How Neurotic are you about your books?

Just wondering if anyone else out there has a form of bibliomanic psychosis referred to as Bibliomaniasism?

Of or relating to Bibliophilism: Culmination of traits forbiding the body from disgarding any text forthwith from ones home.

I seem to not be able to throw any books away.

When Mrs.Phlosphr and I moved the heaviest thing in the shipment was our books. Almost a ton. Seriously, we had 1900 pounds of books moved to our new home. Granted the complete National Geographic series from 1900 - every one - weighed a lot and a humador full of first editions and antiquated books is alone 300 lb…

Of the others with similar afflictions, do you ever throw away books? What are your favourites to collect?

Or should be . . . That’s how I was raised . . . I donate books to the Veteran’s Assocation or the library, or send 'em to friends . . . But throw them away? perish the thought.

We barely have any furniture, yet 7500 lbs of “stuff”–about a ton of which is books. (Figures courtesy of our last moving company!)

Before our last move, we regretfully shed what books we could spare (~20 boxes) by donating them to the local library, which is the most honorable way to get rid of books. (Honestly, I normally would’ve traded them in for book credit at the local use book store, but that would’ve only resulted in us gaining books, which would’ve defeated the purpose of facilitating a less costly move.)

While in Grad school. I worked at a wonderful book store in Tempe Arizona called Changing Hands. While taking a box of books in on trade I saw something few of us ever thought we could. A completely pristine First Edition copy of Persig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Not wanting to get ratted out by my fellow workers I gave it to the owner who put it on display for the appraised value $450. When I left to come back home, it was made a gift to me, because I was the onw who found it, and because we essentially got it for free, they were not losing any money. :smiley:

Since then I have been an avid collector of first editon Jack Kerouac, Richard Bach and countless others I know and love.

I used to not be able to get rid of books, but that trait is fading, especially as a potential move approaches. I now am quite capable of getting rid of things I haven’t read or will never read again. If we do end up moving, the bookshelves (well, mine at least) will see a draconian purging.

As you can probably tell by my username, I love books. Absolutely love’em. I like the way they smell, and any day I come home with a new book is always a good day as far as I’m concerned.

I used to be very anal about my books. I’d never bend the covers or crack the spines, and I never let anyone borrow them unless they were one of my best friends who also happened to respect books as much as I did. In fact, I once had a nightmare in which one of my baby cousins was sitting on the floor and happily chewing away on one of my favorite Sci-fi novels. I woke up in a cold sweat, I kid you not!

However, i find I’ve mellowed out over the years, and I’m not as concerned about casual damage to books as I once was. Books are still precious to me, but they’re not as important as the story itself. If the worst comes to the worst, I can always buy another book…

I’ve talked about my severe emotional issues surrounding my books before.

I keep anything that I would recommend to someone else when I read it. If I don’t think I’d recommend it, I take it for credit to the nearest used bookstore.

I collect the same stuff I read, mainly sci-fi, history, and computer books.

The main rule of the house is:

Don’t touch my books.

Followed closely by:

Don’t touch my books.

We had roughly 40 boxes of books to move when we came here from Florida.

Ahhh, books…I have an eclectic collection including pop-up books, fairy tale anthologies, gay/lesbian stuff, gymnastics, the bubonic plague, and more.

I often have a personal copy and a lend-to-friends copy of any given title, and it’s not uncommon for me to discover that I’ve inadvertently bought multiple copies of the same book (five being my record).

Granted, I do go through them occasionally to weed out any that I feel I can live without.

I used to be quite the bibliomaniac, but our book collection was becoming oppressive. We just had a rather cathartic experience–we got rid of about 20 boxes of books. We just really needed to make room in our little house. I feel light as a feather! How strange. We still have zillions of books, of course. We brought them first to our favorite used book store, The Chatham Bookseller in Madison, NJ. They bought quite a lot of them. Then we trucked the rest into the Strand, who took all of the rest, save the library discards. We ended up with a nice chunk of change.

I’m pretty neurotic. I don’t crack spines or dog-ear pages, and many of my books are in absolutely pristine condition. I think it’s where I’ve channeled all the anal-retentiveness that should have gone towards being a better housekeeper. I don’t lend things out to many people any more, since I’ve had some bad experiences like people ripping the covers off my books (by accident, but still!), dropping them in the tub, and generally destroying the covers and bending the book itself. I did loan my Harry Potters to a guy who took off the dust jackets and swathed the books in plastic wrap so they wouldn’t get soiled. He can borrow anything, anytime.

In the house I grew up in we have a library in the guest bedroom that covers about two walls, floor to ceiling shelves, books stacked two deep. About three times a year my father has to schlep stacks of books from the upstairs down to the guest room because he’s simply run out of space. It drive my mother bananas. But I love it. I think a house looks empty without books.

I also love my books and carry my collection of favoured paperbacks everywhere, I’ve moved them to maybe five new houses in all. I cannot bring myself to get rid of them. But I admire, and strive to emulate, my father, who long ago realised that his love of reading and lack of storage space were incompatible. So now once he reads a book (and we’re talking paperbacks here, not expensively bound ones) he gives it away. This is a lovely habit, I think: you reduce your clutter, and you share your good books with others! How nice is it when your friend gives you a book they enjoyed?

