Book Lovers, Anyone?

I found this cartoon on a blog the other day. Unfortunately, I can’t furnish attributes, so whoever came up with this drawing, well done. You must love books, too.  

I was offering tips and tricks to my new Kindle owner friend Jason, when I pulled mine out of its cover to look at the back. The cover doesn’t see the light much, and collecting autographs is a bit of a silly thing, in my opinion, but I got in the habit of asking speakers at The Amaz!ng Meeting to sign my Kindle, if I actually had one of their books on my device.

Recent science-y stuff

My first signature was Scott Sigler, which I obtained when he visited Houston a couple years ago during a book promotion. My second autograph was Eugenie C. Scott, who is director of the National Center for Science Education.

Other signatures I’ve obtained include James Randi, Simon Singh (Trick or Treatment), Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins, Richard Wiseman, and Bruce Hood. Hood’s signature is a bit ironic. I had just read his book Supersense:  bit ironic since much of the book is about why we ascribe more value to things that have a physical connection (Mark Twain’s pen is more valuable than one exactly like it owned by a nobody; people don’t want to touch a sweater owned by a serial killer even if the sweater has been thoroughly cleaned). We had a bit of a chuckle when I talked to him about his book while asking him to sign my Kindle.

Books about Islam – both apologetics and criticisms

What, you don’t read four books at a time?

I started looking around my house, trying to figure out where to put my next batch of books, and thought I’d share some with you. I have about 900 books at my house, and another 50 or so on my Kindle. Before I moved to my present location, I had built-in books cases that were overflowing. I shipped about two hundred of my books to the wonderful organization Books for Soldiers. I highly recommend this organization. When they are not active, soldiers can experience deadly boredom. I sent much of my Tom Clancy books,

Recently read histories

mysteries, stacks of my old National Geographic magazines, and frequently bought stacks of old paperbacks at garage sales or close-out bins. My oldest son, who was in the Navy, said they would all read their books, pass them  around, and be left without reading materials until the next time the sub docked, which might be months, and in a country with few English language titles available. Soldiers in places like Afghanistan rely on family and friends.

I also took about three shopping cart-sized loads to a nearby Half-Priced Books location. I know that it seems sacrilegious to give away so many books, but I chose ones that I was pretty sure that I would not read again, or that my sons would be interested in reading. I keep classics, rare books, history, biographies of real people (i.e., I don’t read “celebrity” bios). Some of them simply were not good books.

Books as art

Classics, Stephen J. Gould, and Stephen King. Huh.

One of my “yet to be read” areas. The bottom shelf is for some reference books

This year’s “finished” pile, so far

Here’s a few of my current shelves. I’m considering turning my dining room into another library. Anyone need an antique dining table?



Categories: Art, Family, Skeptic

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220 replies

  1. Wow! It’s so cool to see my blog entry listed on your blog. Thanks so much!

  2. Love looking at your shelves. Is that Pox Americana I saw in one picture?

    • It’s called Pox, An American History by Michael Willrich. I’ll look up the one you mentioned. I didn’t show a picture of my “plagues and epidemics” collection. 😃

      • so cool. i also have the same collection, as i love studying about the culture of diseases and epidemics. nice shelves and books!

      • I’m also a huge fan of books about epidemics. I’ve been especially interested in cholera recently. I assume you’ve read The Ghost Map, about Dr. Snow and the cholera outbreaks in 19th century London. Nice blog!

      • Yep, I read that right after it came out. When I went to London, I made sure I stopped by the pump monument.

  3. I love your signature on the Kindle idea. That’s a great concept.

    • I second that. It’s a really cool idea.

      I also tend to pick up so many books without thinking, and then I read only half of them. I try to sign up to a library wherever I go, so that I can reduce how much I buy. Since I have moved many times in the last 15 years, libraries seem a Godsend when it comes to packing time.

      Switzerland, on the other hand, had a natural remedy. Books are so expensive there that I leave most bookshops empty handed. Books cost about 2-3 times the price in the US.

      Great post, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  4. Great post, very amusing. My house is so much tidier since I purchased my now beloved Kindle. I’m not sure I could ever let anyone write on the back of it though!

    • Keep in mind, authors often wind up making a pittance of a royalty when a book sells for Kindle versus when it sells in hardback (of course!) or paperback. I’d chuck my Kindle but… it gathers dust nicely. 😀 Carley (author of METAL MAN WALKING, available in paperback from Amazon.com)

      • Really? Is that your personal experience? I talk to a great many authors, mostly going to the science anfpd skeptic conferences (such as where I obtained all those autographs). And when I asked Scott Sigker and Bruce Hood, they both told me that they actually made a bit more on a Kindle sale that a physical book.

      • I can’t say I care, to be honest….I’ve read amazon give more royalties than paperbacks depending on what price book is listed at.

      • Yes, it does depend on the list price — the royalty, that is.

