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Addicted to Books (or A Bookworm's Guide)

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books. Basically, he just loves to write.


Admitting Your Addiction

Ok, I admit it. I am an addict, a book addict. I mean 'I LOVE BOOKS'. I can't walk past a book store, second hand book shop, or charity thrift shop without venturing inside and browsing the shelves for my 'fix' or some little gem by my favorite authors.

Personally I have a preference for fiction novels, crime and suspense, fantasy, sci fi, action/adventure, and historical fiction, but I know that there are other addicts out there who can't get enough books that are non-fiction, biographical, comedy, educational, personal improvement etc etc.

Whatever your preferred 'book of choice' don't try to hide your addiction from your family and friends. Believe me, they will notice anyway despite your best attempts to do it in private, and in most cases will even be supportive and may actually give you books for presents on your birthday and Christmas etc.(make sure you give them a list of your favorite authors or titles you desire).


Tip 1. Keep a list.

Try to keep an updated list or catalog system so you have a record of books you already have in your collection. Write down the names of any books you have been searching for, or missing, as in many science fiction or fantasy epics where there is a series or trilogy, so that when you go to a bookstore you can remember exactly what you need.

Organising Your Library or Bookshelves

Organisation by author and/or category in your bookshelves is essential, especially when your collection grows into the hundreds. If you don't do this you will find that you lose track of what books you already have by a certain author and find yourself doubling up.

Unless you work in a library and wish to shelve your own collection by way of say the 'Dewey system' I find that shelving alphabetically by author sufficient. Also if friends and family wish to give you a book as a gift you will then be able to tell them if you have a certain title.

Simply, it is easier to find the next book you wish to read if you have them sorted and categorized.


New for Old

I approached my addiction to books with the best of intentions. The plan being to buy a book or two, read them and then march off to the second hand book store and exchange them for another book I hadn't read. This does happen...sometimes, but more frequently I find myself not wanting to part with books I enjoy.

This means I now have a collection of books that I have read but wish to keep, usually but not always a collection of one author (e.g. John Grisham). I have another bookshelf(or boxes) dedicated to books I have read and wish to sell or exchange, and the rest of the shelves for books I have still to read.

When I find the shelves overflowing and boxes piling up I have to get tough on myself and make the hard decision to offload a box or two. I have friends who are readers, so give them first choice, next is the exchange option, followed by garage sale or market stall, and final option giveaway to a charity thrift shop.

I used to sell used books online, but with novels this is no longer viable as postage costs make used books unaffordable with cheap new copies of most books now available from sites such as The Book Depository.

Favourite Authors

if you are like me you will have a number of favourite authors whose books you just can't resist adding to your collection. My favourites included: Robin Cook (the master of the medical thriller), John Grisham (best legal dramas), Matthew Riley (action action action), Dean Koontz and Steven King (horror etc), Mo Hayder, Karen Slaughter, Kathy Reichs, Jesse Kellerman, Faye Kellerman, Harlen Coben, Lee Childs, Robert Silverberg, Robert Heinlein, Michael Connolly......oh God I can't believe how big the list is.. I could go on and on. No wonder I have so many books.

Actually I blame it on Ian Flemming. When I was still in school I read "Dr No" and then was hooked on James Bond and had to collect every 007 book that he wrote. That started my collecting. Next came Edgar Rice-Burroghs and the John Carter series....ahh!

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Tip 2. Don't Sell Damaged.

As a matter of courtesy never try to sell damaged books with badly worn covers, stained or torn pages etc.Consider if you would buy a book in this condition yourself before trying to offload it on others. Best to just dispose of these responsibly by recycling or using for fire starters.

Making Money from Used Books

It is possible to make some money from used book but don't expect to get rich unless you happen to have stumbled across some rare limited edition manuscript.

It isn't viable to sell most second hand books online as postage costs are often higher than the price you can reasonably place on a book. An exception may be if it is a popular book that is now out of print, or a current 'hot' novel such as '50 Shades of Grey' or 'The Twilight series' when they were first released.

Reference books of specific subjects can be popular and if purchased cheaply at a thrift shop or garage sale can bring a nice profit. Most popular seem to be books on parenting such as 'Toddler Taming', any book on dieting, books on boating, and certain 'DIY and How To' books.

