TOO MANY BOOKS?

When my husband and friends built our new home in a rural Ozarks forest they created an entire wall of bookshelves in our home’s “Great Room.” (Living Room, Dining Room, Reading Room, TV watching, and more.) As a result, I had no problem finding homes for book purchases , And there was another wall of book shelves in my office.

I imagine 99 percent of writers also love to read, though, I have learned, time to read other authors’ works is limited simply because we must devote so much time to our own writing, not to mention promoting sales of that work after it is published. However, I continued to buy a lot of books, many from authors whose work I enjoyed, but also books written by fellow authors throughout our profession that I met at Writers’ Conferences.

So, when my husband and I decided it was time to leave our large home and the many acres we were stewards over in the rural Ozarks and move to a city condo, the biggest problem for me was what do do about ALL MY BOOKS. I bought five bookshelf units for the living room area of our new home, but they would certainly not hold what my husband called the Nehring Library.

Sorting was difficult. Certainly author-signed books had to be kept, and books I used for research in my writing. Also, I could not give up books I had enjoyed reading once and wanted to save for a re-read. And what about my large collection of art books, including books from art museums, plus books devoted to the lives and work of my favorite Renaissance painters? Day after day I sorted into stacks, trying to keep a “stiff upper lip”‘ when it came to filling the ‘donate these’ boxes.

It took some time for our country homestead to sell so, city condo purchased and bookshelf purchases installed, I moved books every time we made a trip over the probably 30 miles from our country home to the city where we would be settling. I soon found out the bookshelf units were deep enough to take double layers of books. So…..? My husband figured I got rid of maybe 1000 books. Really?

Now, years later, and living alone in a condo with way too many possessions, I am sorting books again. One thing I realize is that, even though I do have a bit more time for reading now, I would have to be reading books from my collections for at least 50 more years to read or re-read them all. So..stiff upper lip again.

I just got an email from Barnes & Noble announcing that they now have copies of Amanda Gorman’s new book of poetry. And there is that new mystery just out in the on-going series by ………

I have a sweat shirt that proclaims: “You can never have too many books.”

Really? What do you book collectors out t here consider “too many books?”

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