      • I’ve not made my novel available as a Kindle book; I just know that I no longer have control of the price of my book. And, I guess I might be a ‘control-freak.’ Maybe. Anyway, a book in hand is a sight to behold. (I do like my Kindle on trips! I read ‘free’ books on it.) Take care, Carley

  5. Oh, wow, this is great! And I LOVE the illustration (and will steal it, if I may, to share with other book-nerd friends). It’s interesting that you’re still collecting books, well, in paper, after acquiring a kindle. I completely switched to the .pdf because I move so much I can’t store books, but I’ve come to actually like it electronic.
    Admirable collection!

    • I buy books all the time. I reserve my Kindle for books that I’m pretty sure I will only read once. Books that I may want to re-read, histories, biographies, classics, research- I need them in my “library.” My oldest son has stated many times that he wants our library. When my children were still in school, we seldom had to buy their required reading books, as I had most of them already.

  6. Is that the back of the kindle they signed? very neat idea!

    • Yes, that’s the back of my Kindle. If I have a hardcover of the book of course I get them to sign that instead.

      • Would you not get them to sign a paperback? I’m from Poland and here the division isn’t that important, I think (or am I wrong, Polish people?). I only learnt about the difference when I was in England. Anyway signing a kindle is a great idea!

      • I do have a couple signed paperbacks. I don’t “go after” getting books signed, but if I have a book and I’m going to hear the author speak anyway, I take it along.

  7. This is an awesome post! I absolutely love books and have huge collection. I haven’t jumped on the Kindle bandwagon yet, but I like the idea of getting it signed.

    • I love my Kindle. I keep it in my purse and take in on trips so I’m never without reading materials. Still, I have my book fix! The electronic are great for long trips, so you don’t have to lug several books across airports or continents.

      • I like you! Always buy a BOOK when you are able; save the Kindle for long trips! That’s what I do, too. Nice blog! And congrats on being Freshly Pressed. Carley

  8. Thank you for mentioning Books for Soldiers. I now want to donate books that won’t be read again to that website. 🙂

    • It’s a great organization. You don’t donate to the website. You sign up, then search the “wanted” lists and mail them directly to the soldier/sailor.

  9. Thanks for letting us know about Books for Soldiers! I will donate books to this cause.

  10. Ah, books, books, books! I too find that my house is gradually being swamped by more and more bookcases, but I figure it’s a small price to pay!
    I have not made the move over to using an e-reader (and not sure that I want to); now that you have started buying / reading books on your Kindle, do you see yourself continuing to own paper books as well? When you go to buy a new book, what decides whether you buy the paper version or the electronic version?
    Great blog by the way!

    • I buy many more physical books than I do e-books. I look at the Kindle ‘daily deals’ which are usually $2, and I scan the free book list. I see the Kindle primarily when traveling so that don’t don’t have the weight of the books to haul around. I do have a few friends that won’t read books that aren’t available on their e-book, but they are either sight-impaired, too proud to wear reading glasses, or (for some likely genetic defect) don’t want to have a home library.

  11. Love your blog and all those books!! Hope you keep getting them signed! Thanks for sharing. http://www.segmation.wordpress.com

  12. I love that you have authors sign your kindle…what a great idea!

    Cheers!

  13. Not that I see it as a problem, but I have too many books as well! Although I lack proper organization, I know, at any given minute, where to find any particular book I have. Drives my husband crazy, and now he knows just to ask me where something is instead of trying to find it himself. I love your idea of having a “not yet read” area and a “finished” area. I think I have to steal that idea!

    • The “finished” shelves are for books I haven’t quite fit into my categories. I periodically have to take everything down and rearrange when a particular self or area gets full.

  14. I always end up hovering by the bookcases at house parties…so much insight to be slyly gained about the personality/character of the host! (:

  15. Your assortment of books are amazing. I understand the sentiments of wanting more books. I still have books I need to read which I have bought over the years, and find myself wanting more books. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Your collection is quite lovely. Kudos to anyone who has ever read Carl Sagan to watch the show is one thing but to actually read him is an entirely different experience. My favorite Carl Sagan book is “The Varieties of Scientific Experience”, just thought I would pass along a great read.

  17. Again, thanks for mentioning Books for Soldiers-I’d always wondered about the best way to do something like this, what a great organization 🙂

  18. Love your collection – even more, I love that you still love collecting the actual book! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed…:)

  19. as an avid book lover THANKS for all the links

  20. Great post and I love that cartoon – it’s so true! I absolutely love reading and having books all over the house is something that runs in the family. Really enjoyed this post; congrats on being freshly pressed! 🙂

  21. LOVE LOVE LOVE your post AND the pics! I can SO relate! I wrote something similar to this in one of my posts when I began this blog. And I posted pics of a few of my books also.

