Weekly Geeks: Hoarding Behavior

June 21, 2010 at 12:10 am 8 comments

So this week, I am curious about those gigantic TBR piles which readers tend to accumulate. Please share with us your habits, tendencies or obsessions when it comes to hoarding behavior.

The first thing you have to know about me is that I never spend list price on a book. Ever. I suspect this aversion has roots back in the days when I was a Media Play shopper (where all kids’ books were 10% off!). My condition was only aggravated in my later years by working at a thrift store, where I routinely got books for 50 cents in paperback ($1 for hardcover if I felt like splurging). I amassed a collection of Maeve Binchy‘s works for less than $8 back in those days.

With the advent of amazon.com, whatever tenuous relationship I had with stores like Barnes and Noble and Borders was severed forever. I am not one of those people who walks into a bookstore and comes out three hours later with a stack of 10-15 new books, and even my Amazon orders are few and far between.

However, it’s a different story when I enter a library, a thrift shop, or a used bookstore. If the book is cheap enough, I will buy it, provided I either:

  1. Heard good things about the author
  2. Heard good things about the particular book
  3. Am convinced by the reviews on the back cover
  4. Think the book sort of looks like something I would enjoy.

Naturally, I tend to come away from thrift stores with piles of paperbacks. I went into a store in my new town last weekend looking for a bookshelf, a wastepaper basket and kitchenware and came away only having bought three books — only because I was restrained by the fact that I still hadn’t gotten a bookshelf.

Trips to the library can be similarly hazardous. Normally, I’ll pick up anywhere from 10 to 15 books at a stretch, barely getting any of them read before they have to go back. But eventually, these books have to go away, so I’m not sure they can be considered hoarding.

For the moment, any tendencies toward book accumulation on my part are checked by the very small size of my bookcase, and my unwillingness to begin piling books on the floor. But once I finally crack and decide that books beside the bookshelf are just as good as books on the bookshelf, look out — there’s no turning back.

What about you? Do you hoard books? Tell us all about it in the comments!

— KT


Entry filed under: Weekly Geeks. Tags: , , , .

Rereadings: The Professor’s Daughter The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kim  |  June 21, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Hmmm. I would hoard more books, except that I have two small bookshelves, and can’t fit all my books in my suitcase to take with me back to school. As a result, I end up having books in California for when I come back, in California in boxes to be sent to me, at grandma’s house stored away, and at school. Not cool.

    And oh, the days of LADD. I really miss that place. Although since my life is a blank, all I can remember is delicious trips to Arby’s and two really cool vintage wedding dresses that I was obsessed with. I think I usually didn’t like most of their books, but that is where I got my copy of Fried Green Tomatoes from. =]

  • 2. Kim  |  June 21, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Also, after shopping on Amazon for so long, I almost had a heart attack the other week browsing through Barnes & Noble…I think the guy working thought I was a complete freak, since I just whipped out my camera phone and started taking pictures of all the covers that looked interesting. And then when my phone died, scribbled the titles down frantically on the back of my bus map…

    • 3. Britney  |  June 21, 2010 at 5:10 am

      I was doing the same at Borders the other day…

  • 4. Britney  |  June 21, 2010 at 5:07 am

    I’d say I’m not a hoarder, because I’m perfectly okay with getting rid of most of them. I do have more books than I have space for (they currently don’t fit on a double-stacked bookshelf) and can read in a reasonable amount of time (especially since I do supplement the books I own with library books).

    I too rarely buy books full price.

    This weekend wasn’t very good for me on the not-accumulating front. I had a Borders coupon and gift card and used both on Saturday (got two books) and yesterday I ordered five more from PaperBackSwap.

  • 5. silverseason  |  June 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Where I really get into trouble is at the semi-annual Friends book sale at our local library: http://silverseason.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/library-book-sale-spring-2010/. They have a wonderful baked goods table also.

  • 6. Mish  |  June 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Like you, I have an aversion to monopoly stores and prefer thrift stores. My favourite used bookstore is two minutes walk, which can be dangerous. I don’t use my library because they never have anything I want.

    I’ve gotten better at getting rid of books, meaning I actually do so. My shelves each have two rows of books so I try to make space for new additions from time to time.

  • 7. Iris  |  June 25, 2010 at 2:28 am

    I hoard books. I wish I could practise your restraint when it comes to used book sales. I would never ask any of those questions per se, any book that looks as if I might enjoy it will come home with me if it is cheap enough, I’m afraid.

  • […] my sad little second-hands went into a pile next to the shelf (told you this would happen) as I turned to the new and exciting library books. I even abandoned The Bohemian Girl in favor of […]


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