If you’re a book lover, you definitely understand this struggle: Even though you already have a lot of books that you haven’t read yet, you can’t resist buying new ones.
Books are addictive. Once you start buying them, you won’t be able to stop. Eventually, you’ll end up having too many of them. So what happens when you have too many books?
Before getting there, we need to take a small step back.
It starts with one book, but it never ends
When I was still in school, I used to spend a lot of my time in the library. I’d roam the shelves looking for new treasures, until I eventually find something to borrow.
After reading the borrowed book, I end up having to return it. That moment always made me feel like I was sacrificing a part of myself. When you read a book that you really like, a book that you connect with, you feel as if it becomes a part of you.
Sometimes, I even ended up buying a copy of the book after I returned it just because I felt it was special. That’s when my love for collecting books started to grow.
Any time I heard someone was getting rid of their books, I’d be standing on their front door waiting to get them. It always made me feel like a pirate collecting a treasure. Once my collection started to grow, I became even more addicted to it.
Nowadays, I don’t read as much as I used to. However, I never stopped buying books. I just can’t resist it, even when I know I wouldn’t have the time to read everything I buy.
A couple of months ago I bought a book called “The psychology book” that explains a huge number of psychology topics in a form of short essays that everyone can understand.
The simplicity of the book and the amount of information in it blew my mind. What did I do next? Well… I bought half of the DK collection because you know, I might want to learn about these things later.
Why do I do that? So that when I’m older, I’d have an entire room full of books that I can call my heaven. One day, I’ll have too much free time, and I want to make sure that when that day comes I’ll have enough books to fight my boredom.
What happens when you have too many books is that one day, you’ll end up having an escape plan that will take you to new worlds when you no longer can seek physical adventures.
Isn’t borrowing books a lot cheaper?
If we’re talking about money then of course, borrowing these books would be much cheaper. But books are far more valuable than the price label you see on them.
One thing I love doing is to add my own notes on the pages of the book. Whether it’s how I can apply it in my life or just highlighting the quotes I like, I feel like I’m building my own version of what’s in that book.
This way, I can come back to it years later and see how I evolved. Did I really learn from what I read or was it forgotten and thrown into oblivion?
When you collect books, you’re not only collecting ink on paper: you’re collecting experiences and knowledge that can help you grow.
Every book represents a lifetime lived by its author, things that they learned in the span of years and wrote down on these pages. And when you add your own experience in the form of notes on these pages, they become much more valuable.
You can’t do that with borrowed books. That’s the main reason why some people prefer having their own copies.
Another reason is because when you read a certain book, it becomes a part of you. As I mentioned before, returning a borrowed book feels like getting rid of a small part of yourself.
But what happens when you have too many books?
Whenever anyone sees my books collection, they usually tell me: “Dude stop buying books, you already have too many of them!”. But I just can’t get it. When it comes to me, I feel like I never have enough books. Until I have a collection that can fill an entire room, I’ll keep buying them.
Here’s what you should know: There’s no such thing as having too many books. There’s no universal number that tells you how many books is the right amount to own. It’s relative to each and every one of us.
If your hobby is to collect books, then no one can stop you from having hundreds of them. And if you like to keep it simple and have only a few books, then by all means go for it!
But if you really want to know what happens when you have too many books, here’s my answer: You end up having a treasure of knowledge that no other material possession can provide. And that’s a good thing. Having too many books gives you portals into worlds you could never visit otherwise.
Even if you’re a minimalist (or trying to become one), you can still have your big books collection and be proud of it. Keep reading and keep growing, because that’s what will always help you evolve.
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