  22. Love it! I left a comment

  23. I lurve books – utterly – I was distraught when Borders (Australia) had to close down and felt pretty shabby about owning a Kindle for a while, but fortunately Brisbane still has heaps of other bookshops and particularly second hand ones. I can’t bare to give any of mine away but I think the idea of donating read ones to soldiers is wonderful; anyone who loves books understands how they can give you those precious moments of escapism, into your own imagination, in ways that films never can. I’ve just completed a semester at Uni that comprised of 32 text books and straight away I’m back into reading 3 books at the same time; 2 ‘real ones’ What Would Audrey Do? and Through A Glass Darkly and Great Expectations on my Kindle – I may be addicted to reading! I found you through FP (Congrats!!) and am praising the book Gods for another great blog to follow!

  24. Book lover over here. I love books so much I decided to write them.

  25. Love this post. One of my favorite books, a leather-bound, gold-leaf embossed copy of “Shakespeare’s Complete Works” from the late 1800’s, was a christmas gift from one of my sisters. The book was accompanied by an 1884 “Robinson Crusoe.” That book was made all the more special, in that it has an original hand-written transcription: “Frank L. Parse – from brother George, Dec. 25th, 1884.”

    I received that book on Dec. 25th, 2012. Frank wasn’t famous, but this gift from his bother, so many years ago, lives on, in a gift from my sister.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  26. Hi Greek Godess: Just stumbled on to your blog as I was tending to my own planning blog (planyourcity.net). I love books too and tried to read the spines of the books on Islam. I am a Muslim and has been interested in hthe history particulary of Islam. I also liked the Lady Library’s account of her father and pictures from Istanbul. Thanks for sharing them.

    syed

  27. A lovely post! It was serendipitous to see it, as I had just posted an entry on book culture as well–http://danielshankcruz.com/.

  28. When I next stop travelling and start settling, a bookshelf is one of the things that I most look forward to filling. I haven’t gone down the Kindle route just yet… I like the feel of a proper book in my hands… do you reckon its easy to make the switch?

  29. Books for Soldiers is amazing. We did a collection for them at University recently as you can no doubt imagine, we have hundreds of students with copies of absolute classics that go to waste, or ones just bought and never read. SO pleased to see someone advocating the charity. Best Wishes!

  30. I think there will always be a place in this world for books. We just need to be sure we MAKE a place for books. Good for you for your donations to Books for Soldiers. A noble cause…

    Thanks for sharing!

  31. Books for Soldiers is an amazing charity. A recent collection was done from Uni for Students to get rid of unwanted books. Studying English, there are many copies of classics and some books bought and read once for seminars. SO glad to see someone advocating their great work! Best wishes.

  32. Delightful. Thank you. Perhaps have the table cut down for shelves?
    Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  33. I have a couple signed paperbacks I got at the last BEA. I really the pic you posted of your books as wallart. LOL

  34. Well done! I have a signature from Ray Romano and one from Mick Foley. I know Mick wrote an autobiography and Ray wrote something similar. I guess it counts no? Look forward to reading more…

  35. Glad you found a good home for your books. I haven’t heard of that organization before, and am glad you promoted it. People are always asking us at the library where they can donate, and this is a worthy cause to add to the list. Thanks!

  36. Wow, very impressive, i encourage any one close to me to read read read!!

  37. Even with the onslaught of e-books, I do not think that print books are on their way to extinction. Not yet at least. I notice that we have many of the same reading tastes – Simon Singh, Richard Dawkins, Pox Americana. Yes I love my Kindle too, but if it’s a book that I need to mark up and dog ear to death; then I buy the hard copy version.

    Nice post!!

  38. It’s nice to see another bookaholic, I’ve pared mine way down a long time ago.
    I got my fix by working at a thrift store and taking care of all incoming as well as working in an off campus textbook store. It’s in my blood, I go for books with interesting covers & odd titles. I don’t care how popular the author is, what the current whodunit is or whatever.
    All I know is– I see it–it sparks my inner book gene and I’m off like a flash. I’m visiting a friend next week and am so excited to hit the shops that I have to remind myself why I’m going in the first place, I haven’t seen her in a year. 🙂
    Books for Soldiers, is great, I discovered this past year but haven’t donated anything yet I’m sorry to say.
    Right now I’m hitting the nursing home/assisted living circuit by organizing, donating and labeling their book areas…my way of contributing. One other place for donations is Domestic Abuse shelters.
    Happy books

  39. It\’s nice to see another bookaholic, I\’ve pared mine way down a long time ago.
    I got my fix by working at a thrift store and taking care of all incoming as well as working in an off campus textbook store. It\’s in my blood, I go for books with interesting covers & odd titles. I don\’t care how popular the author is, what the current whodunit is or whatever.
    All I know is– I see it–it sparks my inner book gene and I\’m off like a flash. I\’m visiting a friend next week and am so excited to hit the shops that I have to remind myself why I\’m going in the first place, I haven\’t seen her in a year.
    Books for Soldiers, is great, I discovered this past year but haven\’t donated anything yet I\’m sorry to say.
    Right now I\’m hitting the nursing home/assisted living circuit by organizing, donating and labeling their book areas…my way of contributing. One other place for donations is Domestic Abuse shelters.
    Happy books

  40. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! And that’s a lot of books..! I loved all those pics too… 🙂 Amazing post.. Just meant for bookaholics..