And the other thing: I’ve seen too many books rotting in boxes in basements. People keep them because they love them/want to read them again, etc, and they’re so often forgotten. Isn’t the book put to much better use if it’s shared?

having said that, I still have most books I’ve ever owned. But the cover has fallen off my copy of Cat’s Cradle from being lent out so often …

::stands up and raises hand::

During Year 1 of My Life in Hell (graduate school), Mrs. Gaffer and I had a very nice place with an extra bedroom (the library) to house the Collection. She was working and I was on fellowship. Despite the workload and the constant thought that “I really should be doing better,” our living standard was quite comfortable. Halfway through Year 1 of My Life in Hell, we discover that “The Library” would become “The Nursery” somtime towards the end of summer.

We always knew that once our domicile was inhabited by ankle-biters, Mrs. Gaffer would stay home to protect our books. Ostensibly, she would also feed and bathe our offspring but we both knew that her real duty was to the Collection (and maybe to the shelves full of Macfarlane toys as well). In order to cope with the soon-to-be radical restructuring of our finances (i.e. some to none), we decided to move into a simply lovely one-bedroom shack. This entailed some degree of debate as to what would become of the aforementioned Collection. As the current icubator for Little Gaffer #1, Mrs. Gaffer felt that her opinion somewhat outweighed mine. She was right.

With great sadness, I spent a weekend going through every book in the Collection, doing my best St. Peter impression and passing judgement on every tome that passed through my hands. At the end of my lost weekend, I had accumulated, what I thought, an enormous stack of books that I was willing to part with. Mrs. Gaffer begged to differ. She informed me that “twelve books, three of which are GRE prep books, does not an enormous stack make.” Once again, she was right.

The story does have a happy ending though. We compromised and I kept the ones that I really need to have near and put the rest into storage. 'Twas a happy, happy day when My Life in Hell came to a happy conclusion and the Collection was one again complete.

That’s how I am, too. I take the DJs off while reading them, and replace them after I read them.
I’m very picky about who I lend books out to. Too many times I’ve loaned something out, and never gotten it back, or gotten it back looking like it’s been run over by a truck or dropped in the tub.

My books are arranged on my shelves alphabetically by author, and then chronologically in each grouping.
Fiction is separated from Non-fiction.
What? Not everyone does that? :wink:

I prefer hardbacks and trade paperbacks. I don’t buy the small mass-market paperbacks. I am a Book Snob. :o

I get my books from the library and I dogear pages, but only paperbacks, and only if they appear to be less than brand new.

I’m really sorry about it.

I read a lot, but typically only junk fiction and I just can’t see paying $8-10 for a paperback I’ll read in two days. Libraries are free. And the books are due back in three weeks. No clutter.

I don’t get rid of books either. The worst of this besides the dwindling amount of space in our house is that I keep paperback duplicates of most of my favorite hardbacks. I’m terrible with paperbacks for the most part. Dogeared pages, white lines down the spines, and that horrible curvature of the spine once I’m done with the book are common. The exception to this is if the paperback is not intended as a reading copy.

A plus for me is I like the look of books everywhere in a house. Sean Connery’s apartment in Finding Forrester, though a bit too dark for my tastes had a pleasant clutter about it. My book to furniture ratio isn’t as extreme as that, but if it were practical, I wouldn’t mind every room in our house being referred to as the library.

Well, if keeping two databases on all the books I currently own (over 2500), and having all the books organized/arranged in bookscases into specific categories (Literature, Science, Philosophy, Economics, etc.) signifies me as neurotic (or anal) then I’m guilty as charged :slight_smile:

My name is bayonet, and I am a book-aholic. This week I bought 3 books, used paperbacks. Last week I bought 7, 4 used paperbacks and 3 children hardcovers for my kids. I read them all, ever “Little Froggy Goes to Sleep”.

My bedroom is full of books, my closet is full of books, my attic is full of boxes of books, my old bedroom at my parent’s house is full of books.

I know I will never read ALL these books again, but I will reread some. Since I don’t know which it will be, I’ve kept them all. Besides, how do you get rid of something that brought so much pleasure, so much knowledge. It would be like getting rid of the Playboy channel.

My wife keeps telling me to get rid of the paperbacks and keep the “nice” harcovers. Nice harcovers? I keep them all.

My name is bayonet, and I am a book-aholic.

I just started a database of my books as well. I just went through my “home office” and cleared out a lot of older books. I’m still trying to figure out if they are worth anything or if I should just donate them to the library. I love to read and I always have a book with me where ever I go.

Despite my book…issues (see my profile), I am surprisingly not neurotic about my dear, darling, wonderful books. It’s just not in my nature to be a pack-rat. If I’m sure I’m not going to read it again, it goes away, usually to be exchanged at a used bookstore, so I can get something new. Oh, a new book! What could be more enchanting?

I don’t dog-ear my books, but I used to, and don’t really have a strong opinion on the habit. If I enjoyed the book, I’m more likely to lend it to a friend than hoard it for myself (I brought a few books to NYC MegaDopefest to lend to specific people). If I never get it back, well, it’s not like I don’t have thirty or forty books I haven’t read yet sitting around.

While I was working on my Master’s, I took a second job at a new/used bookstore. One of my responsibilities was to evaluate, price, and shelve trade-ins… which meant I got first crack at everything that came in. They also gave me a 35% discount on new books.

My book collection grew by a rate of about 5 volumes/week for about two years.

Ah, meeeemories!

Largest collections include: Geology (By far; and I get most of these for free these days), Regional Nature (Atlantic Coast and Southwest Deserts mostly), European and World History, Texana (Nature, History, etc.), Reference.