My own, my precious. Die hard book hoarder.

Sure, I appreciate my E-reader. No doubt about it. My Kindle Paperwhite is convenient, the text of any document is easy to read– I can read books in record time. Flipping pages reminds me of water skiing. It’s that fast. I can adjust font, font size, lighting, look up additional information about a book or an author, highlight, use the cloud, subscribe to journals, even review, all from one lightweight flat tablet. And even better, it fits in my purse. Using an E-reader is a no-brainer. Easy as baking an emergency pie!

But I still love actual books for this simple reason — A book engages more of my senses.

It gives me great pleasure to hold a book, to feel its weight and heft in my hands. I love the aroma of paper and ink. I can tell by smell alone if the book is old and well-worn and well-read or brand spanking new. I am comforted by the sound of pages turning pages. The very act of turning pages is comforting, soothing, familiar… in the same tactile way Reiki is soothing. And I get a kick out of using the slate bookmark created for me and me alone by the slate shingle master in Wales.

I no longer buy new books. I don’t even bother to go to bookstores– which once upon a time were my weakness. Bookstores were my weakness. (It’s a pun. You won’t get it but ‘Oscar‘ will understand.) Who wants to spend mega bucks on books? Not me. Not anymore.

My new obsession is my shipping place. I’m there all the time, shipping stuff to scattered family members. The shipping place collects used books. Anyone can take a used book from the shelves. Done. Pay for your shipping, walk out the door with a free book or two. And the owner has an entire wall of used books, some quite old. To even out my karma, every once in a while I leave a few of my gently-used books. Seems fair to me. And since new books appear as often as books disappear, I assume most customers subscribe to the same generous sentiment.

I’ve found some treasures. Been reading up a storm.

Treasure Trove!

Treasure Trove!

I’m deeply engrossed in Ride The Wind, The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker and the Last Days of the Comanche, by Lucia St. Clair Robson– an historical novel about Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of the last free Comanche War Chief, Quanah Parker. Now I’d known the name Quanah Parker for simply ages, but I had no idea his mother was a white woman who’d been taken captive by the Comanche as a young child. She was adopted by a high-ranking family in the tribe. Ride the Wind is 563 pages of sheer bliss. It’s like a chimera of Winter Woman and Follow the River. (Look ‘em up.)

In the queue:

The Pelican Brief, by John Grisham– Grisham is always entertaining. I’ve seen the film, never read the book.

In the Heat of the Summer, by John Katzenbach. This book became the film, The Mean Season with Kurt Russell. I’m very much looking forward to the read.

Pandora’s Daughter, by Iris Johansen. Oooh. Chilling. Looks like loads of suspenseful scary fun.

Don’t hate me because I still love books.

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18 Responses to My own, my precious. Die hard book hoarder.

  1. Amber Skyze says:

    I love books too. I still buy them. :)

  2. Steph Berget says:

    I love the smell of books. Unfortunately, arthritis in my hands makes holding them painful. Thank goodness for e-readers.

  3. Diana Stevan says:

    Passionate about books, too. Yes, I’m getting more books on my Kindle, but I still buy the odd paperback at retail. In March, I bought a collection of short stories at Water on the Words, which is a writers festival in Campbell River, British Columbia. And since I go to Vancouver regularly, and spend time in the West Van. library over there, I can’t resist browsing their bookshelves of donated books for sale. I never walk out of there without an armload- hard cover and paper back. Former prize winners, classics, bestsellers and some obscure ones that intrigue. How can I resist? The only problem is that I think I have too many books, ones I’m hoping I can read in my lifetime.

  4. Jaye says:

    I’ll agree with you on every point save one, Julia. The smell. If I can smell my books, that means mold. Mold means they have to go. :)

    A few years ago I purged about 90% of my hoard. I didn’t want to dust them or store them or make room for them anymore. I established a hard and fast rule: If I bring one book into the house, another one has to go. Even so, there are some I couldn’t discard for love or money and if I ended up homeless, I’d have to get a little red wagon or a shopping cart or a burro in order to tote them around. My collection of myths and fairy tales, my historical references, my dictionaries (I adore dictionaries!), and my signed novels (to name only a few of the hundreds I can’t bear to part with–call me weak!).

    So yeah, I guess I’m still a hoarder, but at least it’s of a size that I no longer have to worry about being buried in a book avalanche.

  5. So many books, so little time. SO little brain-on time.

    So little self-discipline. I start a book – I either read every word, or throw against the wall permanently before I can stop and go to bed.

    What can I say? Some of us are weak.

  6. Roberta says:

    I still love books. Love holding them, and rubbing them. Love to look at a book cover and title and imagine its contents ~ an unopened present that beings joy, wonder, and never ending surprises upon the reading. A book becomes a treasured friend as it sits upon my book shelf among all my other good and new and old friends.

    I love books.

    Let me know if Pelican is a good read. Have seen movie a dozen times. Love it.

  7. I’ll let you know, Roberta! I feel the same way– I so love books.

  8. Well, you do read shorter books, Alicia. :)

  9. LOL Jaye! It’s not mold I smell, it’s dust and old paper. I too get rid of books, but never my forever keepers.

  10. I’ve been buying used books for years, Diana. It’s so easy between Amazon and my shipping place! I’m glad you have wonderful libraries. I donate books to their sales, but our library is horrible. No money, open very few hours. So sad.

  11. Yes, e-readers are easy to hold, Stephanie. Plus the ability to enlarge the font is wonderful.

  12. Yep, Amber. Just yep! :)

  13. Diana Stevan says:

    West Van. library is gorgeous. A stained glass window, inner courtyard, comfy chairs inside with coffee shop. Rob and I take our coffee to go mugs, my laptop, his ipad, and we can wile the hours away there. And when I take a break from writing, I can browse their books. Delicious!

  14. How fun, Diana. I’m green with envy. The library in my town in Iowa was amazing. Here? Nuthin’. Can barely afford to remain open.

  15. Sandra Cox says:

    Perfect! On oh so many levels.

  16. anny cook says:

    Sadly, I need to weed out. The hunk can only read on his monitor screen (27″ wide) so I bought the books he wanted to read in e-format. How then do I need to keep the print ones when I already have books triple stacked in my bookcases? Fortunately, a friend told me of a book ‘store’ that gives every book away for FREE. They’ll take ANY kind of book. So voila! Our library will not take donated books–even brand new ones. I refuse to throw out a book. So I’m happily packing boxes of books to take down there in a couple weeks.

    And BTW–I love books. All formats. But some of my paperback have really teeny print. :(

  17. Seriously, Anny? Your library won’t take donated books? Even our pathetic library takes books, CDs, DVDs, to sell at their yearly book auction. But I do know how you feel. I’ve packed up a box of to-go books as well.