  41. this blog is good, and I love books about history and Islam.Thanks you!

  42. OMG, that’s alot of books and that’s coming from a fellow writer. You really do take your reading seriously don’t you. I cant imagine how much space that kind of number takes up in your house, its a good thing you can always donate some if you ever wanted to make room for others huh? -,o

    http://wp.me/2aAA8

  43. Interesting concept. I’ve got a post on where to keep books and what this tells about the reader. Congrats on being freshly pressed!!!

  44. Ongoing this article is totally me. As I eyed you’re photos, I noticed a book that I have. It’s in the fifth picture down. It’s the copper colored book sitting on the table. If I’m not mistaken it’s called, “The Sociopath Next Door”. Like you, I also have been known to read upward of 4-5 books at a time. Great read!

  45. A lot of reading! Great post!

  46. I aspire to gorgeous overflowing bookshelves all over my house one day. My condo doesn’t allow for much right now! I have well over 500 books in my classroom, but unfortunately my personal collection must remain much smaller for now! Beautiful, beautiful collection of books you have. 🙂

  47. nice post i like to read books

  48. Books. Books. Books. I love it.

  49. I love books! Why don’t you ship over some of your books to me the next time you move? 😀

  50. Haha so good. This is the kind of house I want. Reminds me of http://www.atlantisbooks.org/.

  51. its such a huge collection of books!!!!!!!!!! it’s like books ,books,,,books,,, and books!!!!!!!!!!
    even i have started to read, collect books.

  52. Very Good. I have a whole ton of books but unfortunately my wife doesn’t share my enthusiasm. She considers it one big nuisance and has vowed to have a giant bonfire of my books when I depart this world. I keep telling her that “You could sell all those books for a whole ton of money!!!” She just laughs and says that “No, I’ll derive much greater satisfaction from burning them.” I can see that it’s my duty now to outlive her just for the sake of the books!!! Thanks. Keep Blogging. Keep Writing.

    • Tell her “you know Hitler burned books” – Books can become part of the decor. I don’t show all my books in the blog, but I have end tables, for example, that are short book cases.

  53. Love your post. I am a massive book lover, I not only read books but also collect them. It kills me when I borrow a book, love it and then have to return it. Being away from home, one of the things I miss the most is my huge collection of books. I have decided that when I have a house of my own someday, I’ll definitely make one BIG library…like in the movie Beauty and the Beast…hehehe
    Thanks for the wonderful post 🙂

  54. Nice post. I’m a book lover and have a good collection myself. I’m still not ready for the Kindle yet. I like the feel and look of a physical book in my hands. Also, I like to look at my bookshelf at the book spines.

    I have a question for you? Do you have a reading bucket list? If so, post it on my blog. I’m checking to see what books people want to read, have to read in their lifetime.

    http://kammbia1.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/wisdom-of-marion-2-17-what-is-your-reading-bucket-list/

    Marion

    • Also, I obviously still buy a lot of books. Jeff Bezos called me in a panic if I haven’t logged on to Amazon in a week 😉

      I reserve my Kindle for travel, so I can take several books with me in a compact manner, and carrying it in my bag for emergency reading!

  55. Nice post. I’m a book lover and have a good collection myself. I’m still not ready for the Kindle yet. I like the feel and look of a physical book in my hands. Also, I like to look at my bookshelf at the book spines.

    I have a question for you? Do you have a reading bucket list? If so, post it on my blog. I’m checking to see what books people want to read and have to read in their lifetime.

    http://kammbia1.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/wisdom-of-marion-2-17-what-is-your-reading-bucket-list/

    Marion

  56. woah… that was an insight…even am a huge book lover, it would be awesome to have a library to yourself… it was fascinating to read about books..i even thought of having racks built above your room to deal with space constraint if any and to stare at those racks before dozing off and opening your eyes every morning to them.

    • At my last house, my ex built a shelf whose bottom rested against the tops of the doors in my son’s room. It ran across the wall, over the windows, and was filled first with stuffed animals, and later with books. That was all wasted space.

  57. Haha, I know what you mean, after a while you have to start getting creative. Writing and reading are one of the greatest gifts God could give us. My love for reading inspired me to become a writer and I recently started a blot about trying something new ans and creative everyday and could use some critical comments or just comments. They would be greatly appreciated!

  58. Wow! I’m envious! BOOOOOKS! I adore you.

    One day.

  59. Thanks for mentioning ‘Books for Soldiers’. I was not aware of this organisation. I read a lot and am always on the lookout for new ways to circulate and recycle books that I have purchased rather than borrowed. That allows more space on my shelves for those I truly wish to keep and reread.

    • They will take both paperbacks and hardbacks. Paper is of course lighter and easier to schlep around, while hard covers will last longer, therefore can be passed around more. I also send them old Nat Geo, Popular Science, pretty much any mags that “mostly men” might want to read.

