Hoarding Books

Posted by: jilly

Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 12:29 AM

I think so many of us hoard books that it's worthy of being it's own thread!

We can list ideas and suggestions for helping us here. here is my thinking:

I adore books and they make me happy to have them all around me. They make me feel safe. Yet they are heavy (if you move a lot or live in an RV). They take up a lot of space when you have many. And how often do they all get read?

It's rather selfish to keep books after you've read them, unless they are useful for reference, or are those few you know you will read over and over again.


- donate them to libraries - bonus - you get to read them
again. Or they can use them in their book sales to buy fresh new books!

- sell at used bookstores for cash or credit, or online at amazon/craigslist.

- if you go to RV resorts you can use them as trade items at RV activity center libraries, or just straight to other RVers.

- donate them to places like Goodwill. They will help the local community in terms of people being able to afford inexpensive books, and you might get a receipt for tax credit.

- other ideas?

I have been working out some piles. Really pretty books in good shape i have set aside to sell online. The problem of course is finding time to do this. In the meantime I have basically boxes of books which are still really clutter. :-(

Then for less pristine books I trade them in the RV resorts and sell them in my local used book store for credit. That works pretty well.

I also have some I give to friends and family members as gifts.

A large problem is i have so many books i have not read yet. I am so busy that I let them pile up! This is an issue. I need to set aside quality reading time to be able to clear these books out. But it seems like a big luxury to actually do that.

Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 12:32 AM

Jilly -

I have found I can read while hula hooping. So find an exercise that you can do while reading. That way it's not a luxury. It's important health time smile
Posted by: PDM

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 12:44 AM

The books I get are books that I want. And I usually like to read them or refer to them, again, over the years. They are really too numerous, but there aren't many that I would be happy to part with. I love my books and would be totally lost without them.


Reading while hula hooping?! smile
Now that really is multi-tasking. I couldn't do that smile smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 12:51 AM

It's really not too hard - your hips are moving but your torso stays pretty stationary. So it's fairly easy once you start out doing it. Another option is to keep a book in the bathroom (since you have to use it anyway) and to read while you take a bath. I also read while I eat. So those are all ways to work through a book while doing normal life tasks.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 04:58 AM

true, Lisa. I did start a new activity in the last few days - doing 20 minutes of the Legs Up the Wall pose for yoga. I set a timer and bring a book and do the legs thing. It's a great inversion and feels really good when you are done. I even found a wall in the RV to do it. So that is at least 20 minutes of reading time.

i read novels before sleep but can't do non-fiction before bed - it wakes me brain up.

i read business-learning things online while eating.

But the legs up the wall time is at least a start. :-) I will think about more. With my daily running, I can't read.
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 06:07 AM

LMAO! re hula hooping!! That in itself is impressive! To read while hula hooping is just so.....awesome. Ha! Hat goes off to you! lol

I read every minute I can. In the bath, while eating, at Dr.s office, any time I have to wait any longer than 5 minutes! Before I go to sleep, work breaks. I love to read. I always have to have a supply of un-read books on hand otherwise it upsets my stride, or something like that. My world seems better with a few books to look forward to

When I first get a new batch, I look through every one before I read one. What it's about, about the author, sometimes reviews. Then I read the most interesting one first and on like that! hahahaha! I enjoy every aspect of the books I read.

I also love my books though. I WILL trade books with friends, but I have books that I will never get rid of. Although there are times I've found that in 5 years, I might not think the same about a particular book.

I wouldn't call myself an actual hoarder though. I don't keep most of them.
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 06:11 AM

Jilly I hadn't thought about that yoga pose for years! Thanks for reminding me. It DOES feel good after.
Posted by: cyberbud

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 06:52 AM

Reading while hula hooping! There's multi-tasking!!! :-)

I like Jilly's idea better. I really would like to try yoga...but I don't know.....

Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 09:00 AM

Legs Up the Wall rules! You find a wall space that is cleared out. Place pillows on the floor and get your pelvis right up against the wall with your legs resting easily against the vertical wall. If you have a neck pillow, you can read while you do this with a book on your chest.

It's an inverted position, but a relaxed one. You get all the mental/physical benefits and it takes so little effort. UNlike a handstand! lol. Apparently if you do this enough you will not have to worry about a lot of health problems.

it's a tiny bit awkward to find your position, but once you have it, 20 minutes is easy. Your timer will tell you when to get up and you can read while you lie there.

