Saturday, May 11, 2013

Confessions of a Book Hoarder

Today while cleaning in my house, I began to notice how many piles of books were towering throughout each room. Every room I went into had piles here, there and everywhere.
I've always known deep down that I was a book hoarder,
but I'm finally willing to admit it publicly.

As I began to clean up rooms, I pulled out my phone and decided to chronicle the piles.
It truly is "so many books, so little time..."
Bedside table piles. Crossword puzzle and pencil, Trim Healthy Mama from my sister (don't ask me if it's working)...and interestingly a collection of war books. Hmmm...

A true book hoarder will still have a stack of books from the library.
Thinking of fun things to do this summer...

Piles and stacks even in the boys room.
Desk piles.
I wish I could say that he's read all of these.
The Great Expectations copy I gave him at Christmas. It hasn't moved.
I just bought the Ghosts in the Fog for him at the Scholastic Book Fair.

I am concerned with how buried that Algebra book seems.

Smattering of animal books, animal guides, random sports books etc. This selection has been so very much thinned out in the past several years. Animal books overran us for awhile.

The vast collection of to date printed collections of Peanuts cartoons.
The earliest years are delightful and hysterical. Something wacky happened to Charles Schultz in the 1970's. About the time Woodstock showed up....

The collection of classical literature (aka Diary of a Wimpy Kid), complete with gas mask. Doesn't everyone have a gas mask sitting around their house? The plastic box contains Nintendo DS games. These weren't touched for a long time until a recent incident involving the "loss of electronics" and the boy rediscovering his DS and needing these games. It took me awhile to realize what was happening in there...
Sadly, I'm assuming the DS has been touched more recently than some of these books.

Books in the kitchen. I may actually reference these from time to time. There are MANY other cookbooks on the bookshelves elsewhere. How several of these made their way front and center to the kitchen I'm not sure...
I've never cooked a thing from that Weber Big Book of Grilling, and the How To Cook Everything mostly gets used when I double check how long you boil an egg for it to be hard boiled.
I liked that first Pioneer Woman Cooks book quite a bit, but the second one is a bit of a dud.

Secrets in the closet.
My front room closet houses stacks of books in boxes, yet I can justify each pile.
This box holds books for my brother-in-laws school. I buy books and acquire things for their library as often as I can.
See that book "Katy"?
I hate it.
I like Virginia Lee Burton, and Katy is kind of a cute snowplow, but I live in a cold, snowy climate and I resent the weather here 9 months out of the year. I dislike almost anything that reminds me of this fact. A book about a snowplow (and a big snowfall) entirely fits this bill.
Nonetheless, all schools should have a copy of this book.
Oh look, another box filled with books. These are really the books that previously were stacked around my bedside table. Last time I cleaned, I put them all into a box to clean the place up a bit. Every time I finish a book, I just reach into the closet and grab another one.
Here is the truth of the matter, I don't always read books I want to read, or that I think I may enjoy.
Some books get a quick read, or a skim read. Some of these are destined for that. Some books are award winners and I'm interested in reading them, some I want a better read on before I have students reading them etc. Some books, such as "All's Quiet on the Western Front" there, that one I've been meaning to read for several years (shamefully admits I've never read it).
Here's the latest pile of what we are reading aloud.
Betsy's Wedding by Maude Hart Lovelace.
We read every other book in the series a year or so ago, and finally are reading the final book. This one we both have a copy of and read back and forth.
Also this year's Newbery Medal award winner, The One and Only Ivan.
We're about 1/3 of the way into this. I can tell something sad is pending. I'll agree with what the boy told me a while back, when there is an animal on the cover (this time a gorilla and an elephant) something will happen and make you cry. I can smell it coming....

Here's where it starts getting really obvious I'm a book hoarder. This area is harder to conceal. But I SWEAR I know exactly where each book is, and you could name a book and I could find it in a matter of minutes.
These shelves house my Newbery Award collection. This whole area is Young Adult literature. I have it all.

