It’s okay to collect books

She says as she unhauls a few more books…

Of course, the main reason I’m clearing out these books is to make space for even more books 😉 As many of you will doubtless agree, there’s an immense pleasure to be had from perusing and purchasing *pretty new books*. I love going into a bookshop and being hit by that beautiful new book smell, looking at all the glossy new covers and growing my tbr with books I never intended on reading before. And of course, this is not an endorsement of mass consumerism and I will always be a BIG FAN of libraries- yet I have come to see that of all the vices to have in this world, collecting books is not that bad.

To start with, books are beautiful. Inside and out. Judging by the way the market has gone, booksellers agree that making a cover as gorgeous as possible is the best way to get that book onto our shelves. And they’re not wrong! I am easily swayed by a lovely cover. Not just for books I plan to read either- I’m a big fan of collectibles, especially for my favourite books. Most recently, I was gifted this gorgeous edition of the Hobbit:

Rereads are made all that more special with a nice new edition or an old nostalgic version! As much as the words are the same, I rather enjoy a physical copy that carries some memories or creates new ones. I may never experience the same story for the first time- but I can experience it fresh eyes and a different copy 😉 And these books become so precious to me (gollum style… except no one’s throwing them into Mount Doom on my watch! 😉 )

And personally, I love exploring what books other people have on display. If people can get over how nosy I am about what they’re reading, then it’s a great conversation starter 😉 And as someone who doesn’t always like to venture outside my own habitat, seeing bookshelves usually makes me feel at ease (unless of course the only book they own is mein kampf 😉). People’s bookshelves are often a wonderful insight into their personality.

Obviously, this goes beyond mere decoration (I’m not some celebrity ordering books by the yard 😉). And as much as I do feel rather special picking up a swish edition, it’s not all that necessary (especially considering most of my books are tatty and old). Collections of books are valuable in a way that goes far beyond monetary value. Here’s a shocking revelation: it’s the words inside that matter (and the words I’ve then written above those words cos I’m all for writing in books 😉) What you’re really collecting is the stories themselves. Inside is the accumulated wisdom of the author, their weird idiosyncrasies and their most preciously held thoughts. And I just love being able to support those authors as much as humanely possible.

So, what do you think? Do you enjoy collecting books? Am I preaching to the choir here or do you have a different view? Let me know in the comments!


36 thoughts on “It’s okay to collect books

  1. The purchase is part of the enjoyment. I do try to keep my TBR down to a reasonable level but I don’t view it as a problem that I have almost 300 unread books – I see them as my personal library. Open all hours every day of the year.

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  2. Of everything we could be buying- books is far better than drugs! 👀 and a longer enjoyment than something that you get to taste once and discard.. I’d say better for the health too, but that is if you don’t get crushed by your never-ending tbr! Ahaha

    I can spend literally HOURS in a bookstore 😅 mother needing to physically pull me away- and ofcourse I wanna buy ALL THE BOOKS ive seen online, but know I can’t so need a selection, so I keep taking & dropping books.. uncertain of which one I wanna take 🥴

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  3. Who doesn’t like to buy books! Some of us don’t have the privilege of libraries. I don’t get recent releases or even books that are not internationally popular in my library. they have more regional and Indian authors’ books than English and international authors. That gives me no other option but buy books. But I’m very much aware how much I’m spending on books so i make sure i get them in really good discount. There is always the advantage of rereading with our personal library.

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  4. I like collecting books that are “fun”…the books that sit on my desk are “I will judge you by your bookshelf”, Parisian chic, book lovers guide to New York, downtown abbey afternoon tea cookbook, wit and wisdom of Jane Austen, dear Jane Austin, your guide to not getting murdered in a quaint English village, Jane Austen handbook, and mindfulness. They’re books that I pick up for inspiration. Regular novels I get on my ereader, so I guess you could say I have a collection…

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  5. I love collecting books and now that you are mentioning it, I wonder what people think of me when they see my bookshelves right behind me in Skype meetings 🤣

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  6. Oh heck yeah! To all of it!

    Whenever I enter someone else’s space, I often wander over to their bookshelves. It’s not my fault I’m being rude. If they didn’t want me ogling their books, they shouldn’t have put them out there.

    BTW, my trilogy is designed so that the spines create the illusion that you are looking in to a landscape.

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  7. I do love having a good book collection! Though I’ve been trying to keep my shelves down to books on my TBR, books I intend to re-read, and special editions (either fancy ones, signed books, or ones that hold special memories for me). I love that copy of The Hobbit! I have a fancy edition of that book that I love, but yours is gorgeous, too.

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  8. “It’s okay to collect books,” I say, as I desperately try to cram a few more on the shelves! Lol. I do love pretty books, too! And I love having books available for me to read whenever the mood strikes. And having some books available that don’t have due dates! And looking at those gorgeous collector’s editions that libraries don’t buy.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha I so relate!! This is definitely just me justifying adding to my tbr! 😉 Same!! Tbh I tend to only buy books I can’t get in the library (or that I’ve already read and loved) but it’s definitely a perk 😉 exactly!!!


  9. It’s definitely okay to collect books! Right now, I am working my way through stacks of books that need new homes…trying to create order in the chaos that is my “library” (I really wish I had an actual library) and in my mind. It’s time to share. Also…more books are coming.

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  10. I give away a lot of books I didn’t enjoy and have no intention of rereading or recommending to friends to borrow — but I still have A LOT of books! I think collecting them is fine, too! The book community has this interesting way of vacillating between saying, “Look at all my books!” and saying, “Ugh, the consumerism is out of control!” I think if people have the money to buy books and they get joy out of it, whether from rereading the books or looking at the books and remembering the stories or whatever, that’s fine,


  11. Ooh! What a beautiful edition of The Hobbit!! I want my own copy!!! 😀 😉 So, yes, of course – collecting books is my reason d’être. 😀 I actually got myself bigger bookcases last year because I simply couldn’t bare the thought of parting from any of my books. Love that beautiful archaic bronze statuette you’ve got, and next to Madeline Miller’s novels – how perfect is that?! By the way, absolutely loved both of them, though Circe maybe a little bit more. And you?
    Also very much guilty of putting my nose into other people’s bookshelves. 😉 Have a lovely evening!! ❤ xoxoxo


  12. I think there is a sweet spot of collecting books. I went through a phase where I tried to collect as many books as I could even if I never had any intention of reading them (so basically I took all the free books my friends were getting rid of haha) I really wanted my own library. If I couldn’t have Belle’s then I would make my own! The problem was I ran out of room FAST! And I didn’t have pretty nice wall to ceiling bookshelves to hold everything haha. So now I keep only the books I am actually planning on reading or that I enjoyed reading! (I still have A LOT of books but I am much happier and I love my space so much more!)


  13. It one thing to get rid of books you have no interest in and it another thing to try to stop buying books. There no end. It all comes down to balance and control.

    I like that Hobbit hardcover edition. It will go good with my LOTRs hardcovers.


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