You can recoup some money by selling your old novels but you need to do this through garage sales, markets etc to avoid postage costs. To me you rarely get what I consider them worth but everyone is looking for a bargain at these venues, but any money recouped for something you've already finished is a bonus.

As a matter of courtesy never try to sell damaged books with badly worn covers, stained or torn pages etc. Best to just dispose of these responsibly by recycling or using for fire starters.

Second hand book stores will buy your old books for a small amount as they have to make some profit, but will often exchange your two for their one which is reasonable.


To E-book or Not To E-book

New technology is advancing all the time at an amazing rate and with more and more of the population now Internet and computer savvy paper books are being superseded by E-books. They are cheaper than new books(many even free) and can be used on normal computers, laptops, tablets, specific e-book readers such as Kindle, Kobo and Dreambook, and even Smart phones.

I have an Android Dreambook, and Apple Ipad and would probably have 100 or so books downloaded on them. I find these very convenient if you are travelling for any length of time as they take up a lot less space then trying to pack half a dozen novels. Though when I am relaxing at home I still prefer the traditional paper book. I'm not sure what it is but I tend to start to doze if I am reading on an e-reader or tablet. I will eventually, I fear, be forced to embrace this new form of reading more and more however in order to curb my book collection growing much bigger than it already is. Also, if they do save our precious trees and encourage children to read I can't really condemn them.


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 16, 2017:

Thanks for reading this Nadine. Robin Cook and Michael Connolly are also two of my favourite authors. I can't disagree with anything you said in your comment.. Cheers.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on September 16, 2017:

I'm a total book addict like you. Apart from all the books we have published or are distributors for, I still buy books or first see if I can find them at our local library. I read fiction before going to bed and nonfiction in the morning before getting up. I love Robin Cook and Michael Connolly. Have all their books and many more. I cannot understand people in homes where I do not see any books! I also read from my kindle and tablet. Life without books is unthinkable.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on August 31, 2015:

Hey P's, just letting you know both your comments showed up so I'll reply to both here :) sounds like we are kindred spirits regarding our books. I had to sto myself purchasing another bundle at a second hand shop last week. Sorted by author works for me too, have to keep rearranging the shelves though. I wondered if there was a BA club too :) oh, I have read and posted comments on a couple of your hubs but each time I check back none of my comments are there :( don't know if there is a glitch. Angels back at ya.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 31, 2015:

Ok so I just replied and it did not show up so at the risk of being redundant I am replying again, Jodah.

I am in the addicted to books club too. Have been since my Momma read to me when I was still in the cradle.

My books are everywhere and are separated by author...I love love to read and have met very few books I did not give a passing glance.

Great read...

hoping all is good with you...Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 31, 2015:

is there a BA group? I think I should have to join if there were....I too am guilty as love books...have since I was read to on my Momma's knee.

I have my books collected by author too as it just works for me. Glad to find another book lover....hope all is well with you Angels are on the way to you and your family this evening ps

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on July 03, 2015:

Thank you for revisiting this old hub of mine Theresa. Hub Pages have been doing some house keeping obviously and overnight I found around 1/4 of my hubs in-featured due to lack of engagement (views) so I need to try and attract more readers. I have recently been spending a lot of time writing my "Australian slang dictionary" series and had a lot of trouble getting the latest one published. I finally managed but HP don't seem to be notifying anyone and even it isn't getting many views? Maybe I need to work harder at promoting. Anyway, you have helped spark this one up a bit. Hope all is well with you too. Blessings.

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on July 03, 2015:

Joday - Your hubs are always worth a second look, but in particular this one. You have written so well about my favorite addiction, BOOKS. Hope you are doing well. Blessings.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on July 02, 2015:

Thanks for reading this old hub teaches. I am glad you are also a real book lover and found the tips helpful.

Dianna Mendez on July 02, 2015:

I see most voters choose the traditional bound book reading. I too prefer this form of enjoyment of reading. There is just something cozy about sitting among old books while sipping on tea in a library or book store. Your suggested ideas for book resell are helpful.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 15, 2015:

Thanks Alex. I will keep my eye out for "My Sister's Keeper."