  60. Wow! I especially love the shelf above the door! I got a Kindle because my husband refused to put together another book shelf! I also love your “unread” bookshelf. I once had a professor in college who said there was a “book purgatory”. After you die, you have to go there to read every book you ever purchased but “didn’t get around to” before you could move on. 🙂 If that’s true, I’m in trouble, because I love picking up Amazon Freebies looking for new authors! Thanks for sharing!

  61. I loved your post on books, I blog here daily and at a book reviews wordpress site of mine at http://getreadingnow.org…not as good as this though!! 🙂

  62. Very Interesting, i think that books complete us no “I Pad” or computer can take place of the book covers and Aroma of the paper. I love to read Nicholas Sparks creations,it just happened that he visited U.A.E in Literacy Festival and i got to meet him, got my book signed from him,for book lovers Authors are the real Heroes.

  63. nice post. thanks

  64. There is many beautiful pictures of bookshelves across the net, some of them take my breath away to such an extend that I want to own all the books on that particular shelf. Most often they contain fantasy and science-fiction (with elements of history, mystery and cyberpunk. Fine post, this one 🙂

  65. Now that is one seriously cool science bookshelf. Put’s mine to shame!

  66. Awesome! This looks like my house. It always makes me cheery to discover more book lovers. Great assortment of reads! I am reading three books currently, low number I know, I know. :- )

  67. I don’t have a Kindle myself, but if I did, I wouldn’t mind having it signed by authors I’ve read! I also love the idea of sending extra books to soldiers!

  68. I love this post 🙂 And I love books too. I also collect books, especially old ones and they are mostly from my grandparents. They are very important to me 🙂

  69. I don’t know how many books I have, but there would be a lot more if it were not for Half.com, eBay, and Amazon.com. I started selling off my old books in 2000, and at least made a dent in the sheer number of them. I’ve added more, of course, since then, but I sell most of them off after I read them. There are, however, at least 25 books I will keep, and I hope to pass them on to others when I die. Some have great illustrations and stories, others have a family tie, some are immensely useful, and some are just great reading. I am always at work to get rid of all the rest before I die.

  70. very cool idea to keep the signing alive on Kindle!

  71. Love the first cartoon- I swear i never have enough space for all my books and still I buy more!

  72. my dream house is a house full of books! nevermind the furnishings!

  73. …no matter what happens, people will still love books! i have so many, my place is overflowing with them! and i still keep buying more…..woe is me, woe is me…!!

  74. One cannot have too many books in one’s life. The cartoon is correct. Keep reading and writing!

  75. I just bought the entire Dune series at a library book sale for $1.25!

  76. My name is Manny, and I also have a book addiction.

  77. I have so many ‘books to be read’ areas in my house!

  78. I hare it when you’re in the middle of a book and you get a new one that you have tow start right then…

  79. Thank you for this meditation on the joy of books and reading. I can’t yet bring myself to buy a Kindle. For me the tactile experience of turning pages is part of the pleasure. But I’m sure some kind of e-reader is on the horizon for me. Like you, I’ve had to part with many of my books over the years, but I find pleasure in holding on to only those which are most meaningful to me. Enjoyed your post. Thanks so much!

  80. Wow! So many books! I haven’t a book shelf to call mine, actually there isn’t one in my house, and I know that really sad so I resort to stacking them on my desk and the special ones in a shoe box, like the Harry Potter series. Lovely post, thanks for sharing 😀

  81. Reblogged this on skyline55 and commented:
    anyone have tomuch books?be sure to check this blog

  82. I am a book lover and I had a great time reading this! Cheers!

  83. I love your post! I’m a bit upside down on my book/Kindle stats. I haven’t bought many “real” books since I bought my Kindle. My husband would constantly complain about how many books I have. Now that they are all on my Kindle, he can’t complain 🙂

  84. Reblogged this on La Maestra Bilingue and commented:
    Most teachers are also book lovers. I enjoyed reading this post!

  85. “Everything that is popular is wrong”. Thanks for joining the very short queue for those who disprove anything uttered from the Wilde pen. Blog post and photos are beautifully crafted, and a pleasure to read. Books and space are a conundrum, aren’t they? Agree with the idea of a Kindle supplementing the physical read. In my case, it’s access to the difficult-to-find historicals. Gems as “Petticoat Commandos” – a book written by a very proper woman trying to support the Boers in the Boer War. i’d love the physical but being able to read these unfound classics at all is a joy and, of course, you simply can’t travel easily with five heavy books in your bag. Your blog is now on my shortlist. Mine is at http://www.stillthinking.org where i’m currently looking at WordPress plugins that show bookshelves. Your post inspires me to finish that little task.

  86. Signing the Kindle idea was creative. Loved seeing and hearing about your books. The shelves are over-flowing here. Maybe it’s time for a purge, but I won’t get carried away with it. Good books are a good thing.

  87. You have received 120 comments when I write this.There is little chance that you might notice this, but being a book lover, I can’t help saying” This is heaven”!

