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TSS: Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Books?

tssbadge1Good afternoon Saloners! I am currently facing the (first world) dilemma that I suspect all book lovers must face eventually – is there such a thing as too many books?

In my case, unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes.

I have four bookcases in my house, two large normal Ikea Billy style bookcases and two smaller ones, maybe about half that size. And they are all officially full of books. I definitely have a book acquisition problem. I have nearly 600 unread books (although fortunately about 100 of those are ebooks) and while a good portion of those are still living in my parents’ house in the United States, most of them seem to be living here in a house that is too small for them. My husband is patient and tolerant, far more than I am, but now the books have colonized the floor in front of the bookcases, and for him this is enough. So, I’m officially on a physical book buying ban, and I must read physical books rather than ebooks. I mean, I can read ebooks, but it means I have to wait even longer before acquiring new physical books. And, well, I like physical books.

Plus, I’m going on holiday next month, and I should probably think about saving money for that rather than buying books all the time.

So! The rules of the ban are as follows:

  1. No new physical books until after my birthday (January 12th), unless I can clear the floor and some shelf space first.
  2. Pre-ordered books are okay, if they were pre-ordered before today.
  3. Ebooks under £2 are also okay. They don’t take up any space and I’ve taken positive chances on a lot of books this way, then gone on to buy plenty of that author’s books (Jo Walton, perfect example) at normal prices.

Although I only decided on the ban a few days ago, I’m already wishing for various books, not helped by the fact that I like to spend time in my local Waterstone’s …

edward iiiEdward III and the Triumph of England in particular is calling my name – very, very loudly. I mean, how am I supposed to resist a book that is essentially about medieval chivalry, one of my very favourite subjects in the world? With difficulty, I think. The book focuses on the career of Edward III and his court after the victory at Crecy. This is already on my Christmas wish list. It’s also an absolutely beautiful book that would fit right in with my small but growing collection of history. Richard Barber wrote or contributed to a couple of books I used for my MA dissertation (which was actually on chivalry but at a slightly later date) so this is guaranteed to be fascinating for me.

the windup girl

The Windup Girl caught my eye in the bookstore yesterday. The summary from Amazon:

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s calorie representative in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, he combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs long thought to be extinct. There he meets the windup girl – the beautiful and enigmatic Emiko – now abandoned to the slums. She is one of the New People, bred to suit the whims of the rich. Engineered as slaves, soldiers and toys, they are the new underclass in a chilling near future where oil has run out, calorie companies dominate nations and bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

And as Lake becomes increasingly obsessed with Emiko, conspiracies breed in the heat and political tensions threaten to spiral out of control. Businessmen and ministry officials, wealthy foreigners and landless refugees all have their own agendas. But no one anticipates the devastating influence of the Windup Girl.

It just sounds exactly like the kind of science fiction that I’m into right now and it went straight on the wishlist.

year of the demon

I loved – and I mean really, really loved – Steve Bein’s first book in this series, Daughter of the Sword. I was thrilled to learn that the second book was releasing sooner than I’d hoped, but it looks like I’ll have to wait a little bit longer to get my hands on this.

iron kingdom

Iron Kingdom was one of the books referenced in Vanished Kingdoms. I feel like I don’t know nearly enough about Prussia to properly understand more recent European history and that recommendation sealed the deal for me. I really want to add this to the aforementioned slowly-growing collection of history. It’s sitting on my wishlist, waiting for that time when I’ve cleared off shelf space.

What are you wishing for? Have you run out of shelf space yet?

8 comments to TSS: Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Books?

  • Oh my goodness, I have tried so many times to restrict my book buying habit but I fail miserably each time, lol. I have about 600 physical books and 200 ebooks. I prefer the physical books, but those 2.99 ebooks are quite irresistible. I figure that if I really like the ebook I will buy a physical copy for my personal library.
    svea´s last post …Book Review: The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

  • Carol Wong

    I have 378 unread books. They are piling up on top of the bookcases and thousands of e-books (that is because 95% of them are free). I prefer physocal books too but now it is getting embarassing. I have been selliing my books as I read them and my husband really likes that. He is tolerating them so far but I don’t want to push it. I have unscribed to a lot of blogs so I won’t enter the giveaway but they keep on coming.

  • Placing a ban on myself would probably make me want new books even more!! lol Good luck with your ban!
    bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last post …Kid Konnection: Spooky Books!

  • I haven’t gone so far as to instigate a ban but I am now being ruthless about which books to keep. We are both getting sick of keeping books on the floor.
    Beth F´s last post …Weekend Cooking: Sunflower Taco Salad

  • Yes, it is possible to have too many books. I had to face this fact earlier in the year as there is no way I can actually read the 1000s of books I own before I die. I had a ruthless cull and now have a strict more out than in policy. I try to ensure I get rid of three books if I want to buy a new one. It works most of the time, but if I spot a bargain things can go wrong. Good luck with your ban!
    Jackie (Farm Lane Books)´s last post …Beneath the Darkening Sky by Majok Tulba

  • I’ve often thought it’d be great if the Billy shelves weren’t as tall, or if the additional shelves weren’t £15 a pop! I placed a ban on myself on Sunday too, so we’re very much in a similar situation in that way :) Mine’s more about ARCs because I’d already stopped buying, but it arrives at the same conclusion. Literally you can have too many books, a sad fact, but mentally, intellectually, etc, you can’t.

    The good thing about the wishlist is having to prioritise should hopefully result in you only/almost exclusively reading books you’ll enjoy. Best of luck keeping to your ban!
    Charlie´s last post …The Second Update On My Quest To Visit All The Castles In England

  • Good luck with the book buying ban. I’m quite good at keeping my physically book acquisitions and numbers down. I still live at home and only have my bedroom to store everything!
    jessicabookworm´s last post …New Read: Death Goes Postal

  • Good luck with the ban! My shelves are not yet full, which gives me the illusion of infinite space, so I’ve been quite bad lately. But I want to bring a couple more of my books over when I go to my parents’ for Christmas, so I should probably be saving the space for those.
    Ana @ things mean a lot´s last post …Doll Bones by Holly Black