I may have a problem

I acquired all these books within the last two months. All of them are used. Some of them I got because I know I want them in my Miao Library, but the others (e.g., Jasper Fforde) I got on recommendation and haven’t read yet. Irregardless, I think I may have a problem. I’m buying at a rate faster than I can read.
chun bookx 2-12-2012 10-43-42 AM

Kitty-snorgling and book-buying are both valid forms of stress relief.

I would like someone to tell me that buying a stack of books taller than my kitty is normal.

I used to get most of my books from the library and only buy ones I knew I would want to read again, but the Miao Town library is not very user-friendly and I have fallen into bad habits.

I joined two bookswapping sites last year. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of Papa Miao’s mass market paperbacks, but I have acquired an almost equal number of books in the process.

I don’t have enough room on my shelves for all my books but this is not new. I’ve never had enough room.

I would like to blame my parents for raising me in a house that could easily be mistaken for a library.

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59 Responses to I may have a problem

  1. Oldcat says:

    Since I have bookshelves in every room, including all the bathrooms, I’m not the one to tell you to get rid of books.

    If you make your shelves climbable by the cats, then you can say the books are just to weigh down the cat gym.

    • littlemiao says:

      My Miaolings try to climb my shelves. Sprocket sticks to the bottom shelf, but they both like climbing behind the books and pushing them to the floor. Sprocket is particularly attracted to my Terry Pratchett collection, and Chun has a thing for sending my Shakespeare flying.

  2. I don’t suppose this helps, but there are so many worse things you could be buying in large quantities!

    Does your library have interconnectedness with other libraries in the state to make inter-library loan easy? We now have a province-wide library system, making all the books in the public libraries of the province readily available to me at the click of “request it”. This is, of course, a two-edged sword. Easy access results in stacks of books I have no time to read — but at least I haven’t paid money for them! (Until they become overdue. Renewal is just as easy as requesting, but doesn’t occur to me as often…)

    • littlemiao says:

      They are part of the interlibrary loan system and I think they have connections with the university library here too. But the wait times are so long! And if they have the book but it is checked out, you have to wait, they can’t do an interlibrary loan. The selection on-site is so small too. I have borrowed a few academic books through ILL that were too expensive to buy, but when it comes to fiction I just start browsing online and suddenly I’ve got half a dozen books on their way to me.

      Also, their online library interface isn’t great. I was spoiled by different academic libraries and the Minneapolis public system.

  3. martinjh99 says:

    Id recommend Jasper Fforde too LilMiao – He’s very good and very funny and different too!

  4. First things first…..I vote “YES” on the question as to whether it’s normal to have a stack of haven’t-read-that-yet books that’s bigger than your cat. We are a reading household and that means full bookshelves and stacks of books NOT on bookshelves. I do agree with other posts though that you should concentrate on what you’re NOT buying huge quantities of (eek!) and be happy that you’re only indulging in a reading addiction (oh and snorgling too of course). πŸ™‚

    Pam (and Sam)

    • littlemiao says:

      I just realized I left a few books out of the stack – a couple Terry Pratchetts, and a Shakespeare play and Howl’s Moving castle – all of which are things I know I want in my Miao Library.

      Chun likes to point out that I could be buying him hats and bowties instead.

      The good thing about reading is that you can multitask with kitty-cuddling.

  5. Dianda says:

    Sounds just like me, Haha! I always buy books I never read.

  6. crankypants says:

    Heh. I must have 200 books in my house I haven’t read yet. BUT I have a few years on you. And I have curbed my acquisitions. I still end up buying more than I can read in a year (mainly due to the library’s $5/bag sale in the fall) but I don’t buy books as randomly as I used to. I think you should just try to not buy books one month, every so often. Having so many books in my house has prompted me to try to read more of them per year at least! Plus it also makes me want to get rid of some, and I’ve gotten a little better at parting with books I probably would not re-read, or else don’t love. anyway…good luck with all that! it’s tough, I know. I acquired a lot from thrift stores when I was about your age. I found lots of good stuff for 10-50 cents!

    • littlemiao says:

      And all this is saying nothing of my huge anthropology book collection sitting in the library, which I hope to resurrect and weed through and perhaps make a few dollars on amazon.

      It’s hard to pass up a book that is just a dollar or two. 10-50 cents – wow – I shudder to think how many books I would walk away with.

      Maybe I will try to go for one week without buying books, and then see if I can extend it to a month. It’s not like I’m earning much money right now to support such extravagance. Each book individually didn’t cost much but added together…

      • What cranky said. It’s normal to buy more books than you can keep up with, but I decided to put myself on a book budget and buy only the books I couldn’t acquire through our local library. Yes, it takes a loooong time sometimes to get some books, especially a best-seller that’s gotten popular locally. (I had no idea Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian mystery writer, was so widely read. I’ve been waiting three months for his fourth book, “The Leopard.”) But if you have a ton of other books to read, then the wait shouldn’t be unbearable. It helps to use Goodreads as a way to organize and keep track of your books. I prioritize my list so I don’t end up with a backlog on my bedside table. I have a pile anyway, lol, but not the kind that would kill me if we had an earthquake some night while I was sleeping.

