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Let’s Talk Bookish – Too Many Books?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

DECEMBER 17: HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY?

With holidays coming up there’s bound to be a lot of gift giving. I’m sure many of us will ask for more books to add to our collection – but how many books is too many? Do you think the book community encourages over consumption?

Welcome to another week of LTB everyone! With the new year around the bend (soooo quickly), it’s only a matter of time before we may or may not be stuffing our faces in the holiday indulgence! Hope everyone has a great time no matter what you celebrate. Today’s topic is certainly a fun one!

Do most people ask for books for gifts? I feel like it’s something I contemplate more on the giver side. I’m not sure I personally ask for a book in particular, nor even for a book in general (though I do believe I have done it once). On the other hand, when contemplating gifts for a bookish friend, I almost immediately turn to thinking of which book they might want, and trying to sneakily figure out if they don’t have it yet too. I am not sure how many of you agree, but I feel like gifting a book is more exciting than asking for and expecting a book.

That being said, though I don’t usually ask, I almost always wouldn’t mind receiving a book as a gift. Especially if someone thought of me specifically and wanted to gift me a book, what could be more special than that? But I guess the question here is, how many books is too many? I tend to think once your shelf is full, you’re in the deep waters, and you better make new space or buy new space for the influx of books.

It’s so hard to know how many are too many. When some of your books get old, should you just donate them and re-home them to younger readers? Should you not buy too many (or receive too many) to overfill your shelves? Who likes empty shelves though?!

I can’t really speak for the community as a whole, but I’d say that many of us in the community obviously enjoy a real-life paper book. I mean, let’s face it, that’s like half the reason why we like books in the first place, right? I actually think that many people, knowing the restrictions of their shelves at home, often try and refrain from buying too many books, despite the appeal of flashy new hardcovers or special editions. If anything, I almost feel like buying books have become a guilty pleasure this day and age⁠—correct me if I’m wrong!

Yes, I think we should keep in mind how much space we have, and how much turnover we really see on our shelves. But I don’t think that in general we overconsume. There are so many reasons to buy a book: as a gift, for its cover, for its re-readability, or for its novelty, etc.! I wouldn’t discourage anyone from buying them as gifts. If anything, if I have too many, it would encourage me to try and give them away and share.

Recently, I’ve been reading many books from the library rather than buying them. This saves money yes, but honestly, as a mystery and thriller reader, I don’t often re-read my books. So I often buy to support an author or to get my hands on the newest copy of something. I would never turn down a book as a gift, of course!

I tend to think that overall our community is more of one that just encourages reading books in general. What do you all think? Do we as a community encourage overconsumption of books?


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