Sep 23 2015

Imaginative Discussions: What Kind of Book Person Am I?

Posted by Lyn Kaye in Imaginative Discussions, Lyn / 20 Comments



When someone asked for me to describe myself, I usually apply the label of a book lover. It has become not only my biggest hobby I have ever held, but also my longest running leisurely pursuit. I’m always curled up with a book on my breaks and my lunch hour, and I find it vital to set aside time to read, like some people would for TV or some other form of entertainment. In a way, I center my free time around reading.

Recently, my apartment flooded, which called for the carpet experts to save us from mildew and black mold. I have several milk crates filled with books, and one of the shelves had to be relocated for access to the waterlogged carpet. The man who came for the job looked at my stack and said, “I have never seen someone own so many books.”

This set off a bit of worry (as does any home visit to my abode). I had a bit of a “Y U JUDGE ME” moment.

Am I taking this hobby too far? Am I venturing away from “love” and more into the territory of “obsession?”

When I did a bit of digging online for “book addiction”, I found the term tsundoku – a person who buys books but never reads them, and instead, piles them all over their living space. According to Wikipedia, this is a person who “it is letting books pile up in one’s room so much that the owner never gets a chance to read all of them.” It also notates that the term can also be “used to refer to books ready for reading later when they are on a bookshelf.”

This sounds like me perfectly. I do read some of the books, eventually. I also have a Kindle, which I load pretty heavily right now for my mother, who is on a reading kick at the moment. When I get paid, I rush off to Amazon to see what new books I want to buy. I never know what my mood will call for next, so I try to have a variety ready at my fingertips. Hell, I have more room for my books than I do for clothing.

When I read other bloggers and reader’s updates, I see that quite a few of them use the library, or use e-readers for their book supply. Then something just went off in my head: What if I am a book hoarder? What if I love books more than I love reading books? What if I really tried to ban myself from buying new books, that might sit on a shelf for 2 years?  There is no denying that I love the feel of seeing that box in the mail, nestled with crisp, earth-scented pages.  But I do want to READ all of my books as well.

However, if there is a term in another language that sums up my activity, then it isn’t as obscure and odd as I am lead to believe. Maybe this is a universal book love issue.

So, maybe I not only a book lover, but a book fanatic, a biblio-obsessed individual who might die under a fallen stack of books, but whatever I am, it makes me one happy hoarder.

So, reading friends, I ask you this: Are you a hoarder? Do you buy books intending to read them as soon as they come in? Are you a frantic, cramped individual who might need an intervention? I am really curious if your TBR pile is physical or virtual. Do you have a pile pile of books or an extra long list?

Lyn Sig Plant

20 Responses to “Imaginative Discussions: What Kind of Book Person Am I?”

  1. Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    I feel like those things are also in the eye of the beholder. Another book lover may have seen your books and gotten really excited. And for someone who doesn’t like reading, owning 10 books may be too much. If you want to buy those books, and you can, why not? Maybe you’ll end up reading them all. Maybe not. Who cares? If you can, and you want to buy those books then I feel like that’s exactly what you should do 😀
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | My Fall TBRMy Profile

    • Lyn Kaye

      I can say that I am better about selling off books that I didn’t like or that I know I changed my mind on. I bought quite a few books when I was desperate to find something that I liked, and I am slowly getting rid of those books, books I bought out of desperation.
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette September Wrap-UpMy Profile

  2. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    The book blogging world has definitely become a bad influence on me! I used to never buy books unless I was about to read them starting as soon as I got home from the store. I also used to get most of my books from the library. I also used to be really good at giving books away once I was done with them. Then I saw all those pictures of everybody’s awesome bookshelves. And I saw all the completed series you guys had sitting all pretty next to each other… and I started thinking if I read as much as I do, I should have something to show for it. But yeah, now I’m thinking it was a bad idea because I also have a TON of books that haven’t been read. And I never had that before. SIGH!!!
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…Breakaway by Kat SpearsMy Profile

  3. Lola

    I love buying books, maybe as much as I enjoy reading them, but I also think that’s part of being a book lover. I always find it interesting when I talk with my sister, who is a reader as well, who recently read all the e-books she ownder before she bought new ones and I just cna’t do that. Like you also mentioend I have different moods and I need to have different books to read for different moods. When I was younger I did always read all my books, but now I own lots of and lots of unread books. Maybe it’s a bit of an obsession indeed. I do want to read them all, but on the other hand I never want to read all my books, because that means I have nothing to read next.
    Lola recently posted…Review: Damned if I Do by Erin HayesMy Profile

    • Lyn Kaye

      That’s true – it might be the end of the world if we got to the bottom of our reading piles!

      I use to buy books and read them right off the bat as well – I was pretty consistent. But now, my apartment looks like a used bookstore.
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette September Wrap-UpMy Profile

  4. Emerald

    I have some of the same problems! I love buying books, love seeing them on my shelves, and love being able to pick what I read based on my mood. I do read a mix of physical books as well as eBooks, but there is something special about holding an actual book in my hands! Book hoarder, book lover, bibliophile… those all apply to me, too!
    Emerald recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBRMy Profile

  5. Vane

    My TBR is mostly digital because in order to acquire half the books I read, I’d have to ship them from Amazon, and I also have college bills, so it’s not as if I can spend my money just like that, BUT I do own many books in physical which I intend to read… eventually. I do need an intervention because I worry the same you do! It’s like, I buy all those books, and I’ve had some for more than a year, but I’ve never picked them up. :/
    Vane recently posted…Review: Deadly MessengersMy Profile

    • Lyn Kaye

      Don’t let me do your intervention. We would just end up stopping by a bookstore.

      I kid you not: When Kara, Jessie, Pixie and I went to BEA last year, we left the conference, and on our first day, we went TO A USED BOOKSTORE. We left a place giving us free books to go buy other books. That right there is a red flag!!
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette September Wrap-UpMy Profile

  6. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    Most of my books are on my Kindle and I think this makes me more of a book hoarder than I would be if they were physical books. It is SO EASY to just buy a book off Amazon and have it automatically downloaded on my Kindle. No waiting for shipping! Like you, I want to make sure I have a variety of books at my fingertips. Sometimes I think that it is bordering on obsession . . . but then I think that there are worse things to be addicted to, right? Ha.
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…Courtney Summers’ Round Up of ReviewsMy Profile

  7. Faye la Patata

    Oh, man. I feel you girl, I really really do. I have massive cases of tsundoku, because I hoard books from bookstores and even from Amazon and not read them at all (I’ve bought stuff from last year that are still unread… and from this year too that are still wrapped in plastic… lol). It really makes me feel so guilty because that’s still money spent, you know? And space filled. Hopefully I’ll be better at this soon :(
    Faye la Patata recently posted…Read-Alikes Recommendations: Adult Fiction for Young Adult Lovers!My Profile

  8. Rachel

    I have thousands of books I’ve never read, and probably never will. But I’ve been slowly weeding them out so that I have only books that I truly want to read someday. I’m also working really hard to resist the impulse to buy. It’s sort of working for hard copy books, but I’ve gotten bad about buying at Audible’s sales niw. 😣
    Rachel recently posted…September 2015 UpdateMy Profile

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