Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Drowning in Books and Loving It

Hi, I have a book problem, as in I have too many. Whew! I feel better just for admitting it. I've been working on this problem for several months now and have actually been somewhat successful in curtailing my acquisition of books. The only books I'm allowing myself to purchase this year are Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and anything by Brian K. Vaughan. And I've been sticking to this, except for the books I needed to read for NYPL Bookfest. Even better, I've actually removed books from my shelves - some sold at used book stores, some given away to teens at the library.

But purchasing books is only part of the problem. My real weakness is free books. Advance reader copies, galleys, promos, freebies . . . whatever you want to call them. I've been lucky enough to attend several conferences over the past few years and at each I've picked up as many books as I can possibly carry, sometimes more, and I always regret it when I'm trying to schlep my suitcase through the airport, but I can't stop. On top of that, every time my dad goes to a conference he brings me back books. Admittedly there are a number of duds, but once in a while you get a gem, like Twilight by Stephenie Meyer*. This causes a problem. There's never room for the glut of books to squeeze into my bookshelves. So tomes are double shelved and stacked every which way, until I don't know what I own. (I recently rearranged everything from genre to alphabetic in an attempt to combat this confusion. It's not helped much.)

Things might be manageable if that were the sum of the problem. Unfortunately, on top of the books I've paid for and the books I've picked up at conferences, I have library books on every surface in my apartment. My eyes are too large for my literary stomach. As I desperately try and keep up with the list of books and authors I'm familiar with the stacks only grow.

So why am I thinking about this now? Books are heavy. I've moved four times in four years, and am contemplating a fifth. (Never fear, this one would be as permanent as any move you make in your late 20s can be.) Also, I'm lucky enough to be going to ALA Annual Conference this summer and know I will be unable to resist loading myself with books. Even worse, this year I'll be driving. No having to schlep books through airports this time, which means no limits. Oh well, at least ALA is after my proposed move date. Bring on the books.

*New Moon got a mention on the Colbert Report last night. Yay!

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