A Lesson in Shame

I haven't received a book pre-order since the end of June and that was just one book, so it feels a lot more like it's been since May really. For someone who buys books regularly, I'm exercising great restraint to stay away from book splurges. But the desire grows by the day and so to keep myself from giving into the urge, I decided to pull out all of the books I currently own, still in my to-be-read pile, to remind myself that in actuality, I have no need for more, I have plenty still waiting for my attention.

Partly, the problem is that I don't have one place to house all of my books. I have a bookshelf that's overstuffed and a curio cabinet that stores a bunch, and then I've got stacks of books hidden on end tables, underneath coffee tables, lined up in tidy piles in places I would otherwise showcase a knickknack and so this makes it hard sometimes to really grasp the library I truly have. I know that according to my GoodReads, I have read 185 books in the past few years, most of which I actually own. I have started to donate the few that do no have a re-read value to me, but for the most part I can guarantee at least 150 already read books in my collection. And because my book buying has gotten so out of hand in the past few years, and because I often get an abundance of books for birthdays and Christmas, it feels impossible to gauge exactly how many other books still exist in these hidden places waiting to be read.

And this is what I found when I dug them out…..

Hardbacks
TBR Hardbacks
(Click to enlarge)

Paperbacks
TBR Paperbacks

If you count the books within the books (like those B&N Leather-bound Collections) this totals to 97 books. Ninety-Seven. And this doesn't even include all the non-fiction I own. The guilt is too heavy to even imagine factoring in those, too.

Oh, the shame I'm feeling right now over my desire for things I don't need.

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

36 Responses to "A Lesson in Shame"

Add Comment
  1. fandoria

    August 12, 2013 at 4:43 am

    If it makes you feel any better, when I moved into my house last December and started unpacking my books, I had so many that I’d run out of space for them. I went through and got rid of all the ones I knew I’d never reread. I gave about 75 to my mom and sold another 100 on ebay. That still leaves me with 3 full bookcases of books. Of those books, I had 106 that I hadn’t read yet. So I declared this year the year of reading all the books I already own. With the exception of buying the last book in a series (for example, I owned the first 3 books in the Hush, Hush series. I read that series, then bought the last one on my kindle right after so I could finish the whole thing), or books for my absolute favorite authors that get released this year, I haven’t bought any new books. I won’t buy any new ones until I finish what I already have and then I’ve imposed a one at a time rule on myself–if I do get more than one at a time, I have to read all of them before I can buy new ones. So far, I have 54 books left to read before I can start buying new ones. It feels great every time I “conquer” a shelf, case, etc., but I feel so behind as all these new books are coming out and I can’t read them yet.

    • SarahWhisted

      August 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Well, it does feel slightly better knowing I’m not alone in being a book hoarder.

      I’ve been trying to practice similar book buying rules – only pre-ordering books that are part of a series I love, or books by authors I love enough to support their first week sales, but I slip up occasionally and buy a cheap book here and there. There’s just something so appealing about their shiny new status. I’ve let some of these TBR books sit for so long, I’m not even sure I still care about reading them. And that makes me feel even worse.

      I’m amazed you’ve already cut your TBR in half this year. I can definitely imagine how satisfying that must feel!

      • fandoria

        August 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        I know what you mean about not caring about some of them anymore. There were a few I felt that way about too, but once I started reading them, I enjoyed them. I went all OCD and organized my books in ABC order by author and started reading them that way too. I’m in the M’s now. lol

        I actually feel kinda pathetic that I’ve only read 52 books so far. Up until about 2 years ago (when my reading dropped down to around 75 a year), I used to easily read about 120 books a year.

        • SarahWhisted

          August 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm

          O_O 120?!? Holy cow, amazing.

          The most I’ve ever read in a year was 55+/-? My goal this year was to read at least 60 books, but I’m only at 35 or 40 currently so we’ll see. Man, I need to start reading faster.

          Reading in ABC order is a good idea. I find myself always drifting towards the shortest books first so I can blow through them quicker, but the ones I have left are all about the same length at this point so maybe I need to try a different tactic.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

            I used to just go with whichever one caught my attention at a given moment. But then I’d have books that would keep getting ignored. Reading in ABC order is the only way so far I’ve been able to make sure those ones don’t get ignored anymore. And after finishing some of them, I’ve wondered why I took so long to read them in the first place.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

            I used to just go with whichever one caught my attention at a given moment. But then I’d have books that would keep getting ignored. Reading in ABC order is the only way so far I’ve been able to make sure those ones don’t get ignored anymore. And after finishing some of them, I’ve wondered why I took so long to read them in the first place.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

            I used to just go with whichever one caught my attention at a given moment. But then I’d have books that would keep getting ignored. Reading in ABC order is the only way so far I’ve been able to make sure those ones don’t get ignored anymore. And after finishing some of them, I’ve wondered why I took so long to read them in the first place.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

            Also, I noticed from your pics that we have a lot of books in common. Some I’ve already read and some I just finished reading (like Melissa Marr’s books. I just finished Darkest Mercy last week) and some are still in my TBR list.

