I have too many books. I can’t believe I just said that…out loud. I’ve been an advocate of reading, libraries, and book clubs for 100 years. Well, close. And I didn’t think I could have too many tomes….but then we moved. When one must pack, carry, and unpack ones belongings one learns in a hurry what they have too many of…

like c.d.’s.

I had NO idea I had collected so many. Some still unopened. Of course many of my books have yet to be opened, but I’n gonna. I keep imaging the day when I hit the rocking chair full time…then I’ll read myself into long naps full of book-like dreams. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

Perhaps I could pull some books I’ve read and donate them. Perhaps. Or regift them. Maybe. Or trade them…no, wait that won’t help. I want to be generous, but I can be hoard-ish with my books.

I know pruning is a good thing…although it didn’t help me…I’m still just 5 feet. But I guess I could go through my stacks and let go of a bunch…maybe 50? or 10? or maybe not.

Is there a Book’s Anonymous?


  1. Deana on July 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Dear Pasty, as a self confessed bibliophile I feel for you. It’s painfully hard to let go of my books. I have some dating from as far back as 1918 or maybe older. I’d have to check. One of my most cherished book – aside from the bible – is a turn of the century edtion of Through the Looking Glass.

    What’s the oldest book you have on your shelf? Just curious.

  2. Kimberly on July 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Oh Patsy! We all have our vices don’t we? I just gave my neighbor like 10 or so books of a single author. She was so excited. I love regifting. You should try that too.

  3. Christina on July 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I recently purged many CDs out of my room and it felt so good!! About the books, there are some used bookstores that buy used books…. I’m planning to do that… I already have some books in a box, just need to make time to bring them to the store. 🙂

  4. Cynthia on July 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Yeaaaaa!!!!!!! Someone else that collects..ummm…saves…ummmm….another book lover!!!!!!

  5. Dot Quaid on July 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I, too, feel overwhelmed by books lately. We have two tall bookcases that were full last time I checked. But recently there are books all over the house…stacks of them! Where did they come from? Have the paperbacks been breeding after the lights are out each night?

    My husband hates to throw away a book and re-reads each and every one of his tomes, like visiting with an elderly relative and hearing those family stories one more time. He has collected copies from all his favorite authors and lovingly arranges them on his bookshelf in order.

    I, on the other hand, don’t like to re-read a novel. I remember the storyline and find myself flipping through the pages, looking for key phrases and the final chapter. There are so many books out there that I haven’t read, I don’t want to waste time reading pages I’ve already perused!

    I’m thinking of donating a few books to the hospital for their book loan program. That sure came in handy last week, when I was waiting for my father to come out of a minor surgical procedure. The hours passed quickly as I indulged in a romantic novel, the type I don’t usually read. Yes, I think I’ll share some of my books with others today.

    • Patricia on July 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      OMG!! I can relate!! I have sooooo many books. Way too many for an apartment. Istarted to go through them and I did pick some out and donated them to the church library. The ones that I had double of. which were more than I should have had. You know what? I wonder if they dooo have a book anonymous I truly believe the Lord has been encouraging me do move some out. OOH, why is that not an easy task? .

  6. Kristin Bridgman on July 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I so identify. Nearing the age of 50, I’m wanting to simplify my life, so have been trying to get rid of things I don’t want to dust anymore. Books are the hardest for me to let go of. I was looking through them the other day and came across one titled “How to potty train your child”. My kids are 17 and 22. I decided to let go of that one:)

  7. Karen H-S on July 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I, too, am a bibliophile and a hoarder of books. So was my husband. We had different book interests. So here I am, 4 years after his death STILL trying to sort through hundreds of volumes and trying to find homes for books from his more obscure interests. Of course I have to keep all of mine, and some of his.

  8. Elaine Harcourt on July 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Patsy, I can so relate! I have stacks of books all over my house! I’m addicted to them! A lot of them have yet to be read but that will come! LOL I, too, dream of when I’m old & feeble & can’t do anything but read! Ahhhh, heaven!

