I am a hoarder – of books. The polite name for me is a bibliophile. Even with numerous small free-standing bookcases dotting the walls of my house along with three built-in cases, my collection litters the tables and fills several baskets.

Strictly speaking, a hoarder doesn’t throw anything out or give it away. That can’t be said of my friend, Dorothy, or myself. We loan our books to other readers or donate ones we’ve read to Friends of the Library unless they’re too good to part with or we think they might be worth a second read.

I’m fond of current publications, and counting self-published books, four million are printed each year. Books reach out to me with their little arms screaming, “Take me home!”

You can see my problem. I tend to gather books faster than I can possibly read them. The good news is that there’s a fancy word for me in that regard too. Tsundoku is a Japanese name for one who collects books he hasn’t read and may never read.

But aww! The feel of the paper when I rub my fingers across the page or hold a book up to my nose to smell the dried wood aroma reminds me of the Little Golden Books of my childhood. What could take the place of the colorful pictures and imaginary adventures I took?

Recently on a Netflix documentary called Minimalism, it was revealed that the normal house contains 300,000 items. If one-third of those in an average home belong to the children, that would leave me with 200,000 items since no children live here. 200,000 items! That’s an impressive number.

If my wonder dog, Barney Welsh Corgi, has 100 items, which seems like a lot of stuff for him to own, that would mean the other 199,900 in our home must belong to me. Wow! How many of them are books?

This is serious. Maybe I could eliminate a few craft books and old novels to make room for the new books I’ll buy. A glance down at the bottom shelf of one of the bookcases clues me into the fact that Barney Welsh Corgi has already started the cleanout process. He’s nibbled the corners and ripped part of the cover off three books. They don’t look very inviting after he’s had his reading time. I’d better get rid of them before someone sees them and thinks I have a problem.

After several hours of work, my donation pile contains fourteen craft books, nineteen novels, three books read by Barney Welsh Corgi, and two barely opened cookbooks. That’s a total of thirty-eight volumes.

Enough gathering of unnecessary books for one day. My item count is now 199,862 which should stand at least until morning.

But, remember the tsundoku motto, if you have no books, you can’t read them.

Please leave a comment with your favorite book. I’m always on the lookout for new reads!

picture of books in many colors

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