The Collector's Obsession

I've always been a pack rat. I keep everything. I still have library receipts from books I checked out over ten years ago. I keep ticket stubs from the Metro, silly notes passed around in eighth grade, torn open envelopes, the list goes on and on. Everything, even the most minuscule things, have some sentimental value for me.


I never thought blogging would bring out this part-sentimental part-hoarding instinct in me, but it does. Through collecting books. I used to think it was silly to collect multiple versions of the same book *side eyes friend who has fifteen editions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone* but now I understand. I have twenty copies of Sarah J Maas' books in various formats. I have multiple ARCs of some of my favorite books. I kept my first ARC ever received from a publisher. I cherish that ARC sent to me by one of my favorite authors. I still reread that book I got signed at ALAMW with such a lovely inscription.

Each book on my shelf has some sentimental value to me. It brings back some happy memory or feeling, and I now happily collect and keep the books that make me feel this way. I also like to collect my favorite books in various forms. ARC, finished copy, paperback.

It has gotten a little out of hand though. When I'm constantly (half jokingly) afraid of being trampled to death by falling books as I shift around books on my shelves to make way for yet another copy of ________, that's when I know I've gone too far!

I'm trying to curb that obsession though because do I really need all the foreign editions? I don't even know the languages of some of the editions! They'll just sit on my shelf gathering dust. If I have a hardcover, do I really need the paperback? As much as I love collecting, it's important to remember to help those who are less fortunate. I've started donating more and more of my ARCs and finished copies to libraries, schools, and classrooms in need.

Sometimes the urge overwhelms me though! I'll see a limited edition of an ARC by my favorite author. Or I'll see a special mailing with special swag. Resisting the desire to collect and hoard is nearly an unsurmountable feat.

Do you collect books? Which ones? 
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.

11 comments:

  1. I actually own a couple of those "I AM A BOOK HOARDER/COLLECTOR" magnets from Strand! XD I definitely love collecting things as well.. especially anything by Leigh Bardugo haha. I'm sure you would have never guessed :P I also collect other favorite ARCs, favorite movies and TV shows, Disney stuff, hockey jerseys.... basically, I collect too much stuff and I'm also constantly worried about being crushed to death by a mountain of books. Wonderful post, girly <3

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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  2. I feel this post so much! I used to almost exclusively get books from the library but now I BUY BUY BUY! Lol. Part of that being my budget has adjusted and I can plus it's nice to support authors I love. I want everything too but sometimes I know certain swag pieces I'll never own and realize I'm okay with it! Great post as always!

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  3. Oh I would love to see pictures of that!! <3
    That's actually something I recently talked about with a friend; I'm personally not one of those people that likes to collect multiple editions, but I'm always curious to hear the motivations of others. Certainly does look great on display to have many shiny editions of your favorite book.

    With ARCs though I sort of understand, because at least the ARCs I own hardly ever have cover art or colored spines. Mine are all sad and black. Having the finished copy next to that could be nice. Oh no. I'm gonna become a pack rat, too.
    - Jen from The Bookavid

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  4. Yep. I do this too. I have a bunch of books from classical writers because I love the smell of those old books (most of which are over a 100 years old). But I'll probably never read them, and if I do want to I'll buy a new copy because who the hell touches a book that's over a 100 years old.

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  5. Honestly, I don't do the whole collecting books thing, maybe because I have moved so often. I have a Kindle so most of my books are there. But I do buy physical copies of my favorite books that I want to reread over and over (like Harry Potter). If it isn't a favorite book and if I don't have any sentimental attachment, then I don't keep it.

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  6. I'd love to collect books in different editions, but, well, I'm pretty short on money to do so. >.< If I had enough of it, I'd probably be a book hoarder through and through. But as a student who lives in a place where books cost a lot? I've learned to buy books that I know I'll love, or like, or maybe the ones I'm sure I'll ake an effort to finish. Great post, Rachel!

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  7. I'm a hoarder by nature ( and by nature, I don't know why and that's my excuse) so I've always held onto things, but especially books. There are books i have that I really don't even LIKE but I can't get rid of them.

    That being said, I'm starting to collect one of my favorite authors books. i think the thrill of the hunt motivates me, too, but seeing all her books on my self makes me smile! Gosh that sounds weird, and only book lovers would understand LOL

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  8. I usually have my favorite books in paperback and also on my kindle. You can never have too many copies. Lol! :)

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  9. I'm pretty much a hoarder before. As a child I used to collect pens - and then my parents made me throw them all out and cried and cried. Now I collect books which is a more reasonable thing to hoard I suppose :3 Although I never let myself have more than one edition of something because I feel bad. I usually host a giveaway for that copy instead. But yes, I do collect books :D

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  10. I will definitely call myself a collector, though I've narrowed down what exactly it is that I can collect into two groups of things: Harry Potter (particularly foreign editions of book one) and Sarah J. Maas books (because I love her so, so much). Other than that, I'm actually quite good at culling my collection to donate to libraries or share with other friends :)

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  11. I actually don't have repeat books on my shelves unless it's an accident. But I DO like to collect books even if I have no intention of reading them. Example: If I've enjoyed a good book via audiobook or on Kindle, it's not unheard of for me to buy it just to have it sit on my shelve and look pretty.

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