Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Am I a hoarder?

In my last post, I wrote an ode to the print book. This post may in fact be proof that I have a problem when it comes to loving print books. /sarcasm.

After a few weeks of not using my ereader, and a few frank conversations, my mother agreed to sell the ereader she bought me and use the money to buy me some bookshelves. They came on Monday and after putting them together, I started to go through and organize all of my books. But not just the ones on the floor. I figured if I had the shelf-space, I might as well arrange all my books in some sort of order again like they used to be (or at least an order that makes sense to me).

I sat down on my floor and started sifting through all of the books. I was particularly proud of myself for setting aside books I want to get rid of (either selling to The Strand or bring to work to throw on the takeshelves). But before I knew it, there were books everywhere. My neat piles had turned into a pit of book-mess. My get-rid-of pile grew to approx. 100+ books and looked like a small mountain. I soon realized that organizing these books would be more stressful than building the bookshelves. I went to bed last night with my office in a shambles.

Here are some before pictures:

These pictures don't even begin to do justice to how much was strewn about.

This is my desk chair. As you can see, it was overflowing.

Even my desk had stacks on it.

After whining to my best friend on the phone about how difficult it was to organize all these books into the perfect sequence, worrying that I still wouldn't have enough shelf-space, and him laughing at me, I finally hung up and powered through. Here is the result:

You can see my collection of orange bears on display at the very top. Also note the big gap where most of my Buffy and Angel DVDs should go. They are currently being loaned out to the aforementioned best friend. He knows what will happen to him if one of them goes missing.

Here are the other two. You can see the rest of my DVD collection, my comics/graphic novels, pictures of my sisters and my other best friend, and my Wizard of Oz nutcrackers (I used to be obsessed with The Wizard of Oz and some of my aunts still send me WoO junk they find at garage sales, despite my protests.)

Afterward, I decided to count my books quickly and see just how many there were. My best friend guessed 400-500. I guessed "I have no freaking clue." Counting the book I'm currently reading and everything on my shelf, and excluding books that are on loan, books that are still in my cubicle at my temp job, comic books, my get-rid-of pile, and a pile of books that are under my desk to reference for the column I'm writing for Lambda Literary*, I have 601 books. That means that combined with everything that was excluded, I own 700+ books. I don't know whether to be extremely proud or really embarrassed. I guess I'm going with proud, since I'm posting this information on a public blog...though I may blame that on shock in the morning.

One of my friends called me a hoarder** though I don't think that's fair, since I'm getting rid of 100+ books and the ones I have are not taking over my living area. Another friend, however, said I was merely "an Enthusiast." I tend to agree with her.

*I am currently writing a monthly column, entitled Booknerds & Queerleaders, for the Lambda Literary Foundation's website.
**Yes, I even have a book about hoarding (or rather, a novel about a girl whose mom is a hoarder) Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu - read it. It's good!


Claudia Putnam said...

Hahahahah. Thanks for posting this. Here's my blog of a similar nature, which I can't resist sharing... I would totally lose track of who I am without physical books on shelves...

LG said...

This is awesome, TS! Good job for getting it organized. :-)

Sophie Playle said...


Nick said...

Looks like my bookshelf! Glad to see I'm not the only one! If you want to add another book to the collection, I highly recommend The Art and Practice of Loving: Living a Heartfelt Yes by Frank Andrews, which was just re-released in print (I agree, print is essential!) You can find it at Enjoy!

Unknown said...

TS! Anne gave you a wrong email for me on Saturday night. it's James and i want to see you again. Hope you get this!

Marcy said...

Way to go on the hard work! And it is! Especially when you find one you haven't seen in awhile and you sit and start to read it, forgetting about your attempt at organizing. Books do that to you.. they suck you in. :) Way to trudge through it! What a stress-relief, Im sure!

S.J.Kincaid said...

To me, that's sheer beauty. Love the book hoarding, the piles of titles, many of which I haven't read, yet.

There's an argument against e-readers: you don't get the visceral satisfaction of seeing all these books that are yours, all yours.

abesheet said...

Take your blog to wordpress. It's much more beautiful and readable there.

abigail. said...

You could give Miss Tania a run for her money... :)