To Own or to Rent? Book Edition

I just read A Kernel of Nonsense‘s: Book Haul September Additions, and it made me sad- because my September book haul was freaking awesome… and instead of gloating, I just get to fret about where we’re going to fit the freaking things!

This issue is more complicated for me because I share a one bedroom apartment with another full grown adult, a baby, and a  dog. If you live anywhere outside of New York, your eyes are probably bugging out right now, but if you’re within the city limits… all you need to hear is that we got a rent stabilized apartment years ago and suddenly, I transform from miserable to lucky.

A Dream Home

Someday, in my fantasy world, I will have an actual library- a huge, elegant room where all four walls are lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves complete with glass doors (to save on dusting). This is never going to happen unless I give up on this city entirely or manage to finish something that takes off like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (You probably would need all the money from the first three Harry Potter books just to afford a space deemed “regular sized” by most Americans  in New York- although that’s a whole different gripe)

So I’m stuck prioritizing- Do I have to own all of the books I read? Which ones will I be more likely to revisit in the future- the more serious, “respectable” ones or the more entertaining ones? These, and so many similar questions are not ones I have found answers for! So far, the only category I know I won’t want to revisit in the future are books like Baby Curious George’s Favorite Things.

I am trying to narrow it down, to force myself to make good use of the extensive public library two short blocks from my apartment, but the temptation to have and to hold the very same copy that I first read is too great… I keep investing in nice editions, because you never know which title you will fall in love with and not be able to let go? Right?

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4 thoughts on “To Own or to Rent? Book Edition

  1. Right! I prefer “to have and to hold” the books I read, so I’ve been trying to get better about donating books I know I won’t read again, for the sake of space. “Saving space” is one of the reasons why folks love e-readers so much, but having a multitude of intangible books in a cyber “cloud” somewhere just isn’t the same as having physical books, especially for the ones I’d like to personally pass down to the next generation(s).

    1. Right… most of my coworkers have been sucked into their e-readers, but I have been so stubbornly resisting them that I forgot to even address that solution here. For me, “screens” are associated with so many tasks that require output- like emails, or data entry- that I just don’t relax the same way I can with only the paper book in front of me.

      1. Yes–screens! 😀 We look at screens all day, smartphones and laptops and whatnot. Reading on paper is more relaxing for me too, and a relief on my eyes–with the help of my glasses.

  2. I only have my favorite books forever, the ones I really love. I get rid of the others, and some of those Hubby has purchased twice, or so. He doesn’t love them, he just can’t remember them.

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