Your pets will also be attracted to you while you lie there. lol.
Posted by: PDM

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 12:43 PM

I used to do that while I was pregnant with my eldest.
Posted by: aaadraine&chicki

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 05:11 PM

I really love my books. I always say they are my 'friends'
I don't have tons of but most of my books are for reference
& I love to read over & over. I guess I have about 200-300.
I'm not obsessed with collecting or buying books/things.
I buy a few books a year (that I really want) and I buy
1-2 CDs ( music) a year. I use to buy ALOT. I think I was
addicted to the CDs (music) anyway RE: books? I gave & donated
most of the books I had. But as others said: finding the time
to 'get rid of' I want Less of 'things' and more room in
my apartment. And there is a NEW Book called STUFF by
Randy O Frost and I also watch Hoarders on Tv sometimes?
I'm always wondering RE: Hoarding. I am not a hoarder but
I know it is excessive aquisition, difficulty discarding and
inability to organize. I am organized and clean & neat.
But I (think now?) maybe I have difficulty 'discarding'
I asked my husband to "lets get rid of 'this & that'
I have three small lid-covered boxes /with papers ect?
we laugh and seem we can not budge towards? So I read
where we are TIED to our possessions and one person was
collecting 100's of cook books, recipies and magazines
and never cooked much. Well I'm hoping to start very
soon to discard some of my magazines ( which I use them
to cut out things which I used for a craft project?)
but I don't do that craft no more, so figured I could
let them go. My husband is home in a few weeks vacation
and has promise to take Stuff AWay ect? But he already is
teasing me and saying I do not have Stuff!! I'm not sure
and every time I go to get rid of? I walk away and
'never get back to it' worried here:) I love FENG SHUI
too and I can not understand how I ended up like this?
How should I start and maybe in a fun way? I'm not sure.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/25/10 11:16 PM

We could start new threads on yoga and feng shui - both are GREAT fun and are easy to get started in!

Jilly - your run time is like your moving meditation time so I wouldn't interfere with that - I would count all of your time running as meditation too!
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/26/10 05:49 AM

Kathy how come you said "you don't know" about yoga? It is the one thing I still CAN do! I do mostly yoga stretches before bed and if I don't do them when I get up, my day is twice as hard!

You would start out slowly, stretching only what you can do easily. You would find that you can do more than you think!
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/26/10 07:59 AM

Heeheehee - my MIL is out visiting this week and just gave me about 30 novels to read. Color me enabled. :-)

Posted by: PDM

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/26/10 08:56 AM

Originally Posted By: jilly
...Color me enabled ...

After reading this a few times I am forced to admit that I just don't know what it means frown
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/26/10 10:21 AM

Jilly do you consider your time spent reading to be a habit? That your MIL is enabling you with your habit?

All I know is I'm green with envy! smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/30/10 08:31 PM

PDM - I think Jilly was saying that her mother in law was "feeding her addiction" rather than helping smile
Posted by: PDM

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/30/10 08:55 PM

I think that 'enabled' must have a specific meaning in the USA that I don't know about. This is the second time that I have come across it recently and been totally baffled.

To me 'enabled' means having the opportunity to do something positive ~ eg. a good tutor would 'enable' the student to reach his / her potential, etc.

Is it me? smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 04/30/10 11:08 PM

Yeah, PDM, here it's not a good thing as such. Here when you are enabling someone, It's like giving an alcoholic a drink. :-)

I was cracking a joke, by saying my MIL gave me 30 books when i am trying to de-hoard them. So she was 'feeding' my hoarding tendencies, as Lisa commented. ;-)
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/01/10 04:39 AM

HAHAHAHAHA!! ROFLMAO! grin ! and "de-hoarding" smile ! I love it!

Whatever. I am still green with envy! Your MIL sounds priceless.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/01/10 07:13 AM

Dinah, she so is. I love love love her. We even went to thrift stores together and she bought me MORE books. Good thing I read novels quickly; I only have a few thousand I think! :-)
Posted by: PDM

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/01/10 05:09 PM

Originally Posted By: jilly
Yeah, PDM, here it's not a good thing as such. Here when you are enabling someone, It's like giving an alcoholic a drink. :-) ...

Hi Jilly smile
Thanks for the explanation smile
It makes sense now ~ well, sort of.