Alex on January 15, 2015:

My sister's kpeeer. My sister's kpeeer is an amazing book!! I am reading it right now and am almost done. There are only positive things to say about this book. However, there are cuss words in this book, just so you all know. If you are looking for an amazing book, then I would recommend this book to everyone!! I am ,like, in love with this book

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 24, 2014:

Yep DreyaB you are a true book addict, join the club. There will always be real books around while people like us are.

DreyaB on November 24, 2014:

I love books too! Can't get enough of them - or have enough time to read them all! Am starting to run out of space now, but I find it very difficult to pass them on or sell them - it's like removing a piece of myself. Just wanted to say I know where you're coming from... :0)

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 22, 2014:

This is weird, my stats say this hub has had no views in the last 30 days and that traffic is up to date as of two hours ago, yet I have these two comments from two days ago??? It has also been unfeatured due to low engagement. Something is wrong.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 19, 2014:

Exactly my problem Truthfornow :) Thanks for reading this.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on November 19, 2014:

I love reading. I have a very small apartment, so I try to share my books with others and give them away - keeping my faves of course. I like to hold my books and read the old fashioned way. It is hard to pass a bookshop without buying a book even though I have plenty books to read.

Mira Fang from Canada on November 19, 2014:

Yeah, I've made the mistake of lending a few favourites out. Now I am looking I replace them. I think it's about time I started to purge to make room for new favourites.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 19, 2014:

Good to meet another real book addict Mira. I have more books than I can ever read in my lifetime and can't part with any I haven't read yet. I do lend out or give away one's I have read as long as it isn't a particular favourite. I am known as the local free library service in my semi-remote community. I didn't mean to convince you to destash but I'm gad this hub was helpful in some way.

Mira Fang from Canada on November 19, 2014:

My addiction to hand held books is so out of control, that I have bins of them stored at family member's houses. Sufficient to say, my addiction is no secret. Many of the books I own have been gifts from people I love. Even if they weren't the greatest reads, I can't seem to bring myself to get rid of them.

After reading your piece, I think I am finally ready to sort and purge. Thanks for sharing, Jodah!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 19, 2014:

Hi Ologsinquito. If you have iTunes synced with your iPad an your computer you can access books through there.. I think there is also Google Books. My local library has a free catalogue through Belinda Audio where you can download free audio and ebooks....otherwise do a search for "free eBooks for PC".

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 19, 2014:

The first step to overcome any addiction is to admit it Shades-of-truth :)

Some things we don't want to overcome and a love of books is one. Good for you.

ologsinquito from USA on November 19, 2014:

Hi Jodah, this is a very useful article. Unfortunately, I dropped the family iPad and it doesn't work very well now. How do you access free books on your PC? Thanks for the help and God Bless.

Emily Tack from USA on November 19, 2014:

Me, too - I admit my addiction. Since I remarried, in 2009, I do not have room for all of the thousands of books that I owned. I left most of them in my previous home, where some of my grown children reside with their families. If I really want to re-read one, I can always access it.

I have been reading since I was 2, and 60 years later, I still love books!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on August 17, 2014:

Thanks for your kind comments DrBill. Glad you enjoyed this hub and others of mine. Wow, three accounts, good on you.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on August 16, 2014:

Wonderful read and great comments, as well. Keep up the great work, as I know you do. I enjoy your writing, as I've read and commented on my other two accounts. Now I have three… oh, my! Thanks for what you do! ;-)

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on July 06, 2014:

That's so true grand old lady. Books do gather dust and I now have as many in boxes as I do on shelves too. Please tell me, what is your plan? Thanks for reading and commenting.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 06, 2014:

I have dreams of organising my books, but with every dream comes new accumulations. Also, books collect dust. My latest strategy is keeping them in plastic boxes so that I can just clean the boxes. But now there are just so many books and less than half the plastic boxes that I need. But I have a plan, I have a plan...

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 24, 2014:

Thanks for reading this Bill, and your interesting comment. I agree with everything you say. I have an iPad with plenty of books and access to a library online that I borrow from, so it's handy when travelling, but at home I much prefer to curl up with a real paper book.

