My Ever-Growing Library

I’m an avid reader. Pretty much always have been. “Voracious” is a good term to describe me + reading.

My library has pretty much exploded over the past two months. Literally exploded. At my last calculation (last night), I now have well over FOUR FEET of new, unread reading material.

This is pretty much what my nightstand has always looked like.

Granted, not all of them are mine. Seven (or eight??) are on loan from a friend (who was also nice enough to lend me her copies of the Hunger Games trilogy), five of which are the Game of Thrones series.

For now, we have two bookcases. Since my husband “doesn’t read” (how can anyone not read?!!?!?!?!), I really thought I’d have the majority of both bookcases to use for the books I already own.


My husband, who “doesn’t read”, is occupying an entire bookcase on his own. Granted, most of them are his college engineering-related texts, but the man still owns that many books. I had no idea! It doesn’t bother me at all that he’s taking up an entire case; I was just amazed at how many books came out of hiding once we moved in, and made their appearance in the office… books that weren’t mine, since my husband doesn’t read. Ironic?

“I find television to be very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.”  ~Groucho Marx

And when I say our bookcases are full, I mean FULL. Double and triple-stacked. It’s quite comical. The bad part? I have another several dozen books that don’t even fit on my bookcase; my college and grad school texts are currently taking up residence in two different closets. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t keep all of my old college texts, just the ones that I know I’ll still use. I did keep all of my science texts, from Bio to Genetics, Organic to Analytical; and then there’s my graduate books, Social Injustices in Medicine, Global Health Care Systems, Clinical Ethics. Those will probably all come in handy for many, many more years. Not to mention my collection of medical nonfiction books. That’s a whole different shelf all on its own.

However, the current explosion has nothing to do with school, for either of us. The current explosion has a lot to do with work.

Had a bad day? Buy a book.

Seriously. I have a problem.

For instance, last week as an extremely bad week: I bought six books. (Tisk tisk.) Four of them were the Dark Tower series that I had read in high school (borrowed from a friend or from the library but did not own). And then my incredibly sweet husband purchased the newest Stephen King book for me, also from the Dark Tower series, as a surprise. So last week wound up being a seven-booker.

Oh my goodness. Did you see what I just did?? I just made a book scale for how bad a week was. Oh my. See? I have a problem.

After I got home yesterday (after yet another bad day… and no, I did not purchase for myself another book, despite wanting to), my husband gets a package from FedEx. I assumed it was his textbooks for summer, since he told me they would be delivered soon.

Wrong again.

Two more books. (David must like aiding and abetting my problem.) Which now completes my set of all eight Dark Tower novels. (Sweetness!!) Incredibly, incredibly sweet and thoughtful man! (I think I hear my bookcase groaning under the additional weight…)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been without a book, for school or for fun. It’s a bit ridiculous. Not only a book, but usually concurrently reading several. Many of them I have read several times.

I have gotten myself into trouble lately. It’s not just one, or two, or three books at a time. Currently, I am concurrently reading… seven? eight?… Sherlock Holmes Vol II, Without a Map, The Brain, Eat Pray Love, Atonement, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Wind Through the Keyhole… I think that’s all. Maybe.

So yes, I have amassed quite the collection, and have a small fortune invested in my books. Books are expensive! For this reason, I usually tend to buy from Amazon, search for used, cheap books in good condition, and get free shipping; or, rummage through my favorite new store, Half Price Books.

My wish list on Amazon is ridiculous. Some movies, some music, mostly books. I tried counting how many, once…. I stopped at 84 and quit counting. Oy vey. That list seems to grow by the day as well.

Oh, and let me tell  you. I’m a book snob. Some books are not worth wasting your time on (*Cough* Twilight *cough*), while others are decent but disappointing (Water for Elephants, The Descendants, anything authored by Nicholas Sparks). Good writing is hard to find, but even a book that isn’t written so well that carries a good story will captivate my attention for some time. All-time favorites: The Dark Tower series (Stephen King, movie in progress!), Harry Potter (JK Rowling), Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Narnia (C. S. Lewis), The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings (JRRT), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), The Fountainhead (yes, the lovely Ayn Rand), anything by Jodi Picoult…

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”  ~Anna Quindlen, “Enough Bookshelves,” New York Times, 7 August 1991

I dream of having a real library in our home some day. Not a full-blown, huge one… just a little room, with a wall of bookshelves, lots of natural light, a comfy couch, and (ideally!) a fireplace. My own little at-home getaway. Daydreaming commences now….

I love this! All it needs is a fireplace!

And I’m sure someday our little ones will have a little library of their own. (Gotta get them started early!) Bedtime stories were my favorite as a kid! For now, my books (and my orchid) are my babies; I’ll probably have new additions before too long, just you wait. Maybe a new bookcase is in our near future…

“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.”  ~James Bryce

Our children will probably have similar pictures!

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