Books, Books, Books…

I’m in the middle of sorting my books out. They aren’t necessarily the biggest problem in my life, but they are one that I can do something about. I don’t feel too bad about getting rid of books because they can go to friends, neighbours and charity shops.

Clothes can go to charity shops too, as can various other things, but I feel guilty about merely throwing things away. After years of keeping things “because they may come in useful”, I have a lot of useless junk, but keep hold of it because…well, you can guess.

Some of it is actually second and third hand, having been passed on to me by my father and grandfather. If you ever need a tester for thermionic valvesΒ or a magnifier for a 1950s TV screen I have one. (My grandfather was part of group that built their own TV sets in 1953 in time for the Coronation, in case you were wondering.) On the other hand, if you want stationery in pre-decimal sizes, my father has provided me with a large selection.

However, back to books.Do you know how many words there are to describe conditions related to books?

Try these.

Bibliophilia – love of books

Bibliomania – accumulating books, including multiple copies, books of no collectable or financial value and numbers of books far beyond the collector’s capacity to read them.

Bibliophagy – book eating

Bibliokleptomania – compulsive book theft

Bibliotaphy – book burying

My favourite is a word my sister recently emailed me, with the words “I think this applies to us.”

Tsundoku, a Japanese word meaning the state of buying books and storing them without reading them.


So many books, so little time

I hold my hands up to bibliophilia, bibliomania and tsundoku.

I’m even considering Bibliophagy, on the grounds that books are high in fibre and low on digestible calories.

If you put them through the shredder a book has to be at lest as tasty as the spiralised butternut squash “noodles” we had last week.


37 thoughts on “Books, Books, Books…

  1. beatingthebounds

    Tsundoku. Ah-ha! – now I have a diagnosis. I think I know a cure too – retirement. When I’m a man of leisure I shall catch up with my voracious book buying. Presuming we can still move in the house, that is.

      1. beatingthebounds

        My Dad (who retired about 20 years ago) always complains he doesn’t have any time since he retired. This is a problem I’m willing to risk.

  2. The Meta-Bug

    I offer free books on my blog. No one wants them. I take them to the library. They don’t sell. The paper gets recycled. Worse than Beanie Babies.

  3. clarepooley33

    I find giving books away a real struggle but I have promised I will sort my books out this year so some will have to go. I have a Kindle app on my new phone but so far I have nothing on it πŸ™

  4. C thehappymeerkat

    Not sure I’d eat a book yet but I love sniffing new books. The smell of that new book is something I love, I’m sure there’s a name for that too lol. I’m guilty of accumulating books but I plan to read them all… one day…

  5. GP Cox

    Good luck in your quest. I find it very difficult to give books away – and the house is getting quite crowded with them (and I keep getting more!!)

    1. quercuscommunity

      I have around 300 books on my Kindle, which saves a lot of space and money. I recently bought the complete novels of John Buchan (25 books) for 0.99. It’s not as nice as a printed book but it’s great value in a small space.

      1. GP Cox

        I finally broke down and bought a Nook. I never thought I would, but so many books these days are only e-books. I like it, but it will never replace the printed word for me.

      2. Goodtoknow101

        I have to agree with you on this. Recently in order to try and save a bit of money and (as I’m sure you’ll sympathize with) space, I have began to read books on my tablet. Much more practical but I can’t say that it does the same for me as a physical book would πŸ™‚

      3. Goodtoknow101

        Actually yes that’s another great point. Many times I have begun to read a book but found that the printed text was a little to small and I found it uncomfortable and slightly off-putting to read. Reading on my tablet helps to make sure I never encounter this problem again!

  6. Helen

    So the butternut squash noddles were that tasty were they?

    If you did decide to part with other stuff (that might not sell so well in a charity shop), I’d recommend Freegle. Great that not only do you relinquish something for the benefit of the community but they pick it up for you πŸ˜ƒ.

    Tsundoku could describe me, too. However, I am making an effort now to read each and every book – then take it to the charity shop. I’ve had a hiatus recently due to friends and relatives donating more to the pile but the beauty of this method is that I get to find out whether the book should be on my shelf or moved on.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Long term I want to eat vegetable noodles or cauliflower rice a couple of times a week – I’m sure I will get used to it. Next time I eat the butternut squash noodles I will do so with meatballs and tomato sauce. We had it with stir fry and it was a bit dry.

      Good call on Freegle – I’d forgotten all about them


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