indentifcation books in the canoe livery store, because people were constantly coming in and describing something they saw and asking us what it was (do you know the difference between a river otter, weasel and mink?) These books are now bookmarked with answers to the most common questions. Yes I also keep several first aid books out there, but when an emergency happens you often don't have time to look up the answer, so I took a first aid class. In short we store books in every room in the house. My current reads are on the bookshelf by our bed.

message 22: by Bethany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Bethany (bethcrawleyuk) My rough guess would be between 1500 and 2000 books are in my house at the moment. Add to this the multitude I've lent out and never gotten back, the ones that have gotten lost and left in various places over the wonder I never have any money..

Luckily, I live in a large house with an extra bedroom that we were able to convert into a library. There aren't nearly enough shelves though..they're stacked everywhere, sitting two or three deep on some shelves..its crazy. Yet when I want a book, I can put my hands on it in seconds..I think I spend too much time in there..

message 23: by whichwaydidshego (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:35PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego I've honestly no idea how many books I have. One, because I am terrible at numbers and estimating amounts, and two, because I've so much in storage that I've added to over time.

I am a minimalist when it comes to possessions EXCEPT when it comes to books. It is a really, REALLY rare thing for me to get rid of a book. I love my books. I dream of having a place where they have a room of their own.

When I lived in Italy, I was the lending library for all the English speakers that came through... friends told friends and acquaintances, and so on. Everyone leaving town would give me their books. My small space was packed. It was fantastic... except when my flatmates would let someone in and he'd disappear with the book I was reading! Or when I forgot who had given me a particular book and said scathing things about it to the very friend (whom I was crashing with at the time) who had given it to me. Yikes!

Sorry, got off track... I did convert my closet into all bookshelves, and store my clothes in a tiny armoire - and I'm a girl! I guess I just exposed my priorities!

message 24: by Schnaucl (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)

Schnaucl | 9 comments According to [] and my estimate of how many books I still need to enter, I probably own somewhere between 750 and 800 books.

Most of my books are in one of three bookcases in my office but I keep library books and borrowed books either on my dresser in my bedroom or in the bookcase in my bedroom. I also have all my knitting/crocheting books on top of the entertainment center in my living room.

My bookcases in the office take up all of one wall. I'd really like to get a fourth bookcase as I'm out of room and already have to stack books on the floor. Two bookcases and the top shelf of the third hold books I've read, the other shelves on the third bookcase.

I find it very difficult to weed books out even though I find I'm rereading books far less often than I used to. But I'm clearly in a place now where I need to prune.

message 25: by Shawn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)

Shawn Last year, I entered most of my books in

It shows 1244 books, but I am behind on entering, and I know I missed some. I probably have a few hundred that have not been entered yet.

Most of the books are hardcovers, only a handful of softcovers. They are all in bookcases in my house. As I count them in my head, I see 4 bookcases in the living room, 2 in the dining room (huge 84" tall bookcases). Upstairs, there is a large bookcase in one of my kids room, and then three more bookcases in my bedroom/office. And scattered in a corner of the office are many more books with no bookcase to put them in.

I have a plan (hopefully), this fall/winter of building some bookcases into an alcove of the bedroom, and getting more organized. Many of the bookcases have books 2 layers deep, which is terrible, since it's hard to find a book you need.

BTW, this month I've read Dodsworth, and Call of the Wild.


message 26: by Wes (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)


message 27: by Kimberley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:39PM) (new)

Kimberley | 6 comments it is only since late last year that i started to really REALLY get into reading, so since december i have brought about 200 books,most if not ll i have read mnore then once.i only starting reading from 4 different authors trying to collect there collection of books, not im reading from about 20 different writers, and im just adding books from what they have the moment i have my books stored in 2 huge suitcases and a few carry bags as i need to buy a bigger bookcase, to fit them all on.

message 28: by Llama (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:41PM) (new)

Llama Castillo | 34 comments I know exactly how many books I own, I keep a log on my computer using Excel - right now 812 but that only ones I own and not all the ones that I have read. There is only about sixty right now I have not read in my library. It has been somewhat hard to keep up with my reading since I have been working on my MA. Its been almost all schools books for a few years now with a few fun ones thrown in now and again. Most of my books are boxed right now but my favorites (100 or so) and my unreads are all in my room currently. I hate giving up my books and only gave away a few when moving. I do lend them out but that is why I like to keep my books on the computer so I can keep track of who is borrowing what. There are so many books that I have read from the library that I want in mine but I never seem to have enough time (or money) to get them all. I love re-reading books and am always reading a few at a time. I think I have read about 11-12 books in the last week.

I need to keep a list with me of books I want to buy, I always get distracted and if I see an interesting book that I know I will forget the title of later,I have to get it then. If I see a book I know I have seen before I can wait to buy it. The only shopping I love is for books and I can spend hours in a bookstore browsing.

message 29: by Jordan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:42PM) (new)

Jordan (jordieheartsbooks) I'd be willing to say around 1,000 (but likely more once I add in all the books of my childhood and adolescence), and half or more are still at my parent's house because I move so often with my hubby being in the military. In fact, they just lost a box or 2 of my books this last move and I'm trying so hard not to blow up their facility.....

I have books that I read as a child all the way through college and the present. I do not sell or giveaway my books. My goal is to have a library in my house once we settle somewhere.

Right now we have bookshelves in every room of the house except the bathrooms (all my cookbooks are in the kitchen of course) to hold all the books I have with me.

My hubby always talks me out of buying a half-dozen books on my trips through the bookstores. Though he generally indulges me in one or two at a time (unless there are racks of clearance or reduced price books, then I can get around 5 or 6 depending on price).

I have both a hand written list of all my books and an Excel spreadsheet of the books. I have separate lists for my husband's books. If a book is lent to anyone (including mom, dad, mom-in-law etc) a notation is made of the book, person and date it was loaned on a separate sheet as well as the "book log". Anal perhaps, but they're more than books to me and I embrace my OCD nature.

message 30: by Beth (new)

Beth Foster (noellekitty) | 7 comments sdblaine, I LOVE anne mccaffrey! I used to have almost every one of her books, then I went through one of my phases and got rid of all of them. I donated about 50 to the library! As for how many books I have, I have probably around 300 keepers, and about 150 that I need to get rid of. I just finished selling about 300 on ebay as well. My husband gets very grumpy with me if I have too many laying around. But my father-in-law is an auctioneer, so that is kinda a bad deal for me, because if he has any books that don't sell, he just gives them to me. A few months ago, I got about 600 romances for free-good authors too!

message 31: by Neil (new)

Neil | 3 comments I most likely have at least 500 books. Ive tried to get them all up on bookshelves but Ive got them stacked everywhere. I cant force myself to get rid of any of them even though I'll clean out any other collection of things/ junk that I have, book are above them all.

message 32: by Jason (new)

Jason Cook (rytr_1) | 3 comments My wife and I have books all over the apartment, in varying states of organized confusion. When we buy our first house we plan to also buy a huge bookcase covering one entire wall of our den.

message 33: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Russo | 1 comments I am so impressed by people who know how many books they have or keep spreadsheets/logs of them all. The task is almost too daunting for me. I have between 1500-2000 books. I have trouble getting rid of any of them, so I keep them all- the ones I love, the ones I hate, the grad school ones with notes, the ones that I will never read again.

I collect first editions, so those are displayed in an order and with some sort of design plan, but the rest... They were by genre, but I discovered a few more boxes last time I moved and my system just fell apart. Until I get a house (and a LOT more shelving), I guess they will have to stay where they are now - which is spread out on bookshelves and in boxes between a house, my car and my apartment.

back to top