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on May 24, 2014:

Hey Jodah, you wrote a great hub that has inspired bountiful comments. I too am a 'real' book guy, but also do have an Android tablet and a Kindle. One a recent two-day train voyage from Providence, Rhode Island to West Palm Beach, Florida I brought the Android, which is stuffed with over 100 books and it did give me some fine reading; but no digital book can ever really come close to the feel, smell, and visual appeal of a real book made from a tree - and don't worry about trees being chopped down to make books. Nature made trees renewable and the paper companies plant way more trees than they harvest.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 13, 2014:

Thanks for your comment Shauna, sounds like we read the same authors. I love Grisham, Koontz, King, Connolly, Patterson (some) etc. I also have a couple of shelves for various authors and new acquisitions, the rest dedicated to my favorites.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 13, 2014:

Jodah, I prefer hand-held books. I have shelves dedicated to my favorite authors: one for Grisham, one for Koontz and one for King. Then I have two shelves that are home to various authors. I collect hardbacks of my favorites. My son gave me Dean Koontz's latest novel for my birthday. I couldn't have asked for a better gift!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 27, 2014:

Thank you for taking the time to read this hub Eva. It is always great to talk to other 'book addicts'. I have always been an avid reader and there is nothing better than to browse the second hand or used book shops and to find a hidden treasure. As you say the smell of books and the different types of paper is a wonderful sensory experience. I appreciate your kind and insightful comment.

Evelina Zaharieva from Stockholm, Sweden on April 27, 2014:

Ah, a nice ... a lovely article about reading. I've been an 'addict' since before I became I teenager and loved it soooo much that I didn't understand those people who didn't read.

Reading is passion and once you get passionate about it, it never ends. I still adore reading although I don't have that much free time, but whenever I can I read. I have so many beautiful memories of reading, going to the library, to bookstores.... ah.... my heart beats faster, I get excited of the prospect of finding an unexpectedly interesting read, of the quiet and peace in the bookstore/library, the different types of paper of different books, the smell of the pages... all those little things other people (who are neutral about reading) cannot understand.

Thank you for this article! :)

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on March 16, 2014:

I like a bit of everything Dream On, sci-fi, mystery/suspense, fantasy, horror, crime. Robert Silverberg is a favorite in the sci-fi genre.

DREAM ON on March 16, 2014:

I love to hear about your search for the books you love. If you need a book finder who can spend his time looking for bargain books you can't find.It will stop me for adding to my collection and help you build yours. In my travels I come across lots of science fiction but not my own interest and will keep me busy understanding why we love books so much. I can learn about authors and different subject matter and feel I can pass on great buys that you might not normally see. I am big into nonfiction and business books. So nice to hear from you.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on March 15, 2014:

Thanks for that great comment Dream On. It's always great to meet another book addict. your comment really adds to the enjoyment and value of the hub. Good luck reading the 19 books yesterday. I found out I had a credit on a book site I belong to, so ordered a copy of 'The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" for $1.00 and free postage. I had been looking for it in thrif shops but hadn't been able to find it. that was a great buy. Have a good one.

DREAM ON on March 15, 2014:

Where do I sign on the dotted line .... I am a book addict. I love all your hub comments that made me laugh, chuckle and smerk Who me ? My mom and I would go shopping in any store. She would shop and I would go right to the book section. My mom would drag me away and say your wife is going to kill you. I would have my hands full with books I couldn't live without. All of them on clearance or great bargains so I could enjoy such a different variety of books and save so much money. I have so many interests and only the books that I was about to buy would call out my name. I always left more than I bought so I felt I was leaving more great buys for someone else. I love thrift stores and we even had my all time favorite store called Buck A Book. I could spend 20 dollars and have 20 books. I felt like I just went to heaven. Luckily the store was a distance away or I would of owned half the store in about a years time. I loved so many stories you and other hubbers have told. Now I had to downsize and one where I had lived in an 11 room house. I have 5 rooms and there goes my dream of having a library on the whole top floor. The walls probably wouldn't support the weight.Maybe that was a great thing. My all time favorite is looking at the bookcase in the movie the Beauty And The Beast. Where they had a rolling ladder to go to the top of this enormous books shelf. The library was endless. I imprinted that picture in my mind for ever. Today I buy less and love all books even more. I don't want to stop commenting but I also feel guilty about not reading the 19 books I bought yesterday. I did put 5 books back realizing enough is enough. I can't wait to tell you this story. Thank you so much for leading me to your hub and all the book lovers who love books more than I do. Have a great night,

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 29, 2014:

I don't disagree with that, and I hope to publish an e-book soon. But there will always be people like me who love to collect old books of the real paper variety and prefer to read that way. people won't buy new books at book stores when they can get e-books cheaper. But I and many others buy used books from second hand stores.

vietnamvet68 from New York State on January 29, 2014:

Being a writer and published Author I have found that e-readers have overtaken the hard cover books,people are no longer shopping at book stores as much when they can down load from the internet. E-books are out selling hard back 10 to 1.....

