One of the many things Ms. J and I have in common, is our love of books. It’s certainly one of the things that brought us together. Not too long after we started going out, we had a competition to see who had more books, I stopped counting at 1,100, I think she stopped counting at 900. Neither one of us finished the count and the total is still in dispute to this day since we never completely finished the census. So if I ever say that I have more books, she says that she just never finished counting.
That was probably about six years ago now, and we have since accumulated even more books, there’s probably about 3,000 in the house by now. Sounds expensive, right? We rarely buy new books though, partly because we’re frugal, and also because I’m not working and I’d rather not spend the money on new books. (Ms J: ”You’re not unemployed honey, you’re a stay at home dad!”)
Since we’re frugal, we feed our sickness primarily through used book stores and library book sales. Also, one of my former jobs was working on marketing campaigns for university publishers, and I would frequently receive free copies from clients. Oh those were the days! I was working on campaigns for some pretty high end non-fiction from some of the best university presses in the U.S. My office was piled high with books on History, Art, Poly-Sci, Architecture, Science, you name it, which were then transferred home once the campaign was done. I miss getting those free books!
So the vast majority of the books we have were bought for $2, $1, and sometimes less than that. The one time we do get new books is when we get gifts for each other, and also any new books that we want to get for Mr. C. They are fairly well organized, the house does not look like an episode of ‘Hoarders’, at least not yet, all of the books are on shelves. Though I must admit that I have resorted to creating two and sometimes three layers of books in the shelves. Ms. J taught me that trick. I was very impressed.
I do have a few valuable books, a few signed copies, some good first editions, but most of them are just reading copies. Once we’re done with them, we give them away, donate them back to the library, or sell them. We have yet to sign on with the e-reader revolution that is taking over publishing. We’re convinced that at some point in the not too distant future, there will be very few book stores left, so we might as well stockpile now.
Here’s one of our bookcases, below. There’s so many books on this one, some shelves have three layers. I call it the book cube. If and when we ever move, the number of boxes we’ll need will probably be in the hundreds.
As a worrier, one of the many things I worry about is how much of an oddball Mr. C turn out to be. In a house filled with books, I’m sure he’s doomed to an early pair of glasses.
This morning he wanted to read one of his books, but could not remember where he last put it. He found it in his closet, after taking just about everything else out of the closet and piling it all up on the bedroom floor.
He then started to read while sitting there on the floor of the closet.
That’s my boy!