Is there such a thing as too many books?

Surely the answer to that is NEVER!

My husband recently visited Oxford and returned with this delightful purchase:

I buy books

Fine words to live by, in our opinion.

Only we have encountered a small hitch in that life plan. Some of you may remember a post I put up two years ago about building a library in our own home at last. Absolute bliss: a whole room dedicated to all our books. What could go wrong?

Em, we’ve sort of run out of space.

My personal book purchases don’t tend to take up much shelf space as I’ve been buying mostly on my Kindle of late, but I do still like to splurge on real books every now and then. And my husband definitely prefers the tangible printed word. Three incidents have occurred in recent months:

  • I celebrated a milestone birthday in May thanks to which I added, between vouchers and gifts, a further nine books to our collection.
  • My brother-in-law came back from the States for a brief trip and my husband saw this as an opportunity for him to bring home ALL THE BASEBALL BOOKS EVER WRITTEN.
  • The charity shop near my husband’s workplace was selling books at ridiculously cheap prices so he went and picked up ten for €1. I’m not missing any digits there. The books were 10c each. How could he resist?

Full libraryThis is all well and good but, when it comes to the task of placing new books on the shelves (alphabetically by author and then chronologically by publication), the problem now is that there’s just no more room. After that trip to the charity shop, I had to pack the books in so tight that it’s barely possible to pull them back out. We are officially OUT OF SPACE for more books.

When we built the library, I didn’t foresee this crisis happening. Or at least not surfacing as a potential crisis for at least a decade. Now it’s a very present issue. I’ve made a pact with myself to stick to Kindle acquisitions for the time being but I can’t predict when himself is going to take it into his head to make another purchase. And on that day the library will explode.

I suppose one solution would be to try to Full librarysell the books we think we might never read again. But there’s a reason we’ve accumulated so many. It’s because we never, never, never like to get rid of our books.

We also have a piano and a bookcase of CDs in the room. We can’t really get rid of the piano (given that my livelihood is ‘Piano Teacher’) and our hoarding instincts do extend to CDs which is why we have so many of them too. (Same goes for DVDs, vinyl, Lego…) Unless we can find another spot for the CDs, we’ll have to resort to drastic measures and win the lottery to get the funds for an extension to the house.

That’s taking into account the fact that the library is already part of a previous extension.

I know, I know. First world problems. Just thought I’d share anyway. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Is there such a thing as too many books?

    • Susie Murphy says:

      An interesting idea! We certainly won’t rule out anything at this desperate stage. We’re also hoping someone will invent anti-gravity shelving units for ceilings soon… 😉


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