Saturday, 5 May 2012

I may have more books than I need...

I recently filled in a questionnaire about my book-related habits. I had to estimate how many books I owned, read a year, that sort of thing. Pretty straightforward. So I made a conservative estimate of how many books I own. There's quite a few in the study. There's a wall in the dining room, a few shelves in the living room, more in the bedroom, the entire Terry Pratchett collection on the landing...OMG. Is two and half thousand books a bit much?  
Novels

The problem is, the kids are not entirely book-free either - that's another thousand books...and the husband isn't without a few metres of bookshelves of his own. No wonder the house creaks a bit in windy weather, it's probably about to fall down.

Writing, poetry, literature
Then they wanted to know things like how many books do you read a year. Actually, I've slowed down enormously, from two a day at my most prolific (when the kids were small) to less than one a day. I do read ridiculously fast, and I don't get as much detail out of books as some readers, which is fine because chances are, I'll read them again. And again. I own dozens of books I've read more than ten times, they are the ones looking sorry for themselves.

Non-fiction and work
Which raises the issue of the possibility of a Kindle. As soon as I sent the book over to the agent, she 'stuck it on the Kindle' so she could carry it around with her. What a brilliant idea! Think how many trees would be saved, not just in making the books but in building the many many bookshelves. On the other hand, my house would never end up looking like a secondhand bookshop!

Not to mention that most of my books were secondhand when I bought them. I'm not sure that would really work in Kindle!

8 comments:

  1. ... and the musical instruments!

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    1. WAY too many musical instruments! Thinks of all the books shelf space we're losing with NINE guitars, a keyboard, drums, flutes and a violin!!!

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  2. I'm just like you, but you have a magnificent library! Bigger than mine. House space constrains me. Funny that I have a whole shelf dedicated to Pratchett too. :)

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  3. I too have way more books than I need. And I have a Kindle but am still bringing print books into the house.

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    1. Hi Karen, Print books have presence, smell, history, they are tactile...I can't see myself giving them up entirely!

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  4. I'm not really sure what to think about the kindle. It is a brilliant idea as it does save trees and tons of space, but I think of books at a collectors item. It' so nice buying the actual thing and reading the actual words, not some computerised, techno version. Also, kindles don't give that gorgeous smell from a new book. What do you think about them?
    M. x

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    1. I'm a huge fan of secondhand books too - I love their history, the messages people leave in them, the pages they turn down. New books, intoxicating.

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