Let’s Talk Bookish – Collecting Books

Do you enjoy collecting books?

I used to collect a lot of books. Our current library is sitting at around 700, but recently I’ve gotten annoyed with the overwhelming amount that I have to deal with. Half our collection is in storage because our current place is small, and the idea was that we’d hold on to everything until we bought a house, but as time goes by, I’ve started collecting fewer titles – focusing on the ones that I love the most or special editions or older releases that I love the artwork of.

Do you feel like physical books are overpriced?

No. Physical books are priced appropriately. It takes money to write, publish, print, store, distribute, and do all the extra behind the scenes stuff required. Plus storytelling is an art, and authors should be compensated accordingly.

Do you buy books after you’ve read them to add to your collection?

Yes! I read most of my books as library borrows, so I’ve got quite the list of need-to-buys going which I want to add to my collection.

Do you buy special edition collector sets?

Actually, I do not. Mostly because they are super expensive and I don’t like making those kinds of purchases. 99% of the time Special Collector Edition does not mean special or rare. It just means you paid a ton for a set that a bunch of other collectors also have because it was released as a marketing plan to make more money. I’d rather spend that $200+ on a first edition (maybe signed!) copy of a book I really, really love instead.

How invested are you in your book collection? 

Financially? Thousands of dollars, easy.

Emotionally? I may or may not have set up an ‘evacuation plan’ for my most loved books in case there’s a fire at home or something. Recently, our neighbors upstairs flooded part of our apartment and thankfully our books weren’t damaged, but it got me seriously concerned about the possibility of losing them in an unexpected disaster.

Time? I spend probably 30-60 minutes per week updating our library catalog tracker, dusting, and rearranging the books we have in-house. During the summer, we work on reorganizing and cataloging the books in storage. And I probably spend several more hours per month shopping for books which then leads to having to spend more time rearrange shelves to make sure everything fits.

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