  88. Wow. I love the ‘books as art’ concept. It looks fantastic!

  89. As a bibliophile, I love this post. My house and every techno device I own is full of reading material. Always enjoy a glimpse into the lives of other “addicts”.

  90. wow what a wondersul pic of books, when i was kid, i used to smell of new book paper. I imagine i can’t live without my books. it’s a door to see the world. it’s a world where you can create what you want.

  91. Reblogged this on Crazy Normal – the Classroom Exposé and commented:
    I’m addicted to books too. If we have to be addicted to something, it should be books instead of drugs or TV.
    —————————–
    I have so many books that I have to store them in those large plastic containers that Costco sells three at a time. I estimate that I have enough books to keep me reading for years. It’s also difficult to throw away a magazine. I subscribe to so many, I don’t have time to read them all and I cut back on half of my subscription a few years ago. I have a HUGE collection of National Geographic Magazines mostly stores in the garage where they never see the light of day or my eyes staring at them.
    ————————-
    In addition, I have enough books on CDs to listen to books for more than a year. When I am in my car driving somewhere, I listen to books—not music or talk shows.
    ————————-
    I am convinced that my parents are responsible for my love or reading books. If not for them, I would have never gone to college or ended up an English teacher for thirty years and now a published author. My father loved mysteries and westerns. My mother loved romance novels. They sat in the living room every night and read even after we had a TV, that box did not stop them from reading so I cultivated a habit of reading while the TV was droning on too. However, today, I prefer to leave the TV off most of the time.
    ————————-
    What happens when you run out of room for autographs on your Kindle?

    • When I was little, my mom would take me to the library, where I would check about about 8-12 books. I would read them, they she would take me back the next week. In addition to having a pile of Dr. Suess books, I owned three of my very own: Little Men, Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz. All chosen by my mom, no doubt. I would read them, then turn over to the front page and read them again. I still have those same books. My mom reads only lightly, but my Dad reads all the time. I gave him a Kindle as well, because he once complained that the library near him didn’t receive new books fast enough! He’s pretty much read everything they had that he is interested in, and signs up for new ones as they arrive, but sometimes he was left book-less.

      I don’t have any problem tossing out magazines. I keep my Nat Geo and Nat Geo Travelers for a while, then give them to my son or donate them, take and leave them in doctor’s waiting rooms (along with my Skeptic or Skeptical Inquiry magazines 🙂 ). I have a couple knitting magazines, but once I’ve read them, and clipped out any patterns I *might* want to knit, they get recycled. I view them more as newspapers.

      I subscribed to AudioBooks, and either listen to a book or the many podcasts I subscribe to. I have about one hour per day total commute time, so I do get quite a bit of listening done, especially once I discovered the 2X button on my iPhone!

      Thanks for reblogging our post.

  92. Love your blog, I will use your idea to get my kindle signed when the opportunity presents itself. I enjoy reading and collecting books, I sometimes read an Ebook and a paper book simultaneously. Cheers!

  93. Great idea about signing the kindle. I recently brought one and use it for books I’ll probably read on the train. But I still prefer proper books, I don’t know whether it’s the feel of them, or how they all look on a bookcase – it’s just better.

  94. loved the signing on kindle idea! too bad i have an iPad so can’t even touch the back without having something scratched 😦

  95. Lovely post. I too have a lot of books, roughly 200 downstairs crammed into two bookshelves, a box full in my shed and about another 200 upstairs in the attic. I constantly tell myself that I WILL not buy any more, but so far haven’t listened very well. I like the idea for the Kindle autographs, although I’m not keen on the kindle, I may have to change my mind as my book collection gets bigger.

  96. Nice collection!

    Question… what is your take on eBooks and the companies that provide them?

    Is there are particular company that stands out or provides a better selection?
    Do you prefer eBooks now or good old fashion paper books?

    • Thanks.

      I got my Kindle before the nook came out, and I continue to be satisfied with it. I also sometimes read on my iPad simply because I have it with me all the time. I still prefer actual books, but like my Kindle for traveling.

  97. We moved into a tiny new apartment and most of my already-read books are in a storage unit 4 hours away. Sometimes I worry about them. What if a flood comes through? Or a tornado? Oh books… Someday, I hope to have a library with built-in shelves on all the walls… If only there were more hours in the day made just for reading…

  98. I’m interested to know how many books you own (physical, not Kindle)? I love reading but only keep books that I love and know will read more than once.

  99. Nice.

    Having given away hundreds of books, if not a couple of thousand, I too run into the storage problem.

    I tried the Kindle, but I found it a terrible device for me, I study too much of what I read …..

    Thank you for the blog!

    Wayne

  100. Reblogged this on thewordpressghost and commented:
    If you like to read, this would be a great blog to look at.

    Enjoy,

    Ghost.

  101. I so love that you’re book worm that let’s them go and be enjoyed by others. You’re kinda awesome and by kinda I mean very much awesome.