When I was teaching, etc, I considered myself to be 'an enabler' ~ which was a good thing. smile
Then I read, just the other day, an item from an American lady, warning people never to be 'enablers' ~ and I was totally baffled.
Then I saw you use it in what seemed to be the same way, Jilly, and I was equally confused. smile

Her definition seemed to be the same as yours.
But, I still do not really understand it. frown

Looking at Montessori education, for example, their 'teachers' are classed as 'enablers' ~ as defined in the Oxford dictionary, and I wonder how this meaning could have changed so much in the USA. 'Enable' seems to be quite a simple and straightforward word ~ meaning to make someone able. How did it come to mean something so different. Any ideas? It's quite confusing smile


Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/01/10 06:38 PM

I am sure it can be used either way. Somehow in the US it's simply common parlance as a way to illustrate behaviours that are a little parasitic instead of symbiotic. :-)
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/01/10 11:13 PM

First of all, let me say, SORRY to PDM. I was tickled but not laughing at you in a derogatory way! I feel real bad about that!

It must be confusing to you. I have been around a number of addicts and alcoholics or I wouldn't know either.

Enabling means to help or make it possible for them to continue to be addicted. Like, giving a place to live rent free (because they could use that money to drink). Or giving them money at all, because they could use it for their habit, instead of what you gave it to them for. you would not give them any help at all, hoping that they would reach their "bottom", as in "hit bottom, in which case they might seek help from AA, or The ARK or the Salvation Army and etc.

Again PDM, sorry. This may confuse you more and I'm sorry if it does. Maybe someone else can explain it better than I.
Posted by: PDM

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/02/10 12:19 AM

Hello Dinah smile
I wasn't offended ~ just confused, especially as I had come across this usage twice, just recently, and found myself baffled.
Of course to 'enable' someone could provide good or bad possibilities, but I have always, in the past, come across the positive version, so to come across this American usage seemed really odd. smile
I wonder if it confuses others as well?
As they say ~ we are divided by a common language smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/02/10 07:02 AM

On the hoarding books topic :-)

I really really have a whole lot of books. A few days ago I brought a lot of them out of the RV and into the empty house here. It felt good to lighten the load of what is in the RV itself...but MAN, do I have a lot of books. And then there's the massive amount of books I have in storage.

I don't think there is any way one human can actually read what I have. I honestly do not have time to sell them, unless it's at used bookstores in big batches. I don't have time to enter them onto ebay or amazon or craiglist, and field emails/phone calls, have ppl make visits or have to mail them somewhere.

I think I need to get realistic and just bring a ton to libraries or Goodwill. It's not fair to other people to hoard books that others could be learning from and enjoying. All i do is schlep them around the country from place to place when i move.

This is what I am starting to see. It seems pretty clear! Doesn't mean it will be easy though. :-) I have an emotional attachment to being surrounded by books.
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/02/10 08:26 AM

shocked smile
Aha! So you may be an actual book hoarder! hehe.

I do not agree with you about it being selfish to keep books though. If I buy them, I can keep them as long as I wish. No? And if I trade them, It's sort of like I bought THEM.

From an altruistic viewpoint it seems great if you want to give books to charities or sell them. I have done that with books I got (vacant apts) that I had no interest in, and many self-help books I had no interest in.

In your case, you do not have room to keep the many books you have.

In my case, I will make room for them (not as many as you). In fact I go through them regularly to see what I am dealing with and then I start trading them, which is gratifying to me. Reading is my favorite thing to do.

But again, I don't feel compelled to keep very many. If I don't have very many books to trade, I won't get very many new (to me) books to read.

What have you decided to do with them?

Posted by: PDM

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/02/10 04:01 PM

I hoard books. I admit it.
But in the way that a library hoards books.
They are there for my constant reference.

I love visiting libraries, but not really to borrow.
I tend to mislay borrowed books, or forget them, etc, and then I get huge fines.
And when I want to refer to something, I have returned it.

My ambition, when I was a child, was to own my own library, so that books were always on hand ~ with no fines.
And that is what I have.
I suppose I just need a house with a library-room ~ like those old-fashioned ones.
Then I would have no problem with my books!

I actually have thousands of them ~ literally!
I don't know how many. I counted about 3000 when we moved house in 1986 ~ and I have obtained many, many more since then!
Some are only thin pamphlet-type things; others are huge volumes.

I love books. I actually feel depressed without them.
There may be just a few that I would be willing to part with ~ but not many.

When the cat relieved herself on a box of them, they all went.
Most were just to read as an exercise in how to write that type of story, so there was no emotional attachment to them.
However, one was a favourite story ~ I may be able to get it again. That one does bother me.

