My name is Lori, and I am a book hoarder.

I’m not going to deny it anymore. For years, I tried explaining my obsession by telling people that I was an English major and an English teacher and writer, but there comes a point when even the explanations fall short of the ugly truth.

And the ugly truth is currently stacked forehead high in every corner of my basement. Boxes and boxes and boxes of books that I have collected and packed and unpacked, packed and unpacked, packed and unpacked as I moved across the country.

When I first decided to tackle this 365 day Excavation project, my husband’s first question was, “So, are you gonna get rid of some books?”

He may as well have stabbed me in the chest with a pitchfork.

Get rid of books? Was he freakin’ crazy?

But, I think Steven has been trying to quietly motivate me by turning on the show Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive whenever we’re just sitting around and watching TV, and somehow, it seems to have worked. As I work through my Excacation 2012 Project and continue to rid my life of some of the useless clutter that has been following me around for years, I decided that it is probably time to take a hard look at my personal library and weed out some of the books that I no longer need (and notice I said “need” not “want” because let’s face it, if it has a cover and pages, I want it).

So, I came up with a few little rules for myself…

1. If I have no desire to ever read it again, it goes.

2. If I am unlikely to ever need it again, it goes.

3. If I have more than one copy of it, I get rid of the extras.

So far, there has only been some minor bending of the rules. Don’t judge me. I’m trying, and I have to say, I’m pretty darn proud of my progress so far.

In two days, I have gone through more than a dozen boxes, with labels ranging from “Heavy”

to Sorta Heavy

to F—ing Heavy

There are still some Kinda Heavy and Damn Heavy’s floating around in the basement, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. I still have 40 or 50 boxes left to go though.

As you can see, Electra took her role as Supervisor very seriously.

So, after two days of unpacking, I’ve started sorting books, and getting them up on shelves. At first, we thought we would use this built in shelving unit on the sunporch to display our china. Unfortunately the china doesn’t fit really well on the shelves so, it has been converted to a bookcase for now.

Not too bad for a start.

And, now that the old bottles and jars of pickled vegetables have been removed from the glass fronted kitchen cabinets, I thought it might be a great place to display some of the older, more fragile books in my collection

I know what you’re thinking… Is she seriously getting rid of anything?

And, as a matter of fact, the answer is a loud, resounding yes! Woohoo!

I actually managed to fill an entire box today with books that will be sold/given away/donated. Go me!

And the two books I am most excited about getting rid of in today’s batch…

Seriously, why the hell do I still own these. I hate math. HATE it. I hate it more than anything else in the entire world. The only way I passed my math classes in high school was by having my boyfriend and some of the guys on the drumline help me with my homework, and by getting seriously lucky on the unit exams.

In college, I put off the required math classes as long as possible, which meant I was cramming them into my final two semesters my senior year and stressing to pass so I could actually graduate. Hell, I even wrote a letter and had a meeting with Dr. Jacobson, Academic Dean, putting up a very well-researched argument about how useless college math classes were for an English/Creative Writing major, and how I should instead be allowed to replace them with classes that would actually supplement my major. He still made me take the classes, but he gave me a good-natured pat on the back and helped me pick out the two easiest courses.

Easy courses or not, opening a book and seeing something like this still gives me a migraine and makes me feel slightly homicidal.

And seeing as I took and passed the final back on December 12, 2002, I think it’s high time I bid these books adieu.

Believe me, they won’t be missed.

About the Author Lori Romano

I am a writer, photographer, wife, mother, dog owner, half-assed housekeeper and a self-proclaimed coffee and chocolate addict. One day, I will write a book.

10 comments

  1. Hi, Lori… “my name is Gina, and I’m a book hoarder, too! Welcome to our group.” Hee hee. I’ve gotten rid of some books recently…felt pretty proud of my small box of discarded books until I realized I had probably replaced those books with different ones within the month! Every year my husband has to build a couple new shelving units to make room for my obsession! I laughed out loud when I helped my sister move and she said she had “soooo many books” and then they all fit in two totes! When I moved here 6 years ago my poor husband and father had to move over 10-20 boxes of my books, and I’ve acquired a great deal more in the past six years… so her measly 2 boxes seemed downright humorous! Loved this post! I’m right there with you, girl! Maybe we can open our own library someday. 🙂

    1. Woohoo! Doesn’t it feel good to confess, Gina? It’s nice to know I’m in good company. Maybe we should start a Book Hoarders Club. We could make t-shirts…with books on them. 🙂

  2. I was browsing the photography section when I came across your photo with a polynomial expression. Well, I’m a book hoarder-ish (I only have like 5 box so far, f-in heavy nonetheless) myself but unlike you I collect technical books like the ones you rid.^_^ Albeit the availability of information, virtually any information on the internet, there’s just something about books that’s really comforting. Quite poetic at times, especially when I see someone reading a book next to a window. I get that you’re attach to them; I’m really glad you made a blog about it. It inspired me finally get my collections out of their boxes and start reading them again.

    1. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment! You’re right, there is just something about a book that’s hard to let go. I’m so glad my blog inspired you to rediscover your own collection.

      And if you like technical books that contain polynomials, I will gladly send it to you. 🙂

      1. Hi Lori. Thank you. That’s very thoughtful of you to offer.:) Quite tempting but I already have lots of algebra books on my collection to last me probably a whole year.hehe

  3. I would have guessed the math books were trashed long ago. You are too funny! The books look great in the porch cupboard. They look much better than the dishes.

  4. Ab.so.lute.ly. LOVE your post. I can relate on so many levels. My poor husband does not get my need to hoard all things bound and beautiful. Good for you on narrowing them down to the “essentials”, something I have done on occasion, but never, ever will my classics, or childhood books go away. I know I am well in to the hundreds at this point. There are much worse things to hoard, I assure you. Trash bags or rats for instance. Books enrich the soul and mind. Love your built-ins. Quite lovely. Write on, my friend. 🙂

    1. “My poor husband does not get my need to hoard all things bound and beautiful.” – Girl, I couldn’t have said it better myself. He’s got a few boxes of his own, but he can part with them on a whim and not bat an eye. His comic books, on the other hand, are his dirty little hoarding secret. 🙂 And you’re right, in a way I’m hoarding imagination and knowledge, sooooo much better than trash bags or rats! Haha!

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