  102. Love your post and I have overflowing bookshelves that look like yours. As I am about to move and won’t have the beautiful built-in shelves that I have now, I am looking for someplace to donate some books and I appreciate the reference to the soldier organization– good idea! My own blog post this week is also about books and reading, although the books I read these days are more of the Board variety. mommycall.wordpress.com

  103. Awww, reading, what a wonderful pastime!!! I thought I would never find the time to read as much as I wanted to, but now……..retired I have read and read. My book cases, guest beds, tables, etc. are filled to the limit with books. While I thought I had not had time to read in the past, most of these were read through the years. Now….its to writing a novel for me. Almost finished. Hope I can attract a lot of devoted readers like you. Romance, history, dealing with issues……. all this in Alabama! Its been a great research experience and fun traveling the back roads of Southern states and going over the big pond to Europe! I Enjoy your blog and all the comments. I am new to this.

  104. wow, i have the same problem with my room! I am currently reselling and giving away some of my old books to charities and fellow book lovers to make room for more. Even though I have an android and can download e-books, I am still addicted to the smell of paper so I can’t let go of my old school love for the written word. 🙂 thus, the persisting problem of the overflowing shelves.
    Great post!

  105. A really inventive way to collect autographs! As for my book collection I have them all over the house…borrowed by friends and family and a long list of ‘need to buy’ forever present in my purse. I’m probably the same as many other constant readers with a pile beside my bed along with my notebook for when inspiration strikes for my next or current writing project.
    mandyevebarnett

  106. Great read !!

    I love looking at other peoples book collections and the cartoon was great. So true, I’ve got oodles of books stashed around the house, reading and books are my passion. I buy more every other week. Just got a kindle, it’s been thrown in a drawer somewhere, probably being used as a bookmark for one of the latest stories I have on the go, I’ll dig it out for a look at some point.

    Good luck with converting the dining room that sounds like a great idea xx

  107. Congratulation on being freshly pressed!

  108. I saw you have “Princess” by Jean Sasson on your shelves! Have you read her other books? They’re horrifying, but fantastic in their detail. Love it. Love the books as art as well!

    -RetailRail
    retailrail.wordpress.com

  109. Books. Looks. Nooks. 🙂
    Nice post.

    I prefer fiction, but I really enjoyed Sagan’s “Billions and Billions”. He was writing it at the time of his death. I would wager you would enjoy Mary Roach as well.

    I think Kindle is to the book what television is to the movies. But if they spread literacy and edification, I am in favor of them. I could have used one in college instead of lugging around all those textbooks.

    We were surfing Pinterest last night looking at, believe it or not, bookshelves. There were some very interesting ones built into staircases and attics, but my favorite was the classical library ladder. That would be my dream, perhaps on a curved wall.

  110. Nice spot you have here! I’m a book lover for sure. So much so, I can’t evolve with the rest of society and add books to my Kindle app. The smell of old, mouldy pages is my thing 🙂

    theliteratorium.com

  111. Wonderful post! I too am an avid reader. I need to go through my collection and donate some of my not read’s to our local library. Hubby is talking about building me some built in bookshelves, once our oldest son moves out. I have not jumped to an e-reader at this point, might think about one for the family sometime.

  112. Books have been some of the hardest things for me to give away and I miss the few that were borrowed and never returned, my Mum still has an old suitcase of mine filled with Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books stored in their garage. The book shelves have been cleared a few times over the years and I’ve donated books I hadn’t read for several years to a local charity, it was a good feeling and allowed me to fill up the space on the shelves with newly discovered authors and travel books.

    I love your ‘books as art’ image and the fact that you have your kindle autographed by authors, thank you for sharing your obsession 🙂

  113. Love your mini library and congrats on making this entry to freshly pressed. 🙂

    —————–
    colorado springs divorce attorneys

  114. I’d like to start reading autobiography books (of major figures, not celebrities) and also, I was a big fan of military stories from the two World Wars. Other than being skint, i don’t always have the patience (which is kinda pathetic, as i’m always encouraging my friends and family to read) to sit down and read a book.
    But good luck with your plans 🙂

  115. Saw this on Freshly Pressed and the title captured my eyes.

    Yes, I am a book lover!

    I’m interested in the books of Islam’s shelf. The book “Muhammad”, what’s that about? Is it such a biography or what?

  116. books…so many books….
    heaven!
    i love books- and seeing what books other people have. i have so many books i now dont have room for them all- i cant get rid of them, even after i have read them 100 times!
    I would love a kindle, except that for me, the reason i love books is because of the page turning, the smell. i think i’m scared of moving with the times when it comes to words!

  117. lots of books in a beautiful shelf! i don’t have a shelf.. we’re poor.

  118. Hi. I’m so glad I found you today. I’m in love with your book shelf. Great Job!

  119. Congrats on your ‘press’… the cartoon speaks the truth. ‘Books as Art’… clever idea, I’m stealing it.

  120. W😃W .. I’ve never known anyone who has SOOO MANY books…… Lol. By now you can make yourself a book house! My sister says you’d be a millionaire if u didn’t buy so many books. She just doesn’t get it 😒
    Loved reading this 😊

    • Oh jeez. After your comment I went to my Quicken account. I categorize most of my spending, and I have Books as a category by itself. I’ve got records since January 2004. Not including what I’ve spent using cash,or ones that I forgot to mark…

      $9,500

      Um.

