Reading has always been my favorite activity, ever since I was kid. Having spent most of my childhood inside our house, I often read to kill time. Unfortunately, there weren’t that many books at home (encyclopedias and my dad’s engineering books don’t count). And when I visit the bookstore with my parents, they only let me buy one or two books–which I would finish in a month or so. Thank God for libraries, right?
My dream then was to fill our bookshelves with my favorite books. That’s why when I finally started earning my own money, I went on to buy as much books as I can. But as much as I love growing my collection, I also have to deal with problems that I’m sure any bibliophile can relate.
You feel that your unread pile is growing and staring at you accusingly every time you buy new books.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel this every time I enter a bookstore. The bookstore is my happy place, and shopping for books is my retail therapy. But I still hesitate whenever I pick up a book off the shelf. I would tell myself that I shouldn’t buy a new book because I still have 4 or 5 new and unread ones back home. Depending on the situation (read: my wallet and/or credit card bill), I still buy books anyway.
You always get asked if you’ve read them all.
“Nabasa mo lahat yan?” As if my books are objects for display. (Ok, maybe they also have a decorative function, but c’mon.)
You have so many books that you don’t know where to put them.
Though this is a nice problem to have, it’s still a hassle especially when you want to keep your books in good condition. You didn’t spend all this money just to have them lying all over the floor.
Me and my sister have always shared a room, but I try to place my books in every corner of it, just to maximize the space. But it’s still not enough, so I also have books placed in the living room. I do wish I can keep them all in one place, arranged by genre and author, and proper labels.
You accidentally buy another copy of the same book because you can’t keep track of them.
Early on, I wasn’t able to document the books that I have. So sometimes I would end up buying books of the same title. The good part is that often they are different editions, so I get to choose the better one and then give away or sell the extra copy. (I gave away an extra copy of Yann Martel’s short story collection in my first post.)
I currently use my Goodreads account to not only document my books but also keep track of the ones I’ve read. The mobile version has this nifty scan feature where you can scan the barcode so you won’t have to manually encode the titles (however, it doesn’t work in some Philippine titles).
At one point, you will lose a book.
Whether it is because of carelessness or a friend (now enemy. loljk) who borrowed your book and never returned it, you’re bound to lose one or two. Again, keeping track would really help.
You have to decide: hardbound or paperback? This cover or that?
I know they say don’t judge the book by its cover, but I’m pretty sure all bibliophiles will agree: it matters. Certain considerations have to be made when choosing hardbound or paperback. Most of my hardbound books are first editions, which means I couldn’t wait for the cheaper, paperback edition. But sometimes I do prefer paperbacks because they are lighter and more convenient to carry.
As with the covers, publishers often release various editions of the same title, hence the different cover designs. Some even have different sizes. I had a hard time choosing an edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude because of that. (Harry Potter is an exception though.)
You know it’s never enough.
I don’t know how many books I currently have. All I know is–I want more! You can never have too many books. 😀