January 15, 2011

Pajama Musings - Bibliomania

Time for a confession – I'm a book hoarder. Big time.
And it's really not all too hard to become one.
Apart from always buying books by my favorite authors only minutes after their release dates I really, really try to cut my spending on them.
That's were it gets bad. Because a reader cannot live of those store-bought books alone.
I will search for mystery boxes filled with books on Ebay and bid on them despite the huge risk of ending up with a box filled with a collection of the worst books ever written, or even more so, a box filled to the brim with books my grandma might have liked.
I will do the same thing with book collections that include lists. One or two books of interest to me will be enough to lure me in.
I will buy books at flea markets by the dozen, just because I like the covers and they are cheap. Of course I will also watch out for books I always wanted to read, but they are usually the minority.

Now that we've established that I own a laughably vast amount of books, I shall let you in on the name of this, uhm, obsessive behavior.


One of several psychological disorders associated with books, bibliomania is characterized by the collecting of books which have no use to the collector nor any great intrinsic value to a genuine book collector. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania.
Alright, I might not end up buying multiple copies of a certain book, at least not on purpose, and I am putting them to good use by reading them or using larger stacks as furniture, but that's probably no real excuse, now is it?
The good news though, it's by far the nicest of all those book-related conditions. Like, bibliophagy (book-eating ... I did not make that one up, I swear), bibliokleptomania (compulsive book-stealing) and bibliotaphy (book-burying … yes, the R is important otherwise we'd all suffer from abnormal behavior if it were merely about buying).

And yes, I have indeed a plan on getting past the chronic book hoarding. I will read a lot, an awful lot, and I set a read-to-purchase ratio which won't allow me to buy more books until a certain amount has been read by me. This encourages me to read more, which is good, and at the same time I know that I can reward myself with a new book soon enough, and not feel guilty about it. I guess my frugality vows AND the 2011 Reading Challenges come in more than handy now too.


  1. I have a great idea! Erich and I have books we want to get rid of. Wonder how much it costs to ship books to Austria??? :)

  2. Nice try, my fellow bibliomaniac :-D !!