          • SarahWhisted

            August 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm

            What did you think of Melissa Marr’s series? I was gifted the entire thing for Christmas one year and have been unsure about jumping into it for fear that I’ll either love it and forget the world exists until all 5 books are read or hate it and still feel obligated to read the others just because I have them.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

            Well, I had read the first three as they were released and liked them, but the problem was, because I’d read so many books inbetween, it took me a while to ramp up with each one and remember what had happened before. So when the last two came out, I decided to wait until I could reread the first three and read all 5 books together. But then I never got around to it because other books snagged my attention first. I enjoyed the first three again upon reread and it made it much easier to get into the last two because I had all the details fresh in my mind and could see how it all fit together.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

            Well, I had read the first three as they were released and liked them, but the problem was, because I’d read so many books inbetween, it took me a while to ramp up with each one and remember what had happened before. So when the last two came out, I decided to wait until I could reread the first three and read all 5 books together. But then I never got around to it because other books snagged my attention first. I enjoyed the first three again upon reread and it made it much easier to get into the last two because I had all the details fresh in my mind and could see how it all fit together.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

            Well, I had read the first three as they were released and liked them, but the problem was, because I’d read so many books inbetween, it took me a while to ramp up with each one and remember what had happened before. So when the last two came out, I decided to wait until I could reread the first three and read all 5 books together. But then I never got around to it because other books snagged my attention first. I enjoyed the first three again upon reread and it made it much easier to get into the last two because I had all the details fresh in my mind and could see how it all fit together.

          • SarahWhisted

            August 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm

            What did you think of Melissa Marr’s series? I was gifted the entire thing for Christmas one year and have been unsure about jumping into it for fear that I’ll either love it and forget the world exists until all 5 books are read or hate it and still feel obligated to read the others just because I have them.

          • SarahWhisted

            August 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm

            What did you think of Melissa Marr’s series? I was gifted the entire thing for Christmas one year and have been unsure about jumping into it for fear that I’ll either love it and forget the world exists until all 5 books are read or hate it and still feel obligated to read the others just because I have them.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

            Also, I noticed from your pics that we have a lot of books in common. Some I’ve already read and some I just finished reading (like Melissa Marr’s books. I just finished Darkest Mercy last week) and some are still in my TBR list.

          • fandoria

            August 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

            Also, I noticed from your pics that we have a lot of books in common. Some I’ve already read and some I just finished reading (like Melissa Marr’s books. I just finished Darkest Mercy last week) and some are still in my TBR list.

        • SarahWhisted

          August 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm

          O_O 120?!? Holy cow, amazing.

          The most I’ve ever read in a year was 55+/-? My goal this year was to read at least 60 books, but I’m only at 35 or 40 currently so we’ll see. Man, I need to start reading faster.

          Reading in ABC order is a good idea. I find myself always drifting towards the shortest books first so I can blow through them quicker, but the ones I have left are all about the same length at this point so maybe I need to try a different tactic.

        • SarahWhisted

          August 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm

          O_O 120?!? Holy cow, amazing.

          The most I’ve ever read in a year was 55+/-? My goal this year was to read at least 60 books, but I’m only at 35 or 40 currently so we’ll see. Man, I need to start reading faster.

          Reading in ABC order is a good idea. I find myself always drifting towards the shortest books first so I can blow through them quicker, but the ones I have left are all about the same length at this point so maybe I need to try a different tactic.

      • fandoria

        August 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        I know what you mean about not caring about some of them anymore. There were a few I felt that way about too, but once I started reading them, I enjoyed them. I went all OCD and organized my books in ABC order by author and started reading them that way too. I’m in the M’s now. lol

        I actually feel kinda pathetic that I’ve only read 52 books so far. Up until about 2 years ago (when my reading dropped down to around 75 a year), I used to easily read about 120 books a year.

      • fandoria

        August 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        I know what you mean about not caring about some of them anymore. There were a few I felt that way about too, but once I started reading them, I enjoyed them. I went all OCD and organized my books in ABC order by author and started reading them that way too. I’m in the M’s now. lol

        I actually feel kinda pathetic that I’ve only read 52 books so far. Up until about 2 years ago (when my reading dropped down to around 75 a year), I used to easily read about 120 books a year.

    • SarahWhisted

      August 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Well, it does feel slightly better knowing I’m not alone in being a book hoarder.

      I’ve been trying to practice similar book buying rules – only pre-ordering books that are part of a series I love, or books by authors I love enough to support their first week sales, but I slip up occasionally and buy a cheap book here and there. There’s just something so appealing about their shiny new status. I’ve let some of these TBR books sit for so long, I’m not even sure I still care about reading them. And that makes me feel even worse.

      I’m amazed you’ve already cut your TBR in half this year. I can definitely imagine how satisfying that must feel!

