Our Reading Lives

My Love for Buying Books Is Waning and I Feel Guilty About It

I am—unfortunately—no Marie Kondo, but I do enjoy having a decluttered house. Once a hoarder of anything that might be useful someday, and of anything with some slight sentimental value, over the years I’ve come to collect fewer and fewer things, giving away all that I was not using, and was very unlikely to use again. I’ve become more comfortable in a home without clutter, but books have always been, and still are, my only exception.

book puns

To start with, my relationship to books is not the same as with everything else: book are treasures, not clutter. They’re greatly shaped too, easy to pile up inside boxes in case I need to move houses again, and I can put them pretty much anywhere. No more space on the bookshelf? It’s okay, I have smaller shelves and tables where they’ll fit great! I have a floor, too, and, as said before, a lot more room for books, since my house is not too cluttered with stuff anymore. Despite this, more and more, I find myself going into bookstores and coming home empty-handed, especially if I didn’t go in thinking about buying a particular volume. I haven’t received books in the mail for months, either. And while, on one hand, I know that means that I’m finally being a responsible person and going through my TBR pile, that I am finally acting upon the understanding that I’m not going to read that book anyway, because I still have at least 20 I want to read first, so why spend money on it right now…on the other hand, this makes me sad.

It makes me sad that purchasing books doesn’t come with the same excitement, unless I’m absolutely sure I’m going to read it in the near future. It makes me sad that I almost feel like I have to revoke my bookworm card, that I am not a “real” reader or, at least, I am not the reader I used to be.

I know that this whole thing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it’s probably just a phase, the result of my mind being focused on other matters; but sometimes I wonder if it will get even worse, if it will ever come a time in which I won’t even feel like walking into a bookstore because I know there’s nothing I need to buy, so no use “wasting” time in there.

Please, if this ever happens, bury me immediately. Bury me with all my books.