  9. Patricia (Pollywog Creek) on July 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I think re-gifting is a great idea, but I also understand wanting to hold onto favorites. In addition to the floor to ceiling shelves on one wall in the study, 2 tall shelves in the foyer, 4 shelves on the entertainment center and stacks of books in the spare bedroom, I can see no less than 7 large baskets of books from where I am sitting this very moment. I’ve thought about cataloging all our books, but at this point the process seems too overwhelming. From time to time, I promise myself I am not going to buy one more book until I read what I already have. Yeah, right. There’s worse addictions, I suppose. =)

  10. Jilly (Peachtree City) on July 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Until very recently, I felt the same way. I just celebrated a birthday, and while I have loved each and every one, this one may have been my favorite. My family bought me a Kindle 2. I now can download all my books. I will keep my collection of hard back books from a few select authors, but the rest will go to charity. I am so pleased with this new contraption!!! I love that I can have 5 or 6 great books with me all the time. Who knows when you will end up waiting and need something great to read. Marvelous, simply marvelous!

  11. Nancy on July 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    You are among friends, Patsy! There are many of us who love books! Each of my children have an overflowing bookshelf in their room. I have a almost waist-high stack of mostly unread books beside my bed.

    I volunteer in our church library, which should help the book disease but in some ways makes it worse. My intention when I purchase a book for myself is to donate it to the library for others to use after I have enjoyed it. Unfortunately I am usually so busy taking care of the books for the library that I don’t get time to read the ones I have on hand. It doesn’t stop me from purchasing more books or from reading books from the church and public libraries.

    Perhaps Book Anonymous isn’t such a bad idea?

    Look on the bright side, all that reading is what helps you stay witty and wonderful!

  12. Granny25 on July 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I recently boxed up all my books and donated them to a small church that was trying to build their own library. Of course there were some I could not part with but I smiled to myself at the thought of the blessing to others they would be (as they had been to me).

  13. Sara Schaffer on July 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    My special “addiction” in this area is autographed books. A book signed by the author, ideally with a personal note, is one of life’s luxuries to me!

  14. Lucy LeForge on July 29, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Sharing books with others is one way I reduce the amount in my house. Only keep those that I count as classics, but will lend those, too. Like anything else in this life, you can’t take them with you when you die, so why hang on to them when someone else can enjoy them right now.

  15. Joan W on July 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    i love this….
    i, too, have “several” books….my problem is that the ones i REALLY like, i can’t pass on cuz i mark in them (highlites, underlining, etc.)

  16. Lana Vaughan on July 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I’ve been culling out my books lately myself. There are only three categories I am keeping, classics, souvenirs and reference. Classics are the ones that I will read again not books that others have labeled as such. Souvenirs are autographed copies and books that are associated with some special event or place. Reference books are ones that help the others make more sense.

    Everything else I’m setting free. Aiming to get from 4k to under 2 by the end of the summer.

    Anybody want a book?

  17. Jackie on July 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    One can never have too many books!!!! I too would need a Book’s Anonymous IF I were to admit I have tons of books but that will never happen!! My daughter and I are avid readers and can never get enough of books! We do share, we do on occasion re-gift them and we do loan them out but there is nothing as relaxing as taking an afternoon and reading a good book! Whether it’s the bible or a good fiction (christian) God always speaks what is needed!
    Keep writing and keep reading Patsy! Blessings to you!

  18. Donna Bucher on July 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    My husband always tells me I have too many books ,but I too look forward to the day that I can just sit down and READ!!! I have thinned them out and given them to people that also enjoy reading…..but I have thinned them out and will thin no more!!! lol We didn’t have television for about 3 months and couldn’t beleive how many books I read…..and LOVED IT!!!
    Pasty, I think you’re awesome!!! Thanks for being here.
    Donna Bucher from Nebraska

  19. Marcia on July 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I am a book person.. I love to read and I too have way more books that I could ever read. I need to donate them to the Library.. I think that is a good goal for me to set for myself to do before fall go through and donate at least 30 books.. I will have to take baby steps because I hate to get rid of books, but come on… Thanks for the reminder Patsy…

    God Bless

  20. Karen on July 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I’m the same way with my book…when I moved across the country I ended up giving about 5 boxes of books (maybe more) to the local library….and I still had at least 5 boxes of books left. I just love my books – they are like friends to me, and to try to part with one is like parting with a piece of myself sometimes.

