Every time I post a book haul, I inevitably get a comment along the lines of “WOW! That’s a lot of books!” Yeah, I know. I buy A LOT of books. More than any person in their right mind would buy. Clearly, I have an addiction. But if I have to be addicted to something, buying books is not so bad. I don’t spend a lot of money on anything else. I don’t really go out to dinner, I don’t get my nails done, I rarely go to the movies. I just buy books. (I also currently don’t pay rent, so that helps.) But that’s just how I justify my over-the-top book buying habits.
The reason is really simple:
I am in love with the idea of having my own library. I have been ever since I watched Beauty and the Beast when I was three.
Books are a priority for me, plain and simple. I know I don’t need to own them all, but I want to. I love being surrounded by books all the time. It makes me happy to look at the shelf and relive the satisfaction I got from reading a certain book **cough** War & Peace **cough**, or remember how much I loved a story. Books definitely shaped who I am, so, to me, it’s important to keep those parts of me.
But I’m not just surrounding myself with memories, I’m surrounding myself with potential. At any given moment, on my bookshelves, I have the potential to read something that will change my life, entertain myself for a few hours when I’m having a bad day, learn something new, travel across the world, or put myself in someone else’s shoes for a day. I can go anywhere and learn anything, and it’s all right at my fingertips.
Being surrounded by both books I have read and books I have yet to read just makes me really happy. I’ve had a tough few months this year, and the one thing I found that helped calm me when my anxiety got out of control was just looking at my books. Even when I was too exhausted or upset to read them. I knew they were there.
There is no friend as loyal as a book. – Ernest Hemingway
Okay, maybe I’m a crazy book lady, but I don’t care. They make me happy when everything else in my life sucks. And I’m really not willing to give that up.
Yes, I know I could buy ebooks and audiobooks and go to the library and not end up with dangerously huge stacks of books (especially in earthquake country). And I do all those things. But I really just like having the physical copies. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing them without having to open my iPad. I’ll never get tired of looking at books, and I will never regret having too many books.
I am by no means saying you should adopt my book buying habits. I realize they’re completely impractical for most people. But to each their own. I have absolutely zero regrets about buying the number of books I do. Even when I lose interest, I’m happy to pass it on to someone who might enjoy it more and may not have my budget for books.
So, I know I buy an insane amount of books. But it makes me happy.