Thursday, June 09, 2005

My Sagging Bookshelves

So I've been going through my books to decide what I'm keeping and what I'm willing to trade now that we've started this new Yahoo group for trading with readers. It's been great so far and I have lots of books that I've been looking for for a long time on the way to me.

But while going through my books, I realized I have a problem. I've long known that I have too many books, that I can't stop buying new books. I can't go into a bookstore, or even a Wal-Mart without walking out without at least one book. That's not the problem (well, my husband might think it is), my problem is that I can't let go of books once I get them.

My bookshelves are stacked two rows deep, with books stacked on top, books stacked on the floor around the shelves, books covering what used to be my coffee table. Books stacked on the computer desk, on the dining room table, books in my car.

One night, I was going to sleep and I heard a crash from the guest bedroom. You know what it was? It was one of the bookshelves collapsing. Books were all over the floor. How pathetic is that? I know I need more bookshelves, but I don't have anywhere to put them.

This means, of course, that I should be trading or bringing some of these books to the library or the UBS. But I never know when I'll want to reread a book I enjoyed. What if I decide I want to reread it in five years and it's out of print? Then I'll be scrambling around to find it like I look for Judy Cuevas books now. And then I have at least a couple shelves worth of TBR books. Don't know when I'll get to them, but I know I want to. I'd hate to trade them away, then hear that they're great and wish I had them.

So am I the only person with this problem? Has anyone else ever had bookshelves collapse on them? And how do you guys force yourselves to pare down your collections?


sybil said...

See what you do is give them to me, then in five years when you want to read them again - you will be back in San Antonio and can just come over and get them.

easy ;)

Beverly said...

Haha, that would probably work if I could afford the postage. :)

CW said...

Heh. I have a shortage of bookcases, but I have had book piles crash on me.

Damn that gravity, anyhow...

Tara Marie said...

Most of my bookshelves sag at one time or another, but I must say, my DH has done a great job putting up shelves, the problem is we put too many books on the shelves.

I'm doing the paring down thing too. And, I've decided to keep books I know I'll read again and books I can't part with.

I've sorted through about 1000 books and realized I'm only going to re-read maybe 50 and have maybe another 10 that I don't want to ever part with. That leaves a lot of books to trade/donate/sell.

sybil said...

Just take a trip to SA and bring them ;).


McVane said...

So am I the only person with this problem?

*hysterical laughter*

Yeah, riiiiight(!) Believe me, you're not the only person with this problem. Trust me on this one.

Beverly said...

You know, Sybil, I could take you up on that as I am going to Corpus Christi for vacation in August. Then YOU will have to deal with my problem. I'm sure my husband would love it if I just dropped all my books off somewhere else.

Bev (BB) said...

I don't have a problem with sagging or overflowing shelves since the DH built me two floor to ceiling shelves just for my paperbacks several years ago. Where I run into problems is with my to-be-read basket that's overflowed until it's slowly taking over my dresser. And the bedside table. I have got to whittle that thing down. (G)

sybil said...


you have the address ;) if you are going to Corpus Christi I could be on your way, if you are doing South Padre I am on your way!

I got read of the hubby when I was 25. So plenty of room for books. hee

sybil said...

rid not read


Kristie (J) said...

I only have 2 book cases and they aren't heavily loaded. But boxes!!! Boxes under beds, boxes in closets, boxes in the basement, boxes in the kitchen. BIG boxes, little boxes Boxes and boxes.
Now I sound like a Dr. Suess book. And not in any kind of order :(

Alyssa said...

I haven't had any shelves collapse, but I have more books than will fit on my shelves. I definitely have book piles that topple over regularly.

Believe it or not, I actually have gotten a bit better at weeding through my books. Distance and time are one thing that help--if I can't remember the story or why I liked the book, I have an easier time letting go of it. I can't say that it's been easy or that it always works, but it's been easier.