  21. Heather on July 29, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I love my books too. Very hard to let them go. I just own up to being a book addict and go with it. Glad to meet another lover of the written word.

  22. Mavis on July 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    I have more books to read,,,,thanks to friends & family. Once read, I pass them on for others to enjoy. I just need to put them on the hallway counter at work & they disappear! I just bought Kaleidoscope & will pass it on also.

  23. Claudia Ramsey on July 29, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I love books. The idea of reading a book on a kindle etc., takes the allure of smelling the ink on the paper, flipping to the next page, & seeing it lay on my end table. That is very satisfying. I want a book to hold, read & ponder. I have shelves of books. Years ago, I donated many books to my church’s library. It was a lending library, and I felt like I was sharing the wealth of Christian thought. I haven’t done that for quite awhile. Our present church doesn’t have a library. It is a young church. Maybe I should talk to Pastor about starting one. If I do, then I have the big decision to clean house all over again. Mmm. Patsy, if you find that Books Anonymous, can you please tell me when the next meeting is?

  24. Diane Sexton on July 29, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I’m always “booked.” Books are sitting out everywhere – by my favorite chair, the bedside table, my car, the bathroom, etc. I think I am reading at least 4 right now. I don’t think I could ever buy a kindle. I love the feel of a book and turning the pages……..

  25. Theresa on July 30, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Books!?! Can one have too many? Absolutely….Not. I remember the joy of reading the Bobbsey Twin books my mother and her sister read. And my Grandpa’s Zane Greys. As a mother myself, it is way too easy to avoid buying that new pair of jeans I need, or “waste” money on adult toothpaste when I can just use the kid’s bubblegum flavored. Blech. But when I have the rare opportunity to spend an evening at Barnes and Noble and come home with a book for my bookshelf, I may bring home dreams of a blackberry torte or an evening with an old friend – or a book that I may share with my children or grandchildren. Books are company on a cold afternoon, something to curl up with on your beach chair, action plans for a major family dinner and battery power for the day when it just doesn’t make sense to get out of bed. The world needs more books – and so do I. No matter what my family says!

  26. Jessica on July 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    You are certainly not alone! When I taught 1st grade, I had over 3000 children’s books in my classroom (cataloged, of course). When I became a stay at home mom, I readily got rid of doubles (reading group sets, etc.) but haven’t been able to let go of most of my books. Those 2000 books left got added to the hundreds my husband and I already had and I continue to buy new books all the time. Now my goal is to go back to school to become, yep, a librarian! Then I will be surrounded by books at home and at work!

  27. Tracy Hassell on July 31, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Hey, I love books and when I lived in Charleston SC, I used You register, then register a book, (you can order labels for inside the book). Leave label or the book code and info with the book in places like a coffee house, bus stop, dr’s office, etc and then you can follow your book. It’s real cool! Come to think of it, I still have some labels…I need to weed out some of my books. Thanks Patsy for reminding me of this website!

  28. Cathy on August 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    If there’s a Books Anonymous I need to join too. We have tons of books. But to help with the problem, I’ve pu t a ton of them in the church library. I can still get to them any time but at least they’re not all sitting in boxes in my closet. I still have plenty of boxes and shelves of books in my house too. Some of them were written by you! I’m thinking mighty strongly about getting a Kindle. The new one holds 3500 books. Can you imagine being able to have 3500 books in your purse at one time! lol

  29. Diana on August 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    You truly are a kindred spirit…books are a wonderful thing. I have learned to think more clearly, been challenged out of a comfortable groove, cried with characters and rejoiced with authors through lessons learned ( and all the porch pals fit in that list) 😉

    Working for a book distributor, it marries my love of books with my desire to see people’s lives changed through His experience.

    When I finish a book – if it’s one that I know I’ll never open again, I send them to my church library. This lets other people share the experience, and keeps their tiny budget for things that are really needed…it’s a joyfull way to “pay it forward”.

  30. Kim on August 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    What you need is a bigger bookcase.

Leave a Comment