A Wing At A Local Library

Over at Book Riot, Rachel Manwill, talks about her bulging-at-the-seams book collection and how she’s read less than half of it.

When I owned paper books, I never had that problem. I had an extensive book collection. So extensive, in fact, that when I finally acknowledged those books were never going to trek across the Atlantic Ocean, I donated twenty-five boxes of them to the local library where my parents live. The librarian joked that they were going to name a wing of the library after me.

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The next time I returned home, I found two more boxes hiding under the eaves of their attic and donated those as well.

But nearly all of them, the overwhelming majority, I had read.

When I moved to the Netherlands, I wholesale switched to reading on my Kindle. Now I own a few actual books, ones that have been gifted to me or that I bought for fifty cents at the local thrift store. But they amount to about a dozen in total. Instead, I have an e-book collection that practically requires an NSA-sized storage facility. And I’ve barely read any of them.

I think I have around 150 books on my Kindle right now, of which I’ve started several and hardly finished any. In fact, I think I’ve read fewer books since making the switch from paper to electronic.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my Kindle. And the convenience of only taking one device, rather than a stack of books, on vacation; of having a lightweight device rather than a heavy hard cover book; the battery life means I’ll never switch back to paper books.

It’s so easy to buy e-books, with the one-clock buy option from Amazon, that you can amass so many of them. And rather than staring at me, demanding I read them, from my bookshelf or my nightstand, they are hidden away under the cover of my Kindle. I’m perpetually in the middle of a dozen books (something I never did with paper) and can’t seem to find the time to finish any of them.

Maybe I should start printing the covers and taping them to my walls, so I can be reminded to read them.

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