The Bookshelf Dilemma

I have too many books. There are many that I wouldn’t bother reading a second time. There are some that are very dear to me. The books that I have, I want to keep.

But what about new ones? How much shelf space should I actually set aside for them?

Is it time for an ebook reader then? I never resisted digital music players, digital cameras and the like. And yet with ebook readers, I feel this incredible resistance. Which seems utterly pointless. I’ve dragged many books across the seas, and I am a bit tired of their weight and space consuming nature. And while Libraries are an option, I want to be able to go back to these books if need be, and I find it easier to have instant access to reading material.

Opting for an ebook reader feels like a life-changing choice. I am aware that I will still have to buy some books – the lovely ones with pictures, books that are hard to find and the like. But given the constant travel (where sometimes it feels like I spend half my working week on a train) – the idea of not carrying a couple of heavy books feels like certain relief.

I like to think of myself as a reader rather than a book collector. I like the warm glow of paper books – but I am tired of carrying an entire library around. And yet, the stupid, silly, childish resistance.

It’s time to take the plunge. I just don’t know how cold the water is.

PS: Ever noticed how for some people their book collections are like their receptionists. They are communicating aspects of themselves. I like looking at a person’s bookshelf. But perhaps I have enough books to make that gentle introduction to the wayward house guest.

15 Comments

Filed under Books, Self

15 Responses to The Bookshelf Dilemma

  1. The Day my mom put all the books I brought together, I swear-ed I would never buy any more (I brought 12 after that in 4 months which is low count) … Finally getting a ebook reader (waiting to see how wink looks like else it’s kindle DX for me) …

  2. going through the same dilemma..

    my bookshelves are full and i am resisting the e-book reader for many reasons (eg. ebook reader would smell the same for every book. but not like the smell of a new (old) book)

    and i cannot look at the e-reader and be as proud as I would be when I look at my shelf… etc. etc.

  3. Neha, I’m in the same predicament. I haven’t given away or sold a single book from my undergraduate, and, like you, I seem to be unwittingly collecting more and more books…my closet holds more books than my clothes! But ultimately, I think a e-book reader will simply be more economical.

  4. Do it I’m telling you. It’s absolutely awesome. Hubby got me one a few months back and it’s the best gadget I have ever ever acquired!! I read quite a bit and several books at the same time… and my Kindle is my perfect companion. I even wrote about it a few days back… http://mondaysky.blogspot.com/2010/06/exciting-new-acquisition.html

  5. KG

    i have one. It sucks.

  6. u needn’t re-think..if u like any…neither about the space nor the place…books are registered thought-provoking…

  7. In the same place. Once you take the plunge, let me know how the water feels.

  8. >>Opting for an ebook reader feels like a life-changing choice

    I know exactly how that feels! I’ve not opted for one yet, but if I do, it’s not going to replace books but will be an accessory when I cannot carry my books when I’m, say, travelling.

  9. everytime i change homes and have to bear the weight of my books i swear to myself that i will not buy anymore new books and will dispose off what i have accumulated. it never happens. i keep buying more and more and never sell even one of them. even if a thought arises to sell them i suppress it and feel guilty. that is the power of books i guess. it is like they are another person close to you whom you just dont want to let go off

  10. Hey …

    came here from ATP (wish she’s start writing again).

    I can never read e-books unless it’s a real necessity .. and I still retain my old chandamama’s .. infact, started reading them online now only due to lack of proximity .. but I really miss the old versions. try the site, it’s great .

    and I’m a book reader/collector as well … I love the sight of so many books

  11. vijee

    You are tired of carrying libraries.

    The libraries too are tired of carrying books. They too are offloading them and dying slowly.

    I write about one such library here:
    http://madrasmusings.com/Vol%2019%20No%2019/a-collection-well-past-its-prime.html

  12. hmmm….looks like it is the same predicament elsewhere. No matter how big a room you have for a library, it seems to be always filled with books and magazines. Over the years since my high school days, I have given away number of books, lost considerable number of books due to “borrower” thieves and a few priceless ones gone with the flash flood. I think when the time comes, we have to part from whatever we have in our possession. Detachment is the best book in life. E-book is a good option.

  13. My dream is to have one full wall of my house filled with my favourite books.

    And you’re talking of disposing them? Tch tch tch!

  14. Finally, you got one?

    After reading your post, I started to think about it more-than-ever-before seriously! ..

    So far, I am in favour of taking the plunge.

    Thanks,
    Sands.

    PS: I even copied your post title for my post about the same (shamelessly). :P