Book Related

Why Do We Collect Books?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got a collection of books on display somewhere in your home. You probably spend a few moments every day admiring the collection you’ve assembled over time, and think regularly about adding to it. You rearrange it now and then, either for looks or to include new additions to your collection. You take pictures and post them to the internet. It’s a source of pride for you, and something you love, both reading these books and displaying them.

I was thinking about this the other day, and wondering why I felt so compelled to go to the bookstore, even though I’d just gotten a few books the week before. I have lots of books I haven’t read. I don’t need more, not now. So why do I feel so compelled to continue to add to my shelves?

It’s not logical, really. Having just moved, I can say that it’s not easy to move books. They’re heavy and they take up a fair bit of space.

You can get books from the library for free, in exchange for their safe return.

And now we can put thousands of books onto an electronic device that weighs less than a kilogram and can go anywhere we do.

I’ve collected books my entire life. I’ve always had a shelf on display, even as a young child. But now that I’ve moved out of my parents house, and half of my collection is on the other side of the country, I’ve wondered if I should really continue to gather up physical copies as I do. I’m probably never going to get all of those books 5000km across the country. It’s too expensive, or would take too many trips.

I have no intention of living in my current city for the rest of my life either, which means this situation will inevitably come up again.

But I’m still buying books. I love the look of a bookshelf on display. I like the feel of a physical copy in my hands. I like being able to have options for rereading at my disposal, without leaving my home. I have and use an e-reader regularly, though I will still go out and buy a hard copy of a book if I really love it.

I guess it’s just one of those things. Some people keep sports memorabilia. Some have closets bursting at the seams. I have a lot of books.

What is your reason for keeping a growing collection of books?


3 thoughts on “Why Do We Collect Books?

  1. That is a question I’m asked almost daily. For me it’s the healthiest addiction I could possibly have when there are certainly worse things out there. I can sit in my room and escape to all sorts of places without having to damage my health (hands and eyesight notwithstanding).

    For another, I really love the smell of a new book. You can buy a candle that will smell like it for about £30 but why do that when I can buy 3 books?

    Also they’re always there for me when I need them.

    There’s so many reasons why I collect and I’m always telling myself I don’t need anymore then I buy more and I can honestly say I don’t feel bad about it – it’s one of the healthiest addictions to have 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that way of phrasing it – a healthy addiction. I definitely agree with everything you’ve said here, especially regarding the fact that they’re always there and you can use them to escape. Books are the best thing for when the real world gets to be too much.

      Liked by 1 person

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