Friday, September 23, 2011


I cut back on the amunt of magazines I buy years ago. The reason, apart from a distinct lack of interest in what celebs are doing, is I hate to throw out any sort of printed materials. To the extent that when the Husband threw out some of my favorite books things got decidely tense. Divorce was threatened and he's still not game to throw out anything on paper twenty seven years later. I did sort of forgive him, well stop reminding him of his sin. I don't even think of it that often.

Bibliomania is the collecting, some might say hoarding of books to the point where relationships or health are damaged. Obviously I don't have that because we are still married despite the sin of throwing out a bag of my books I had carefully put behind my arm chair out of the way. No hoarding or obsessing would be not forgiving him eventually when I found out he'd thrown them in the rubbish while I was at work and the garbage truck had been before I got home and noticed the loss the minute I walked in the door. Not that I hold it against him.

When is it hoarding? Who decides what is hoarding? I'd hazard the guess it would be when your kids sign you up for one of those reality tv shows and some out of work TV wanna be is luring you away with a free trip to the biggest book store on Earth and horrible home invaders are packing up your stuff and having a garage sale while you aren't there. Not that I've thought that some day the family might do that to me.

I don't collect just any book that would be hoarding. I have standards. They have to be something I am interested in.
Mostly, of course sometimes the book is about something I might be interested in in the future. But if it looks interesting and it is a good price it would be silly to not buy it just in case right? That's definitely not hoarding.
So I'd rather sit inside and read than go outside, I shan't get skin cancer and you can buy Vitamin D in a bottle. Sometimes I read on the back verandah.
If I can still get in the front door then I am not a hoarder. I do feel slightly sick when I throw out the free local paper but I close my eyes and just throw it in the recycling. That's how not obsessed I am.
There aren't books in every room in my house. There are none in the bathroom, the toilet is a really uncomfortable place to read. I know, I know some people take a book into the smallest room. Please stop the excuses, if it takes you that long to go get a laxative. If that is the only place you can get some privacy you need to learn to tune the rest of the world out. It doesn't take long to learn to zone them out. My kids soon learnt to give me a nudge if they needed something important like first aid. Because they damn well better have been bleeding before they interrupted me. No, not really. Well alright sort of.

Bibliophilism is the love of books. Healthy love not sick porn love, no sticky pages in my books unless I get some of my breakfast jam on there and don't notice. A bibliophile is a person who loves books or collecting books. A bookworm cares about the contents, they love reading. We need a new word for that. One that expresses the true pleasure and normalacy of having a couple of thousand few books that you don't share with anyone because they just don't look after them. And sometimes forget to give them back or carelessly loan them to me which makes them mine, mine all mine.

(Deep breath, get a grip) It might be called bibliophilia by some but that sounds slightly rude to me and "Bibliophilism" sounds much more highbrow. The opposite of bibliophobia is abibliophobia. This is the fear of running out of reading materia. I don't have that problem I would just read something again or go online and buy something. Not have something to read that freaking terrifies doesn't worry me much at all.

So I get a little cranky if I don't get to have a little read while I am having my breakfast. Doesn't everybody have a book in their handbag, a couple of audio books on the ipod and a spare book in the car in case you break down somewhere. That's not obsessive that's just being prepared. You can only read a street directory for so long before it gets a little tedious.

Yes, OK I might be screamingly a little abibliophobic. But I am definitely not an obsessive book hoarder.
Perhaps there is a book on recovering from these conditions I could read. (I type and then laugh to myself cause that's a little joke sort of. Leave me a comment if you agree or know of that book).

1 comment:

Elizabeth Braun said...

Moving house helps a lot. If you have to pack it up, move it and unpack at the other end, you tend to think VERY carefully about what you really want to keep.

I think that about the contents of our home, when it was in storage for a year, were banana boxes, about 60% of which held books....

I'm now reading things and, when the time comes, I'll be passing on things I know I won't re-read. There are 2nd hand shops, on-line sales and recycling collections or charity/medical waiting rooms etc for magazines.

But books look great....