On book collecting & what is probably a mental illness

There is a point in Frank Portman’s Andromeda Klein where Andromeda talks about surrounding herself with the books she loves and the energy they produce.

As someone who is surrounded by books, I was struck by the thought. I love my books and display them prominently in my home. But the idea of the books that I love having a special energy really got to me. I just love that idea. It got me thinking that it’s time to do a purge. As you can see by the picture of the current state of my main bookcase, it is time to do some cleaning too.

I’m a little afraid because I have a hard time with purging books. But I have to. I’m starting to be that cat lady with pathways carved into the stacks of book in her house -one path to the bathroom, one path to the bedroom, and one path to the door. So sad. I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to oust Kerouac and I already know I can’t break up a collection (sure Irving’s Son of the Circus blew goats, but I just can’t).

In my head I am making up and revising rules for this purge before I even begin. I can keep it if it came from someone I love. I can keep it if I bought it on a Tuesday in July and the sun was shining bright. I can keep it if. . .

I’m a hoarder. It’s awful. There are books on that shelf that haven’t ever even been read. Books I’ve owned for years and years and years and never even lifted the cover. I don’t need those. I don’t.

My goal, I am stating it right here out loud on the Internet where everything happens and is true, is to put 25 books into the giveaway/donate box. I have a week until I host Rock & Roll bookclub and I can always take something out. Right?

(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Wolfdogg 17.Oct.09 at 3:34 pm

    mayhem and foolishness

  2. Jodi 17.Oct.09 at 3:35 pm

    Wait until you see my dining room table next week. Tons of mayhem.

  3. Wendy 18.Oct.09 at 10:51 am

    I have been in love with your bookshelf ever since the first time I saw it in your living room. I’ve been trying to convince The General we need one, but she thinks it wouldn’t hold a lot of books. I think this picture might convince her! (Also, we just bought 26 books yesterday at some Half Price Bookstore Clearance Sale at the state fairgrounds.)

  4. Meg 19.Oct.09 at 6:41 pm

    I am absolutely in love with books. I have them all around me, quite literally. It is often commented that I have created my own library, albeit a bit disorganized. I purged of over 100 books in the past six months (OUCH! I know! I miss them still) but I did it in a way that made me feel good. I signed up for bookmooch.com and sent the books to other people who will enjoy them as much as me or perhaps more… I hope. You could try it. =) Just a thought.

  5. kelbeldesign 19.Oct.09 at 8:39 pm

    I can highly recommend bookcrossing.com . It definitely helped me release books from my care. Even though I have only had one or two posts regarding the many books I have released it still is enough motivation for my to keep releasing them into the wild. Also it is pretty fun to find the places to release them and put up the updates.

    Good Luck!

  6. Meg 20.Oct.09 at 2:02 am

    I came back to see if you had posted a reply to my comment and see you decided not to publish it all. And coincidentally someone else wrote a very similar post that you thought was publish-worthy.

    Arbitrary coincidence?

  7. Jodi 20.Oct.09 at 4:56 am

    Actually it was arbitrary coincedence. For reasons unknown to me your first comment was flagged as spam.

  8. Meg 20.Oct.09 at 12:29 pm

    Fair enough. =)


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