Book Buyers Anonymous

Too many books or too few shelves?
Too many books or too few shelves?

There are two kinds of people with overflowing bookcases:

1) those who believe they should stop buying so many books; and

2) those who believe they should buy more bookcases.

I am of the latter sort.

But, as we have such a tiny house that to fit in another bookcase would require removing the couch or taking down a painting, I stepped into the “No more books!” camp briefly this summer. For almost AN ENTIRE SEASON, I did not buy any books. (Well, hardly any. Not so many that I couldn’t squeeze them onto existing shelves without collapse.)

This was not easy, and since I always mistake difficult things for good things, I was feeling very proud of myself for not buying books. (Twisted logic for an author, I know — who in their right mind could be proud of NOT buying books??? — but there I was, twisted and illogical and proud.)

I thought I had cured the book-buying addict in me. (I had about 50 books on hold at the library but that’s a separate addiction.) But then my son’s school had its Scholastic Book Fair and all it took was one sniff of a book sale for me to fall off the wagon. I came home with these:


And I immediately ordered these:

ordered books

(I’d given away my copies of Red Market and Yellow Mini, which obviously needed replacing, and Monique Polak had just released her new book, So Much it Hurts, which obviously needed purchasing, and I picked up Little Bee and Not for Sale while I was in the store – what can I say? I’m an addict.)

Then I took advantage of Orca Book Publishers’ Cyber Monday 50% off sale:

orca books

(My son scooped some of these and said, “Orca does really good books. They’re so innovative.” Love that kid.)

Then I visited a friend in Kingston and we always eat breakfast at Smitty’s and then browse the bookstore next door – it’s an unbreakable tradition – and I lingered too long at the bargain table:

chapters books

Then I bought some quilting material at a second-hand shop and when I passed the bookshelves, this happened:

used books

And this, too, two days later:


(The woman at Saint Vincent de Paul said she sorts through 2,000 pounds of book donations a week. That’s a ton of purged books. Those that make it to the store shelves need foster homes badly. And no, I don’t feel bad about scooping up such awesome books for a few dollars each instead of leaving them for poorer readers. The second hand shops desperately need more room for new purges by recovering book addicts like me. Really, I should have bought more.)

So now I have half a year’s new reading in a pile on my floor. And that just feels right.

I will have to ask Santa for a bookshelf this Christmas.

6 Comments on “Book Buyers Anonymous

  1. It’s so hard to buy just one… Seriously, it’s like books were MADE to buy in multiples! Coming home with any fewer than two just feels like a perversion of nature!
    (And so we addicts continue to justify out out-of-control habit…)

  2. A new bookshelf? I would go in for a whole addition on the house, “The Library.” Great finds. You can never argue with great finds. Enjoy!

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