I was reading on a blog I follow about the depreciating value of books the second I buy them. I don’t really want to talk about that, but reading this I meekly looked over to my own book case. I have a problem.
The dictionary defines ‘Bibliophile’ as “a person who loves or collects books, especially as examples of fine or unusual printing, binding, or the like.”
I own approximately 375+ books (not including Boyfriend’s books that I might want to read one day but know I probably won’t make time) and that is after I just purged my shelves of about 30ish books that I didn’t want (ones I won as door prizes but had no interest in, ect.) and I know that about 75-80% of those I have bought new with my own money. Averaging $15 a book and about 76% of my book I figure I have nearly $4,500 invested into my shelves. I recently also just when through and updated many versions of books I have in series so the covers matched or all the books where the fame format.
I have an idea where the compulsion came from; when I was in high school I borrowed a few books… and never returned them… for like a year. And I had used my dad library card; this obviously resulted into a very heavy fine and my dad forbidding me to go to the library (a place I still avoid to this day). And thus began my journey into book buying. Very early on I became very particular about my books and how I treated them (mostly after I lent a friend my favorite book at the time, Tithe by Holly Black, and it was returned to me mauled by her and the people she let borrow it when she was done) because if I was spending my money on them I wanted them to stay nice. I do not dog ear the pages, I always remove the dustcovers of HC while I am reading them, and I never fold back or crack the spines of my paperback, and I pretty much do not lend books out except to very trusted friends… just to name a few. I’m pretty sure I did not become crazy about my books overnight, it must have been a slow process, but sometimes it feels like it.
But I love my books, I know I will never “get my money back” for them, but selling them never entered my mind. When I think about my books I think about them like friends. Each one holds a special place in my heart because reading them left a part of them with me, and I left my mark on them (though I’m sure most people wouldn’t notice lol). Each of them a special jewel in my mind’s eye, a special place and a special set of characters. As an aspiring author I can’t help but hope that if I am ever published that someone will covet my book as I have coveted too many other authors’ books. Recently my best friend read one of my favorite series (Songs of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce), we have been friends for a long time but when she was done I looked at her and said “Yay! Now we can be friends!” in truth I was joking, but there was some truth to that statement. While we have been friends for a long time I honestly feel now that she had read books that made such an impact on me that she can now understand me better and we can commune on a deeper level. It didn’t even really matter if she liked the books or not, just that she understood that part of me.
Do you collect books? Why? What is it about books that sets your heart all a twitter?Am I crazy? Ok, don't answer that last one!
My name is Alexis and I am a bibliophile.