Bookshelf Envy

Occasionally, I’ll watch the vlogs created by fellow book bloggers, or I’ll view their IMM/Stacking the Shelves/Book loot posts. Usually they person is perched in front of their glorious bookshelves that show off the pristine book spines of the books they’ve accumulated over the years. And for a moment I’m stung by book shelf jealousy. I don’t have bookshelves, so my books are either stacked in desk drawers, on top of my dresser, or on the floor. Sometimes I dream of having my own library. But then, what book lover doesn’t?

In my library, I would have bookshelves built into the walls, and they would be filled to the brim with books upon books. New books I can’t wait to read. Old books I thoroughly enjoyed. Comfort books I revisit time and time again when I need my spirits lifted. A collection of “classics” just in case I’m visited by a book snob who judges people based on what they read, but in all actuality they’ll probably just sit there collecting dust. Maybe I’ll have some bookish tchotchkes like Hermione Granger’s Time Turner or a replica of The One Ring.

In my library I would have two very comfortable recliners of the rocking variety. Only one would probably get used, but I’d want a second one just in case my boyfriend wanted to read his Charles Bukowski books or his World War II books while I’m reading a young adult novel. Between the two recliners would be a table for a small table lamp and giant mug of hot tea or cocoa depending on my mood. In front of the recliners would be one of those tacky animal skin rugs (faux animal skin of course). Like a bear or a tiger. Extra points if it has a head and paws. And in front of that there would be a fireplace for those cold winter evenings.

On one wall would be a bay window, with a bench to sit on. I could enjoy the scenery and the sun’s warmth. Maybe crack open the windows on a late Spring day to enjoy a nice, clean breeze.

But, I know this will never happen. I can’t see myself ever accumulating enough books to have a personal library because I’m not a book hoarder. There are only two reasons why I’ll hang onto a book I’ve already read.

  1. It’s a comfort book. It’s a book I know I will return to years down the line. The books I will reread. The Harry Potter series. The Hobbit. The Great Gatsby.
  2. It’s a book I’m saving for a future generation. I don’t know if I’ll ever have kids. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a niece or a nephew. But, if I do I’ve started a collection of books especially for them. Books that struck a chord with me growing up. Books that were my favorites growing up. Books I want to share with my future kin.

I have a hard timing holding onto books if I know I won’t read them again. I feel guilty for doing it! Books took me on adventures. Gave me characters that I could relate to so I didn’t feel so alone in this universe. Showed me the world from different points of views so I could put things in perspectives. And here they are, collecting dust in drawers and dressers and floors. That’s not the purpose of books. So, I usually donate my books. I’d say I pass on about 80% of my books. Most of the time I donate them to the libraries around town. Sometimes I pass along books to friends. Sometimes I trade books in at the local used book store for books I haven’t read yet. One of these days, I intend to hold a giveaway here at Books & Tea, so I can pass along amazing reads to people who are as passionate about books as I am.

I need to invest in a small bookshelf soon since my books are scattered throughout the house. Until then, I’ll live vicariously through you, fellow bloggers. And through a website I found via Tumblr called Bookshelf Porn. Check out these beauts!

What about you? What do you do with all the books you’ve already read? Do you keep them and fill up your glorious bookshelves or do you donate them? Do you ever dream of having a personal library? What sorts of things do you dream of having in your personal library?