Bookventures, Part 1: On Addiction, Reading Phases, and Shelf-Awareness

sat0610aFats here.

Fact 1: I buy books faster than I could read them.

At the beginning of 2017, I diligently kept track of books I’ve read (but haven’t had time to track or even add on Goodreads). I also kept track of books I’ve bought since January. By mid-February, I gave up. Life took over — as it usually does — and it was hard trying to keep up with reading and book-buying.

As much as my brain would like to count and share how many books I’ve actually acquired this year (thank you “Order History“), my body would not let me have it. (Also: Seasonal allergies. Yuck.) I guess all I can really say at this point is that I’ve never been on a book-buying spree like this in my life.

If book addiction is a crime, then I would be incarcerated by now. (You probably would be, too. Admit it.) I always give in to the thrill of getting my own copies of books, of receiving packages in the mail, of the feel and scent of new books… *SIGH* Unfortunately, it stops there.

Fact 2: Procrastination is my middle name.

Ever since I got hired as a full-time Circulation Assistant in my library, I’ve found it quite challenging to make time to read. (By that, I mean read the books I’ve purchased online and in stores.) Unlike other people, I am not a Super Book Wyrm. I go through “reading phases” as I’d like to call it. Lately, it’s been an “I-will-try-again-tomorrow” kind of phase. While I still find the need to carry a book with me wherever I go, being able to actually read it is another matter.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation?
Do you have days when you just don’t feel like reading?

I remember being on a reading spree during the early part of 2017. I even managed to set a goal for the Goodreads and Modern Mrs. Darcy this year. (Yay me!) I lost my reading momentum when I got sick in February. I haven’t recovered since — from reading, that is.

It’s not that I don’t like to read anymore. (A bookworm will never outgrow reading.) I just don’t think it’s fair to pick up a book and force myself to read it when I am not in the mood. Luckily, books always find their way into our hands when the time is right.

Fact 3: I have never weeded my shelf. Until now.

Finders keepers.” That’s my bookish motto. I’ve always kept the books I’ve bought. I donated some when I moved out of California and given away a few during International Book Giving Day in 2013. Besides that, I’ve never really downsized my book collection.

A couple of months ago, partly out of boredom and partly out of the need for more space, I did some spring cleaning and re-organized my books. Shelves are really out of the question right now. There is no point in getting them when we would be moving out in a few months.

After some consideration, I found an alternative: cube storage totes. Like other bookaholics, I would very much prefer to display all my books. However, I have very limited space, and cube totes would suit my storage needs. (Check out cube shelves here, here, and here.)

I bought a 6-pack cube storage tote from Amazon and was able to neatly organize some of my paperbacks. So far, I have totes for Newbery Medal/Honor books, chapter books, and YA fiction. I haven’t bought more totes but maybe I’ll figure out where the rest of my books would go once we’ve found our own place.

Here are two things I learned about book-weeding:

  1. It’s therapeutic.
  2. It’s good to go over your collection once in a while.

How do you organize your books? Where do you keep them? Do you weed your shelf?


Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

1 comment on “Bookventures, Part 1: On Addiction, Reading Phases, and Shelf-Awareness

  1. Pingback: Bookventures, Part 2: Book Subscription and Bookmark Collection – Gathering Books

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