The Collector

books_0646I collect books. Not just good books, either. I mean, most times I have no idea if a book is in fact good when I pick it up. I just know I want to have it, so I add it to my collection and ask the hard questions later. Or never at all, because I have collected so many books that I’ve never even read. There they still sit on my bookshelves, or in large plastic containers because I ran out of bookshelf space. They sit there staring at me from those shelves, taunting me for my lack of forethought and for my inability to just leave them where they were instead of scooping them up and letting them collect dust.

My problem is that I visit too many libraries, actually. And I know what you’re thinking. I should just check books out of those libraries and return them when they’re due. But every library I go to also has a book sale, and I can’t seem to pass one by without at least browsing. Then browsing turns to buying, and before I know it I have a bag full of books and a lighter wallet. I can’t seem to resist those books because they’re usually 10 cents, or 25 cents, or 50 cents apiece, and when brand new books are usually $10 dollars or more, it’s just too good of a deal to pass up.

Sometimes I buy books because of their titles. One book looking at me from up high right now is The Bride Stripped Bare, and another is Off Season. Other titles include The Possibility of Everything, The Girl in the Steel Corset, Sold, and The Size of Thoughts. The titles or the book covers draw me in, so I pick them up and add them to my collection. Yet I haven’t read a single one of them. The reason is a simple one. I keep going to libraries.

The cycle is a vicious one, but I’ve worked hard on curbing my need to keep buying these books. In fact, the last several times I’ve visited libraries I haven’t bought a single book, and I think that’s progress. Of course at the same time I have six library books checked out at the same time, but at least I’m not paying for them. And I’m actually reading them. One day I’ll get back to The Bride Stripped Bare, and then I’ll feel justified in keeping it. Maybe.



Filed under Books

4 responses to “The Collector

  1. I buy way more books than I will ever be able to read. When you consider how damaging most addictions are collecting books isn’t all that bad. 😉

    • Well, when you get them at library book sales for less than a buck, sure it’s not bad, but when you’re addicted to buying them at full price, and several at one time, it can add up pretty quickly.

      • That’s why I have a “written in stone” rule that I only pay cash for books. Doing that means you have to look at what you’re spending as opposed to the feeling people get using charge cards (or even debit cards) that the purchase is free for the moment because there’s no money coming out of your pocket. Your spending on everything drops when you use cash as opposed to plastic.

      • I love love love that rule! It makes so much sense. It really is too easy to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need, and then regret sinks in later when the card bill comes! Or when it comes out of our account later in the case of debit cards. So smart. I’m going to make that my “written in stone” rule too.

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