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 28, 2014:

Thank you for taking the time to read this hub Jamie. I had to try to get people reading my older hubs to try to keep them alive. They don't make houses big enough to cope with large book collections do they. I think houses need to be designed with built in libraries. Thanks again.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 28, 2014:

Hello Theresa, you are so correct when you say that it the comments which make HP a special place. I too was a member of another writing site which I tried for a month, but yes, the comments were short and sweet and you could only leave one comment per article so there was not a lot of interaction. I like how you refer to books and e- readers as species that can co-exist. I agree, I too have an IPad and other e- reader as well, but my main love is the printed and bound

This is one of the first hubs I wrote here that received comments, in a way Nellieanna discovered me, so there sure are some interesting comments here. Thanks for visiting and your wonderful comment too.

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on January 28, 2014:

This is a great hub for a confessed Bibliophile like myself. Our garage is stock full of books and the house is not much better. Thank you for this great hub. Jamie

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on January 28, 2014:

Jodah - The Hub was great, but the comments are fantastic and such a joy. I think really good comments are one of the reasons I am on HP and not a lot of other platforms where a three sentence answer is considered looong. How sad, really.

I loved your euphemism (pretty cool word -- wonder if it is related to euphonia or euphoria -- something to explore) "pre-loved" for used, and like you I buy almost exclusively used books and do a fair amount of sharing recycling, etc, (and I buy things out of bamboo, whenever possible, since it is such a quick renewable wood) so I don't feel like I am overly damaging our forests. I know e-readers are here to stay, but there is still a place, a big place, to my way of thinking for books. They can co exist -- many species do.

Funny all the different organization (or not) approaches everyone uses. I have attempted several re-organizations over the last 30 years and I always give up halfway through. My house is not that big, if I really need or want to find a book, I always manage to.

And more importantly, like you, the aesthetic qualities of books lined up on a shelf, or along a cabinet, or stacked on a coffee table, or under a glass topped table .... these are important things and call for no system of organization at all...other than that which pleases they eye. My paternal grandparents were artists and so I inherited a strong sense of (and need for) color and design from them (there are some hubs about them).

This has been wonderful. Thank you for sending me this way. Some of my favorite hubbers commented, so I am going back to finish carefully reading every comment. Take care. Theresa

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 02, 2014:

Thank for reading Audrey. I have been tough on myself lately. I have set up unofficially as a local lending service, so I loan looks out to friends and acquaintances in the area. Some books I have been actually giving away so I can make room for new ones, even though I made a New Years resolution that I won't buy any more until I read at least half of what I already have. We'll see how that goes..haha.

Audrey Howitt from California on January 02, 2014:

I too am addicted to books--I read voraciously--and am just now purging some to make room for new ones! Happy New Year Jodah!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 29, 2013:

Thanks Eric, always good to hear from another 'real' book lover.

Eric Wayne Flynn from Providence, Rhode Island on December 29, 2013:

I agree, e books show their power in travel, other than that an actual tangible book in hand always wins every other duel.


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 20, 2013:

I can totally relate wetnosedogs, good to see another book addict. I hope traditional books never die.

wetnosedogs from Alabama on November 20, 2013:

I am a definite book addict. In no particular order. I haven't read an ebook yet and not sure I want to. I love the traditional book.

I try to sell my books on ebay and when they show no bid, I get happy cause I get to keep them. LOL.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 09, 2013:

Thank you Mary, for your very generous comments and for voting up. Wow, I'm impressed that you can manage to read 12 to 15 books a week amongst everything else. Looks like there are plenty of us book addicts out there.

