Confessions of a [Book] Hoarder

I think my love for reading has been going on from the day I held my first grade primer in my hand and learned to read “See Spot run.” I was hooked. I remember coming home that day and showing my mother what I could do. I was so proud of myself! And I haven’t stopped reading since. 

I think this quote from “Sleepless in Central Park” by Sarah Morgan nicely sums it up: “A book can give you most things a relationship can. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry, it can transport you to different worlds and teach you things. You can even take it out to dinner. And if it bores you, you can move on.” Well, it can’t pay for dinner, it can’t drive you around, and it can’t help you around the house, but other than that, the main character does have a point.

And yes, when I used to travel for work, I always took a book to dinner with me! 

I’ve read so many books over the years I can’t even begin to count them, and sometimes I can’t even remember if I’ve read a certain book or not until I start reading the first part of it. That’s because I’d read it so long ago.

And I had this thing about keeping them all after I’d read them. They were like old friends I didn’t want to part with.  Even though they were almost all paperbacks (my reading habit would’ve cost me a fortune in hardbacks!) I still hated to part with any of them, and loaning them to someone else? No. I didn’t want them messed up or lost. Yeah, I was that kind of person. Because other people didn’t take care of them like I did.

But the day finally came when try as I might, I just couldn’t fit another book into the bookshelves. I knew I had to do something. Which was getting boxes and emptying my shelves of so many of my old friends. It was tough. I kept a lot of my favorite authors’ books, and most of my hardcovers, and still ended up with 18 full boxes of books that I donated to Goodwill.

That was hard. But I still continued my reading addiction and eventually I was getting to the same point. And which of my favorites would I end up giving away next?

That’s when I finally decided I had to do something. And quick.

You may or may not know I’m sort of a techie. I love technology. iPhone, laptop, iPad…. But for years I couldn’t bring myself to get the one device my husband kept telling me to try. A Kindle. It made so much sense, but I just didn’t think I’d like it. 

I like turning the pages, seeing how much more is left in the book, and yes sometimes looking at the last few pages to see the ending when I just can’t stand it any longer. And I always read while I’m soaking in my jacuzzi every morning. And in the summer after work I’m always in my pool float with a book in my hand. I couldn’t imagine what would happen with all that water around me. I didn’t want to think about destroying an expensive piece of electronics.

If only there were waterproof e-readers, told myself. But then I started researching and found the Kindle Oasis actually claimed to be waterproof. So did I risk it or what? More decisions.

But eBay had one at a really good price. So I ordered it.

And after I received it and set it up, and used it for a day or so I wondered why in the world I’d waited so long! It’s so easy to use, and I can set the reading style just for me, including font size (for those of us with astigmatism that’s one of the best features), lighting (no book light needed for reading in bed), plus it tells me how many hours/minutes left in the book based on my reading speed. I love that feature! I don’t need a bookmark to keep track of where I was. And I can even highlight passages I want to remember. I’d never do that in a REAL book!

And the book choices….I can download samples before I buy the actual book, which has now resulted in a digital library of gigantic proportions, organized by genre or author, depending on what I need, and I can even mark the books I’ve read and save them in their own folder. No, I still can’t bring myself to get rid of them!

And Amazon knows me now. Really well. So well, in fact, they’re making sure to advertise all these new books on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. Which of course I read, and over half the time I download a sample….

At least I’m saving the books digitally so I’m not going to have to box them up to make room for more. But I might have to upgrade my Kindle.

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