I don’t collect little figurines, or plates, or salt and pepper shakers, I collect books. For about the past year or so I have collected used books almost exclusively. There are very few brand new books that I want. There are only a couple of authors I’d even consider buying new. However, I have enough books that I haven’t read to last me several months already. Yet I keep buying. It’s a compulsion, as anyone who collects things will understand. I counted them once, before the last purge and binge and I had just over 1000.

Our converted garage is my nesting place. I have 6 bookshelves in addition to the custom built (9′ x 7′) one that my husband made to house my paperbacks. It was almost full the day he completed it. I have 7 to be read shelves. We need an extra room just so I can have a library. I can pretend it’s the office because our desk and computer are in it.

My kids each have their own small (3 shelf) bookshelves that are bulging with age-appropriate books, and my older son has permission to read pretty much anything he’s interested in from my library. Some of the more graphic thrillers I’ll wait until he’s a bit older to allow, but many of the adventure books and some of my sci-fi he is welcome to. Right now he’s reading one of Neil Gaiman’s books – Neverwhere. There are few limits on what he’s allowed to read. For some of the more graphic stuff I’ll make him wait until he’s a little older, but he reads graphic novels and Minecraft books alongside some of my “older” books. His bookshelf contents are positively weird. I love it.

People think I am strange for having so many books. My collection serves as entertainment, escape, relaxation, education, and humor. Not many collections can do all that. I am always hesitant to mention it when others start talking about their collections because, while figurines or salt and pepper shakers are normal, books, it seems, are not. Ah well. I always was a strange child.

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