14 May 2014

The Book Hoarders

One of the things we did in order to prepare for our international move was donate/give away/sell a lot of things that we owned. This included a lot of our books. We had 3 full-size bookcases, a kid's bookcase, and several piles on the floor, and we cleared out approximately 1/3 of all the books. That's a big number, but it may surprise you more when you see the number of books that we still have around. Factor in the e-books we have on our respective e-readers and it's a good thing those are electronic - they'd take up more room than what we gave away.

Just a sampling



The main reason for all the books starts with the fact that we are nerds. That's number one, plain and simple. Mark and I have always read a lot, and as adults that has only increased with our interests. We're both what you would call "lifelong learners" - there's so many more things to find out about, and books are a wonderful way of starting.

Living in a country where English is not the main language has, I believe, only increased our love of books. You can get plenty of English-language books in the Netherlands, but books that are not on the best-seller lists are harder to come by, especially in Tilburg. They've become a cherished commodity, and a connection to our "normal."

Seriously, it's a good thing e-books don't weigh anything... This single e-book is 1712 pages.


Even Little Man's book collection continues to grow. Sure, there are plenty of board books left, but I'm hesitant to give any away. For one thing, I'm not sure where you give English language children's books around here, but I'm also thinking about Little Man's reading development since he is showing signs of pre-reading (in English). I know that Step-Into-Reading books will be hard to come by, so I keep the "baby books" around so that there is something for him to start reading on his own.

We will be moving this summer, and while I've started trying to de-clutter and toss things so we don't move them, I have no plans to touch the books - they're all coming with us. Ideally, we'd make more of an effort to limit the "stuff" we have, but I often keep books out of that category. The books are stories, experiences, knowledge, and so much more - the kinds of things you never want to let go. The kinds of things that are for keeps.

13 comments:

  1. I have many thoughts on this:
    1. I have the same copy of Valley of the Dolls and mine is always faded in that weird way
    2. I love the orange spine Jack Kerouac books and have two of my own
    3. Do you have some sort of cataloging system on your books?
    4. As per my post yesterday I love things and cannot believe I did not mention all of our books!

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  2. Nerds unite! The best part about coming home from Asia was being reunited with my hundred (thousands?) of books. Have you ever ordered from bookdepository.com? I think they ship free worldwide

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  3. I also brought a ton of books with me, although it still breaks my heart that I had to leave so many behind. As much as I enjoy the convenience of ebooks, I miss the visual and tactile element of real books. Just looking at all of the spines takes me back to both the story within the book, as well as my memories associated with each book.

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  4. I'm going to going to respond point by point, because why not?
    1. I can't figure out if it faded or if I bought it that way. But it's been so many years I can't remember straight. But the coloring does look strange...
    2. Mark get's all the credit for the Kerouac books - but they're good reads.
    3. We did try for a while with a Dewey Decimal system, complete with computerized inventory, because we're total nerds. We didn't keep up with it though, so now we just have a bunch of books with tags on them, haha.
    4. Now that you mention it, I'm surprised you didn't! You're picture was showing a pretty nice collection on the shelves - one to be proud of =)

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  5. Haha - I bet it was like getting back together with a bunch of old friends!
    I haven't used that website, but thanks for the tip. I'll check on their shipping costs - though either way it may be a dangerous discovery =)

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  6. I know what you mean about the ebooks. There are some cases that I have a physical and electronic copy because I love the book so much. That way I can really look at it or hold onto it at home but I can always take it with my (ever growing) ebook list when I'm traveling. It's the best of convenience and relationship with the book

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  7. Books were 90% of what we brought when moving. The movers who had to carry our boxes were confused that every box was labeled "clothes" or "kitchen stuff" + "books." I tried hard to evenly distribute them across all the boxes to help the weight, but of course there was at least one box that seemed to end up with all the leftover books and weigh what I can only guess was 1 ton.

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  8. Hubby and I are moving into our own place in three weeks, so we will be doing a bit of de-cluttering. Sadly, I left all my treasured books back in the UK and miss them so much! I am looking forward to slowly building up a bookcase again (when we buy one) and starting my collection over again - I am an avid reader too!

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  9. Too funny! At least you attempted to spread out the weight - though I feel bad for the lucky mover that got stuck with that one big box...

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  10. Congrats on the new place! I can't imagine leaving all our books behind, and I don't blame you for missing them! But it will be fun to build up a new collection together. =)

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  11. I literally cannot leave my books behind. When I moved to Spain my hand luggage was all my favourite books, and my family stored the rest, and when I moved back I filled my dogs kennel with my books and shipped it back altogether. The weight of it made it illegal to be moved out of the van without the help of a small crane(!!)

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  12. I love that you had a system, my old system was looking for the spine but now we have them alphabetized which is great till you get a new book and then have to shift everything!

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  13. Ha! The "search for a spine" system is what we're working with now, but it's working well enough. Only problem is we're already starting to run out of room on the shelves again...

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