Can You Have Too Many Books?


Some people say that you can never be too rich or too thin. Some people who like to read (and maybe write, too) say that you can never have too many books.

Well, I’ve heard of people who are too rich. Take the Kardashians. Or how about Paris Hilton? They’ve got so much money they don’t know what the hell to do with themselves! “I’m bored. Let’s release another video of ourselves having sex.” Yeah, they have too much money.

And, c’mon! Of course you can be too thin. I know people who are really proud of the weight they just dropped, but I don’t want to tell them that they may have overdone it. I feel like force-feeding them some cheeseburgers.

And I know that you can have too many books. I found that out because I’m packing to move. We’re heading to Florida. Sun, beaches and Mickey Mouse.

Now, I already knew that I had a large amount of books. But I found that I had a staggering amount of books. As they were coming off of the shelves and being boxed, I suddenly realized that I could not take all of these books with me! I had twenty, thirty, and then forty boxes of books. I was like some insane book hoarder. Some were already in boxes, piled up in a large closet because I didn’t have enough book shelves for them. I had books that I’d had since 1967! It was time to admit some of them had to go.

Wow! Now the big decision. Which ones? I started to go through them and saw a few, right away, that I realized I could part with. I’m an airplane nut so a lot of my library is about aviation. But, even the most avid airplane nut doesn’t need ten books about the P-51 Mustang. So I started thinning the herd by cutting down on some of the redundancy. There was a lot of it. That helped a little bit, but it was only a dent. I had to start getting really serious. Cold blooded. None of that, “Oh but I always liked that book. I can’t part with it.” I already read it. Will I read it again? Probably not. It goes.

But, goes where? My wife was having a garage sale, so I started there. I sold a few, but not enough. And so I hauled four boxes of books into my SUV and headed down to Half Price Books.

I heard, “Joe to the counter! We have your offer.” I went, hopefully and naively toward the call. Eleven dollars and fifty cents! Four boxes of books? Eleven dollars and fifty cents? That was barely going to pay for lunch. Oh what the hell. I thought about carrying those heavy cardboard boxes back to the car. I took the money and walked off grumbling.

A few days later my wife had a doctor’s appointment in downtown Fort Worth. We decided to take some books to the big Half Price Books down there. Man, that place is big. Maybe I’d get a better deal there.

Three boxes of books. Seven dollars and thirty cents. Grumbling once again, I took the cash.

So, even with the garage sale, the theiv…I mean, Half Price Books and giving a few away, I’m still hauling a lot of literature to the Sunshine State. I don’t know…maybe I’ll put some on E-Bay once I’m down there. My wife wants to sit out back one night, at our new home, and have a big bonfire. She wants to roast marshmallows to the sound of flames crackling over burning paper. I think she’s kidding. I think.

So, in answer to my question…can you have too many books? Hell yeah!


9 responses to “Can You Have Too Many Books?

  1. Off to FL…wow. Good luck and enjoy. Toes in the sand for me. As far as too many books, I keep my favorites, but I tend to circulate a lot with friends and good old Half Price Books. It’s easy to gather a lot. My big clean out occurred when our house flooded and I had to box ’em up for new flooring. The big cull happened based on moving those heavy boxes. Just consider that you are “sharing” your treasures with others. It’s okay.

  2. I have always had a hard time separating from books. Nowadays I find that surrounding myself with only those that best feed my mind and soothe my soul, and light my fire, are the only ones worth keeping. It’s the same way I feel about friends these days… Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Wait! Moving? Wha???

  4. I was planning on telling our twisted little group on the day Jenny was critiqued! But most of the group didn’t show up. So I said, “okay, next meeting.” You guys didn’t show up for that one either!
    Was hoping we could all have a final beer over at Twisted Root.
    We’re so damn busy, now, packing that I don’t know if I can make it Sunday. I’ll try.

    • Joe!! You can’t go! To this I say, “No!” Seriously, I am way bummed. You will be missed. I am glad you will still be part of our twisted group. I am so sorry we weren’t able to go for a final cold one together. I need to find out how to get you my Jenny notes since I won’t see you. I am sorry I have missed meetings. I will get back on track soon but too late to see ya. Bummer!! Sending hugs your way 😉

  5. Ah, Joe. Congratulations! We are going to miss you terribly. I’m sorry I haven’t been to the meetings. Life is sort of pummeling me over here at the moment. A lot of things happening that are just no one’s control. But I plan on being there Sunday. Hope you’ll be able to make it.

  6. Oh, I know. What can you do? I really missed not having all of you at the Jenny critique. I waited weeks to see what you all thought of it.
    Don’t know if I’ll find as good a group, over there. It’s been fun. Amanda has been great and I’ve thought of her as my mentor. I feel a bit like a baby chick stepping off of the tree limb for the first time to fly by himself. I’m still a little afraid to leave Mama Bird.

  7. Joe, books! Too many books and you need to get rid of them?!? Donate them to the Friends of the Library. I guarantee we will put them to good use 😉

    Seriously, we’re going to miss you but we know you are still part of this twisted group. 😉

  8. Well, I hope so Amanda. And every Thursday my post and cartoon will be right here.

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