Mostly, though, I buy books ~ in fact anything ~ only if I really want them. And I am the type of person who has always had the same interests ~ they just tend to grow, rather than change.

There are very few things that I own, that I don't actually want. I don't buy much jewellery or make-up. I don't drink or smoke. My books are me, in a way. Yet I know that I have too many for the space that I amd my family inhabit. frown
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/02/10 09:33 PM

haha! That's two book hoarders! Maybe we need an organization for this habit, like BA, Books Anonamus (sp). lol

@ PDM, when your children leave the nest perhaps you will have space to have your library in it's own room.

@ Jilly, Dang girl. You need to win the lottery so you can buy a home for yourself, and travel with your man when you want to! That way, you could have your own library too, and keep all your books, AND keep your man!

You see? I am a terrible enabler! I want everyone close to me to have what they want, if possible. Thankfully, I got over that!
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/04/10 08:26 PM

Dinah I would love to have a home base for myself somewhere so i don't have to continue to be always rootless. :-)

And with a home base I can have more books!

WAIT, wrong direction....

Less is more, less is more...
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/04/10 08:34 PM

PDM, I always had personal library fantasies also. I'd love one with a ladder on rails and large drawing room chairs for reading. I also have fantasies of having a 'crows nest" room on top of a house, for reading. All windows, some kind of hexagon, full of big fluffy pillows for kicking back and reading, and for enjoying the view.

I do feel it's selfish of me to have so many books that I will never have the time to read, when I could be donating them to a charity to sell. And then people who don't have much money could enjoy reading them, instead of having them just rot away in boxes in storage. frown
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/04/10 10:29 PM

Yup I imagine that girls read books as children that fill them full of the giant-library-with-ladder circular-room-with-pillows-and-windows scenario. The scene in Beauty and the Beast with the huge library just pushing that fantasy even more smile I wonder if pushing those types of fantasies on us is any better than pushing the fantasies of "a prince will come and rescue you and you'll never have to work!" ideas smile

A friend of mine is very wealthy and built herself a dark wood library with floor to ceiling shelves, I am very jealous of it smile It inspired me to get my current desk set which is dark wood. So I do feel the appeal greatly. And I suppose if you own a mansion, then having a big library room is wonderful! But for most of us, the books are taking up precious space which could be used for a wider range of activities.

I mean, if you had a gigantic empty room in your house, and you just left it empty, that might not be great. If instead you had it be your dream-retreat library, then it might be perfect.

But on the other hand if you have a *tiny* house and your life is spent crawling over books and being cramped by them, and you never read them, then that is the other end of the spectrum.

It's all about balance smile

Jilly - I know how much you need money and my suggestions for you are always keeping that in mind. I think of you gathering up 5 cent bottles and think that pretty much anything is a better time expenditure for you to be able to buy more healthy foods and so on. So the idea of just dumping all the books torments me. But on the other hand if a book is only worth 5 cents then dumping it is a better use of your time. Here is what I would do.

Tackle just one small pile a day. Do a quick 10 second search on Amazon for the title. See its price. Determine what, for you, is the break point. Is it $10? $20? Whatever that break point is, either put the book in the "to sell" box or the "library" box. Don't do anything else. Just sort them. Quick, easy, mindless, stress-free.

At some point in the future when one of those boxes gets full enough, you can take another step. But for now, just quick-sort.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/09/10 12:25 AM

LIsa, i think this is a great idea about the books and simply making piles. Thank you.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/09/10 12:30 AM

PDM, i was thinking about your comments about libraries and I totally get what you say about the annoyance of fines and return deadlines.

But still, for me, there is just something wonderful about libraries. For example, dan and I frequently go to bookstores to relax. We make ourselves piles and books and page through them longingly. Then we finish up our coffees and leave the books, sadly, behind.

At a library, I can make a pile of books and TAKE THEM ALL HOME. It always amazes me, every time. I always feel - how lucky is this? How awesome that these are all FREE?

Libraries even smell comforting. They are like wombs of never ending joy. :-)
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/14/10 07:03 AM

I do love libraries too, it is amazing that they are holding all those fantastic learning experiences, just waiting. More people should use libraries!
Posted by: PDM

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/14/10 02:15 PM

Oh, I love libraries ~ I love to read and study at the library ~ and buy their unwanted books!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Hoarding Books - 05/14/10 10:19 PM

What they should do is make libraries look like Old English libraries. Dark wood. Ladders to top shelves. Lots of nooks to curl up and read in. Then we'd all live in them smile