    • SarahWhisted

      August 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Well, it does feel slightly better knowing I’m not alone in being a book hoarder.

      I’ve been trying to practice similar book buying rules – only pre-ordering books that are part of a series I love, or books by authors I love enough to support their first week sales, but I slip up occasionally and buy a cheap book here and there. There’s just something so appealing about their shiny new status. I’ve let some of these TBR books sit for so long, I’m not even sure I still care about reading them. And that makes me feel even worse.

      I’m amazed you’ve already cut your TBR in half this year. I can definitely imagine how satisfying that must feel!

  2. fandoria

    August 12, 2013 at 4:43 am

    If it makes you feel any better, when I moved into my house last December and started unpacking my books, I had so many that I’d run out of space for them. I went through and got rid of all the ones I knew I’d never reread. I gave about 75 to my mom and sold another 100 on ebay. That still leaves me with 3 full bookcases of books. Of those books, I had 106 that I hadn’t read yet. So I declared this year the year of reading all the books I already own. With the exception of buying the last book in a series (for example, I owned the first 3 books in the Hush, Hush series. I read that series, then bought the last one on my kindle right after so I could finish the whole thing), or books for my absolute favorite authors that get released this year, I haven’t bought any new books. I won’t buy any new ones until I finish what I already have and then I’ve imposed a one at a time rule on myself–if I do get more than one at a time, I have to read all of them before I can buy new ones. So far, I have 54 books left to read before I can start buying new ones. It feels great every time I “conquer” a shelf, case, etc., but I feel so behind as all these new books are coming out and I can’t read them yet.

  3. fandoria

    August 12, 2013 at 4:43 am

    If it makes you feel any better, when I moved into my house last December and started unpacking my books, I had so many that I’d run out of space for them. I went through and got rid of all the ones I knew I’d never reread. I gave about 75 to my mom and sold another 100 on ebay. That still leaves me with 3 full bookcases of books. Of those books, I had 106 that I hadn’t read yet. So I declared this year the year of reading all the books I already own. With the exception of buying the last book in a series (for example, I owned the first 3 books in the Hush, Hush series. I read that series, then bought the last one on my kindle right after so I could finish the whole thing), or books for my absolute favorite authors that get released this year, I haven’t bought any new books. I won’t buy any new ones until I finish what I already have and then I’ve imposed a one at a time rule on myself–if I do get more than one at a time, I have to read all of them before I can buy new ones. So far, I have 54 books left to read before I can start buying new ones. It feels great every time I “conquer” a shelf, case, etc., but I feel so behind as all these new books are coming out and I can’t read them yet.

  4. Anonymous

    August 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    just one word: WOW!
    But if I had the money? we will probably both be on the same wagon. 😉

    • SarahWhisted

      August 19, 2013 at 12:42 am

      Too bad you don’t live closer, we could tackle this TBR pile together. :)

    • SarahWhisted

      August 19, 2013 at 12:42 am

      Too bad you don’t live closer, we could tackle this TBR pile together. :)

    • SarahWhisted

      August 19, 2013 at 12:42 am

      Too bad you don’t live closer, we could tackle this TBR pile together. :)

  5. Anonymous

    August 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    just one word: WOW!
    But if I had the money? we will probably both be on the same wagon. 😉

  6. Anonymous

    August 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    just one word: WOW!
    But if I had the money? we will probably both be on the same wagon. 😉

  7. edgyauthor

    August 28, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I can relate to this far too well. My own TBR pile is stacked like this, so it’s pretty much guilt-tripping me all the time, haha. There’s 160+ books in there for me, soooo…that’s a lot of guilt-tripping, needless to say!

    • SarahWhisted

      August 31, 2013 at 2:16 am

      160+ must be hard, but I know you were over 200 at the start of the year so I’m actually super impressed you’ve put such a good dent in yours already. Hopefully you’ll be under 100 in no time. :)

    • SarahWhisted

      August 31, 2013 at 2:16 am

      160+ must be hard, but I know you were over 200 at the start of the year so I’m actually super impressed you’ve put such a good dent in yours already. Hopefully you’ll be under 100 in no time. :)

    • SarahWhisted

      August 31, 2013 at 2:16 am

      160+ must be hard, but I know you were over 200 at the start of the year so I’m actually super impressed you’ve put such a good dent in yours already. Hopefully you’ll be under 100 in no time. :)

  8. edgyauthor

    August 28, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I can relate to this far too well. My own TBR pile is stacked like this, so it’s pretty much guilt-tripping me all the time, haha. There’s 160+ books in there for me, soooo…that’s a lot of guilt-tripping, needless to say!

  9. edgyauthor

    August 28, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I can relate to this far too well. My own TBR pile is stacked like this, so it’s pretty much guilt-tripping me all the time, haha. There’s 160+ books in there for me, soooo…that’s a lot of guilt-tripping, needless to say!

Leave a Reply