The pile on the right hides another row behind it, plus can you see the books stacked on the space above that row? Hoarder.

It's a problem I tell you. This book's a disease.

By this point you can't really even pretend that it's neat. But I SWEAR it is organized, the Newbery winners are in order by year of award. Other books are all grouped together by author...there is some madness to my method...I mean method to my madness.

This isn't my stack. I have nothing to do with this. I own the top book Friday Night Lights.
These are the housemates reads.

Real question: How many atlases does a family need?
1. A current world atlas (check)
2. Atlas of World History (check)
3. United States Atlas (check)
several other various atlases of historical periods. I recently culled 4 other atlases out of the collection.

It's an illness.
Several rows of books on crafting. Did you know you can also hoard craft supplies? Fabric, yarn etc.?
Add to that the books on quilt patterns, knitting patterns, needlecraft patterns.
I don't mean to brag, but I have some awesome craft books.

This picture is fuzzy because it is in disguise. I didn't want you to know how many Philippa Gregory books I have. Nothing beats a bodice ripping The Other Boleyn Girl type book, right?

Various and a Stephen Ambrose book.
 When I'm not reading I plan extravagant dinner and cocktail parties. All very posh and Martha Stewarty of me.
Ok, not really, but I could because I have the books to do it.

There on the right is my collection of Charlotte Mason books. If you ever want to understand the difference between a living book and twaddle, go directly to the source.
More cookbooks? Check.

Travel books? Check
Collection of works by Pacific Island authors? Check.
Various anthropological works on pacific island culture? Check.
The Pacific Islands garners a whole shelf.

These books are all in the "as soon as I read these, I'm donating them" pile.

More eventual donations...and my collection of Lemony Snicket.
I love The Series of Unfortunate Event books.


Art books? Check.
Children's biographies on artists? Check.
It's an illness isn't it?
Is this horrifying? I actually donated about half of this collection.
I have six different books on Van Gogh right here.

Mythology collections? Check.
History for children? But of course. World War II is a big hit in my household.

I truly do know what's in here because these are recent purchases and haven't been shelved in their respective place by award date.
(I sound insane). collection of Fairy Tales and Folktales.
My Lizbeth Zwergers and my P.J. Lynches and my Robert Ingpens...some of my absolute favorite illustrators works.

I realize in looking at this picture that I have 3 copies of Wanda Gag's Tales From Grimm.
2 copies on the bottom right, and in the previous picture the top book on the pile.

 Yes, I collect Caldecott Medal winners also.
But by now you know how much I love a picture book!
Caldecotts, picture books, treasure.

Here is my collection of Maude Hart Lovelace books. My absolute favorites.
Of course they are carefully guarded with piles of books around and on top of them.

Sister Wendy? Check.
A cup of hot tea, a fire and a cozy evening looking through
the 1000 Masterpieces and Gauguin book...bliss.

 Don't get me started on Harry Potter...I can geek out on it and talk about it for hours!!

The shelf of "light" reading - Dante.
More classics.
Some good stuff right there...

Classics, Faulkner, classics, classics, Vonnegut, classics, classics, Steinbeck, classics, classics, classics.

Even I'm starting to feel a bit in horror at the level of the hoard.

Do I have a problem?
Oh look! multiple copies of Charlotte's Web...

Is it a lot?
But someone has to read all this to blog about it, right?

Recent purchases at the Scholastic Book Warehouse sale.
Some new Caldecott winners among other things. (Note: The book "Grandpa Green" is delightful!)

Some titles that are at the peak of the YA charts. John Green books - what all the teens are reading.
Where Men Win Glory by Jon Kraukauer. (I never realized how many "war" books I have).

That MUST BE all.
Actually I noticed several other small (I said SMALL) piles I missed documenting.
I feel better now.
It's good to come clean.
Yes, I am a book hoarder.

These must be the cat's books. They are sitting on her chair, right in the sunbeam...

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