The Insanity of Book Hoarding

Does your home look like this?

Then you might be a book hoarder.  But it's ok, you're amongst friends here. The question is, what type of book hoarder are you? You might find you're more than one type of book hoarder, but I'll bet there's one in particular title that shines above all the rest. Let's start with the vainest in the bunch…the Cover Whore.

Cover Whore
There are two types of Cover Whores. First, those who like the pretty pretty. You didn’t even read the jacket flap. You saw the pretty pretty and had to buy it. What the book was about was an afterthought once you were in line, but you didn’t care. That gleamingly gorgeous cover had you drooling the second you spotted it. Heck, your friends even told you that the book wasn’t even that good. “But, but…the cover, it’s so lovely…” You’re secretly convinced your friends must be jealous of its infinite beauty, that’s why they’re being haters.

The second type of Cover Whore is a more rare breed of book hoarders. This one has to have their favorite book in EVERY cover it comes in. Whether it be foreign covers, hardback to paperback cover changes, edition changes over the years or those books that turn into movies and now they have the actors on the cover. Like I said, it’s a rare breed but they do exist.

“Must Read” List Filler
Somebody somewhere told you X book was amazing and that you “must read” it. So you bought it. Even though said book wasn’t really your style or taste. You never know, that Were-Platypus who gets sent off to I’mSpecial Academy just might be the next Twilight. You’d hate to miss out on being one of the first to read and discover it. Or maybe you buy the “must read” because you’ve been meaning to actually read a literary novel.  Whatever the reason, you now have the "must read" syndrome and buy every book recommended to you.  So sad.

The Bargain Hunter
If your e-reader was physical shelf, it would be busting at the seams like my oversized luggage on weekend trip to Vegas. You can’t resist a bargain. Only 99cents? Why yes, I’ll “buy now with one-click.” I’m mean, come on, it’s so convenient. And just like that, you own it. It’s all yours. I’m sure you’ll read ALL those books at some point....

Homeless Book Shelterer
Not to be confused with The Bargain Hunter (though being low cost enables your addiction.) The price of the book doesn’t compel you to buy it. It’s the sad puppy dog eyes the book gives you that hooks you every time. You, my friend, are the worst of your kind. YOU are the Queen of Book Hoarding. I crown thee. You have empathy for all things wordy, papered and bound. Be it whatever genre, in fiction or non-fiction it doesn’t matter. You are not a breed snob. And what’s worse, you have no shame in where you get your books. ARCs at book conventions. Barnes and Noble discount table. Used bookstore’s clearance shelf. $1 bin at the library. Heck, you’ve even bought a few books at the 99cent store! The shame.

Series Killectors
If you have a book in the series, you have to buy EVERY book in the series. Even the freaking books you hate! It’s like the book you don’t like sits on the shelf, emoting is guilt because it knows you don’t like it. Maybe he wouldn’t be so lonely if he had his siblings to keep it company, you think. Heck, you feel so compelled to buy the rest of the series, you buy its friends too, other series by the same author. Because God forbid if you going to be a Series Killector, what better way to become famous than going on a killing spree.

OCD Literaryrians
Similar to the Series Killectors but with WAY more obsessive compulsive tendencies. Yes, you have to have all the books in the series but it goes beyond that. All the books have to be hardcover or paperback. For god’s sake don’t mix them. It’s worse than crossing the streams. And if the cover art changes, like the Harry Potter series, you MUST have all the books from that particular release. And then you have size. Romance novels are known for changing editions, from modern trade paperback to mass market paperback. The sizes don’t match up! Jesus, people, that’s not going to work! SIZE DOES MATTER! I'm not even going to discuss how your shelves are probably organized by genre, then author last name, then date of release.  Uh huh, you know it is.

The Pothunter or Tactile Puritan
Whether you’re a Pothunter or a Tactile Puitan, you both suffer from the same book hoarding. If you have it on e-book, you HAVE to have it on your physical bookshelf. You, my friend, are every author’s dream.

Trophy glory hounds (aka Pothunters) have spent countless hours reading, damn it. The world should be informed! And what better way than to have a trophy shelf. Maybe you’re like me, you have to have a physical trophy for public consumption, so when friends come over they can be in awe of your bookshelf and they can ask your most coveted question, “Wow, did you read all of those books?” Why, yes…yes I did. :: puffs chest proud :: My work here is done. You are also the same person that when that same neighbor asks you if they can borrow Xbook, you say ok, then secretly go to your hidden notebook write down the date, title and the person you loaned it to like a good little librarian. After all, these are your babies on this shelf. (BTW, I am a Pothunter.)

For you Tactile Puritans, you were one of the last people to buy an e-reader because you savor the feel of paper between your fingertips. You were sure this e-book hype would eventually blow over. But alas, the convenience of instant purchasing power to feed your book obsession caused you to cave. And to continue to prove the physical is better than the virtual, you buy a physical book for every e-book you read. You even get a little pissed when you’ve read an e-book and discover IT’S ONLY AN E-BOOK! How dare them! You’ve even contemplated making a faux book cover for this e-book just for your shelf, but then you’d turn into a vain Pothunter. Tsk tsk.

Literary Poser
Last but not least, the Literary Poser. Who are you kidding? You think if you mix in a few literary novels in with your romance smut and your young adult angst that your friends will consider you a respectable reader. Not. Gonna. Happen. But still, you collect it all, from literary poets to the obscure book award winners no one has ever heard of. You know the books I’m talking about. The ones that have the warning label “Do not operate heavy machinery while reading. Has been known to cause drowsiness.  In some extreme cases, Boredom Fatalities have occurred.” Do you even know what that damn book is about? Come on, are your really going to read that? You’re going to give your brain an aneurism reading that stuff.

When it's all said and done, book hoarding is probably one of the best mental conditions to have. So we get a little nitpicky about our books.  And yes, we're a little confused when we go to other peoples homes and they don't have books on display.  But the important thing, whether you are a Cover Whore or a OCD Literaryian, we all have a passion for reading.  And that's a wonderful gift to pass on to the generations who follow.