  121. I love that illustration! I couldn’t help pinning it. Thanks for sharing.

  122. wow, so many books everywhere, that is pure heaven! I love the article and your pictures 😉

    Renny
    http://thebookinstinct.com

  123. I’m a bit of a book collector myself, so this was super cool. Two things in particular struck me. A colleague at work recently sent me to Sigler’s site just last week and now I see him mentioned here. Small world! And you’re awesome to donating books to soldiers. I spent three years on a ship and the small stack of books onboard was a lifesaver, even if it didn’t last very long!

  124. it must be a real excitement to have a signature by Richard Dawkins of whom I had the chance to attend one of the greatest conferences in Oxford when I used to live in England. Nice blog! Thank you for sharing your gentle words on books.

    • I’m not stalking him(haha) but one year I saw him at TAM, TAM in London, and at a lecture in Houston. I also have his autograph on a first edition copy of “The Greatest Show on Earth”.

  125. Family of readers. Both my husband and I have been collecting books since we were kids, we got in the habit because both our mother’s are readings and I love that now both my kids are readers. I recently made my son’s day when I found a book that was on his “to read list”. Thanks for the link sending books to soldiers.

  126. I finally gave in and bought an iPad which I now use for books. I had a very hard time giving up my actual books because I love the feel of a book and I admit that I also love to display they on my shelves, but most of all I loved that I could share them with others. Whether I gave them away or lent them to someone, I got the feeling that I was sharing love. Who doesn’t love a good book?
    I will write down the site for soldiers because we too will be moving soon and I’ve come to realization that it’s time to let go!

  127. I always loved going to the library. I once got an urge. My urge was to write books. So I did just that. I also enjoy photography so I decided to publish my work. I read your blog and liked it. 🙂

  128. I absolutely love this blog post and I am incredibly envious of your extensive book collection. I only have a few book cases in my room, but I dream of the day when I will have a library of my own and a comfy leather chair or sofa to curl up on and just read the day away.

    I tend to have my books organized by my favorites; this includes all the books by Sarah Vowell, Poe’s poetry and short stories, Robert Frost poetry, and so much more.

    Also, I had no idea that there was a program for sending books to soldiers. I must start a collection of books to send to such a good cause. Thank you for such a brilliant and informative post. 🙂

  129. I sometimes get lost in my books in order to get out.

  130. I have thought many times about donating my books or taking them to resale shops but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Most of them I’ve read several times and I am sure that I would read them again. It’s like watching a movie over and over, I always discover something new about the book.
    I had a Nook for a while too, but found that I really prefer actual books.
    Great post! I will have to dig through my shelves and gather up a shipment of old books to send to Books for Soldiers.

  131. I love the idea of having your kindle signed, makes it kind of unique to you.

  132. Its awesome to see a house with so many books! This is what I want my house to be like when I get one. Actually, scrap that idea, I’d love to have my own personal library. 🙂

  133. I have two or three signed books. One from Sharon Olds, the poet and another from David Wagoner, another poet (I took his writing class). I like books and like to have them around and have a hard time giving them away. Especially poetry books because you can read those again and again.
    I could probably be on Hoarders, the book version. My husband calls them my trophies, but it’s not really like that at all. I mark them up so I can remember important lines and I can look through them again.

  134. I LOVE that picture! All of my money as a kid was always spent on books. I just got a Kindle for my birthday, and I am obsessed! Everyone should get one

    • Yea, I bought three more books this week. And on my business trip, I lugged Last Call on the rise and fall of Prohibition, because I wanted to finish it instead of what I had been reading on my Kindle. Enjoy!

  135. Did you ever consider scanning your books instead of giving them away?There’s a company called 1dollarscan that scans books into pdfs, it’s another option, but maybe that’s just being a digital pack rat. Anyway I love that you have a “plagues and epidemics” collection.

    • I wasn’t familiar with that service. I assume that is just for books out of copyright? I’ll look into it, thanks for the information.

      Ya, I’m just finishing up a history of smallpox in America. I gave a talk on ‘everything you think you know about the plague is probably wrong’ to my skeptics group last spring.

  136. I absolutely love books. I have ever since I was a child. Having many books is a familiar sight in my house and I am going to lose space in which to keep them so your shelf on the wall picture gave me a great idea. So far, I have not tried Kindle but I think it would take some of the love out of reading… there is nothing like holding a book all curled up on a couch, etc. I look forward to reading more blog entries from you.

  137. Wow, I thought my husband and I were readers, but I think you’ve outdone us! I have a Kindle and a Kindle Fire, but I still prefer a paperback to the electronic version. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  138. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites
    really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back in the future. All the best

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