        I also try to avoid buying stuff just because it’s “on sale” or “It’s such a deal!” I ask myself if the item is really something I want, or if I’m just buying it because it’s cheap. I’m trying to save money for my next trip to New York, and that’s really helped. Setting a goal has helped rein in my compulsive spending.

        You do have a nice prop for taking pictures of the Miaolings, however. πŸ™‚

        • littlemiao says:

          Maybe my feelings derive from my guilt because I’m not earning enough money to support an extravagant book habit, even if they are all used.

          I should patronize the local library more to teach myself patience. I always have a ton of books to read.

          Chun loves posing with my books. He thinks they go well with his beret.

  7. nadbugs says:

    You go. I wish everybody’s materialism took your direction. And nice synchronicity w/ Ursula LeGuin. Was just talking about her trilogy the other day. LOVED it and remember it fondly. Enjoy!

  8. midnitechef says:

    There’s nothing wrong with this picture. You should see all the second-hand cookbooks I have… A few are new but you can find super super cheap books on Amazon or the paperback website I found and can’t remember.

  9. Cassie says:

    First off….that cat is precious with its hat on. I’m obsessed. And I have the same pile and I can’t stop.

  10. Chun makes such a good library cat! πŸ˜€
    I need to stop buying so many books and actually use my library card. We have good books at my library

  11. IsobelandCat says:

    This is completely normal, rational behaviour. My flat is full of books. I have a cull every now and then, but the remaining books just breathe out and fill any space I have made. I comfort myself with the thought of how barren a hookless flat would be. Like you, I used my library extensively, but books are the last things you go there for now.

    • littlemiao says:

      Beginning last year, I started learning how to cull, mostly by swapping them online (actually swapping isn’t the right term, because with the site I use the recipient pays postage and you are under no obligation to get a book yourself). That way, I know that they will be wanted.

  12. GanLu says:

    i’d be happy to house any of your books for you. i wish my house looked more like a library.

  13. Lurkertype says:

    But GanLu has different colored kitties to accessorize with.

    I love this photo! The books are worth it to get such an adorable picture. Chun looks like he should be working at Shakespeare and Co., the English-language bookstore in Paris.

    We have shelves everywhere and still don’t have enough space. I have been making myself do the ILL for things i’m only going to read once, even if it does take a while. I blame the fact that all the best books had a big R on the spine and you couldn’t check them out. So I’ve just bought them. The used book store moved to the other end of town (instead of being right next to the gooshy fud store) so I cut back there. But the library sells MMPB for a quarter (!) and that gets me sometimes.

    My Nook keeps the fiction piles down to a reasonable level, but still costs money. I read as many free books as possible, but often they’re the first in a series and then I want to buy all the others. I’m reading a book about Nefertiti right now and it reminds me of Kemi and Papa Miao.

    • littlemiao says:

      Chun would love to work in a cats-only bookshop. People make him skittish. Sprocket, on the other hand, would be the purrfect bookshop cat because he is so friendly. Everyone would come to see him and then they’d walk away with armfuls of books. I want to start a vegan bakery/used bookstore.

      Is the Egyptian book any good? If so, please share the title!

  14. Msmouse7 says:

    Books, books, books! What is an avid reader to do? I have a Sony Reader which I love. I get books free from the library. But as more people use readers, it has become harder to find the library book I want. Because I am trying to downsize, I end up buying my favorite e-books, but go to a used bookstore for those I probably won’t keep.

    And my cats also love climbing the book shelves. READ ON!

    • littlemiao says:

      I guess things really must be changing for libraries. It’s sad. Miao Town Library’s issues probably don’t just result from it being a small town. oh wells. I can’t picture myself using an ebook reader. I wouldn’t be able to use my huge bookmark collection.

      Cats and books are such a natural combination!

      • Oldcat says:

        You could stick it to the back of the unit with stickytack.

        I have one, and have gotten some of those huge cheap collections – 30 books for a dollar. I don’t know if I’l ever get to the ‘buy an e-book instead of a real one’ myself.

  15. Our island’s last book store closed over a year ago. My human stocked up when everything was on sale – she ended up with almost 100 books. And now every time she travels to a place with a bookstore, she stocks up again. I bet our pile of unread books is taller than my human with a beret on! And she’s NOT petite! You’re doing just fine, Littlemiao. Better to hoarde books than… cats, I guess.

    Go for a Jasper Fforde first!

    • littlemiao says:

      Oh no, that sounds even worse than here. At least I don’t have to cross the ocean to get to a bookstore.

      I suppose that is a difference between cats and books (apart from furriness) – you can have an infinite number of books but it is best not to have an infinite number of cats.

      Jasper Fforde it is!

  16. knotrune says:

    It seems I’m late on the bandwagon agreeing it is quite normal to have piles of books bigger than a kitty πŸ™‚ My husband keeps suggesting I get rid of some, but how am I supposed to build a library by getting rid of books? πŸ˜‰

  17. 57 responses (58 now) must have you feeling like your “problem” is pretty normal!

  18. Pingback: miao library: new acquisitions | the miao chronicles

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