Is there such a thing as too many books?

We read a lot around here. It used to be that by the end of summer every year, we would have acquired so many new books, we would have to pare down our bookshelves and give books away — and that was before we had kids! Now that we have (a) two fabulous children who love to read, and (b) a bigger house and more bookshelves, we still manage to finish the summer with more books than we have room for… but not so many more as it used to be.

We have a Kindle, you see. We got it a little over a year ago, and I love it to death.

Oh, I still love the feel of a good tree-based book in my hands, don’t get me wrong, but that’s what the library is for, with the exception of a few authors I love  (and are on my autobuy list) whose publishers have not embraced the ebook as of yet. But I love our Kindle. And I love more that there are so many free and inexpensive books available for the Kindle for adults and kids alike.

You would think that once you own a Kindle, the annual bookshelf purge to make room for new books would become a thing of the past. Not so, unfortunately. Doubly unfortunate is the fact that the books that we now buy in tree-based format are books that we truly treasure — the fluffier and less-committed-to-owning-it-forever books are now entirely digital.

Why is that unfortunate? It isn’t unfortunate. It is doubly unfortunate. Because now, deciding which books to send along to a new home has become an impossible decision that has resulted in the following inevitable conclusion: I must buy more bookshelves.

(And those of you who are reading this who know us in real life know that we already have quite a few bookshelves.)

As for the Kindle, it turns out the Kindle needs a little decluttering too. A purge, if you will, of just a few of the 848 books that currently reside in its memory. Either that or I need to spend a few hours dividing my categories up into subcategories and subsubcategories to make that list of 848 books a little more manageable.

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8 thoughts on “Is there such a thing as too many books?

  1. I know how it is, having to many books. I organized my room library (I live at home, with my parents, and each kid has it’s own library, and we have a slightly bigger one with my parents books), and I had to give away some of my books, for my sister down the hall.
    It’s not that big of a deal, but I feel connected to books, or at least some of them, and that’s why I like paper-based books. I never owned a kindle or any of that, and sure it would be more comfortable to carry around, but I like the feeling of the pages on my hands way too much.
    I only imagine who many books I’ll own once I make a decent income and have a bigger room.
    But I don’t think there’s such a thing as too many books.

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    1. It sounds like your entire family loves books, if each kid has a library of their own! And I know what you mean about feeling connected to books. Whenever someone makes a comment about how ebooks are destroying tree-based books, I have to laugh. Even people who embrace their ebook reader still love the feel of an actual book in their hands, and if the ebook isn’t available, they happily buy the tree-based version.

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      1. I go crazy on the free books sometimes, so that’s what I do. Read it, and ask myself: ‘Do I want to read this again?’ If the answer’s no, to the archive it goes!

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      2. What sites do you use for free / inexpensive books? I’ve been using the Frugal E-Reader and Pixel of Ink, but I am always looking for more inexpensive ways to feed our book habit. 🙂

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      3. On the Amazon site, Kindle Books page, to the right, there’s a sidebar with the Top 100 Free books. The list changes pretty frequently, so it’s enough to keep me entertained.

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