Mary McShane from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 09, 2013:

Hi Jodah, Books to the left of me, books to the right of me and here I am in the middle with more books. I wouldn't say I am a hoarder, but I would definitely fall under the "addict" category. I only keep about 200-300 here at home at a time (used to be over 2000).

I keep my favorites, and the rest are donated to the library. I go back to flea markets, library sales and yard sales for more. My family often rolls their eyes saying "don't you have enough?" Often reading 4 or more at a time, to me there is nothing like holding a book in my hand and burying my nose in it to get lost for hours at a time. It is not unusual to find that dinner is late because I've been preoccupied with one book or another. I read about 12 to 15 books per week, in addition to working online for various enterprises. Books everywhere here! lol

If holding a book and reading it were ever taken away from me because of some health deficit, I probably would buckle under to learn another way to read - via audio books, etc. But for now, it is good old fashioned words printed on paper for me and it will stay. I do organize by author name, nice to know that my family is wrong when they say I'm so obsessive that I alphabetize and soooo nice to know there are many others out there like me. lol Loved this hub and voted awesome and interesting!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 08, 2013:

Always great to hear from another book addict or hoarder. I think I have more books than I will ever manage to get through in my lifetime, and keep buying more. Also have a collection of classics from Dickens, Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle etc. Keep up the flea market scroungng in your spare time, it's often worthwhile.

Mklow1 on November 08, 2013:

I am glad I stumbled across this Hub because...I too am addicted to books. But my addiction is the classics. The funny thing is I am more of a hoarder, so I have stacks and stacks that won't fit on my shelves and the problem is that I am currently getting an MBA and don't have time to read them, but for some reason, I still buy them. But when I do find time to read, I am starting to go about it the old fashioned way. The LIBRARY; EUREKA! I even have the benefit of having a choice of the libraries in my county and also at my university, so I pretty much have access to whatever book I am looking for. There are also a lot of flea markets in my new area, so I have actually bought used books for a dollar that are worth $90 online, but that takes a lot of time and is very rare. I once came across a Faulkner first edition for $9 and it is worth $240, so in my spare time, I do a lot of browsing.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 08, 2013:

Thanks for checking out another of my hubs Suzette. Good to have you in my circle of hub friends. I have an IPad which I too find handy when travelling rather than take a pag full of books. I have virtually set up my own library of hard copy books that I continually loaning out to friends, but I do have problems parting with any of my favourite books. Thanks for the vote up.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on November 08, 2013:

Great hub! I enjoyed this as I am a reader. I have switched to reading on a Kindle and I love it. It is so convenient, I can take it anywhere, it fits my purse, and I can download a book whenever and where ever I want to. I do have books at home and filled in bookcases. I have finally got my boxes of books donated to the libraries near me. I will never get rid of certain books, so I will always have a bookcase or two of 'real' books, so that someday when books become obsolete I will be able to show off my bookcases of books. LOL Thanks for an entertaining hub and again you give some great tips and suggestions. Voted up and shared.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 18, 2013:

Thank you for your wonderful comments FlourishAnyway...

I agree with you totally. Old books have that special smell about them. You can sometimes close your eyes and take a deep breath, drawing in all that history and the stories they have endured. I love it when I find a book actually signed by the author. I found a book in a charity thrift shop on Snooker written and signed by Eddie Charlton a former great Australian snooker champion for $1.00. I have another which is the story of the trade union movement in Australia, signed by the author to my father as a gift for his friendship and support. I treasure it. An actual Freud-authored book and those on the Civil War would be extremely valuable to you, if not others. The printed word will endure when there are still folks like us.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 18, 2013:

I love old books -- the smell of them, their different typefaces and topics, their sometimes dramatic titles, the feel of their delicate pages and imagining the prior owners, especially if they were relatives long lost. I've been fortunate enough to come across a Freud-authored book on Psychoanalysis at a thrift store for $4 (I'm a psychologist so that is super special). I have also inherited wonderful books from bibliophile relatives such as a those on the Civil War (called by this book "the War of Southern Rebellion" -- although my southern kin know it as "the War of Northern Aggression"). They may not be economically valuable but I love them. Thanks for writing this. Electronic books will never quite replace the look and feel of a wonderful book, plus we read about 30% slower when reading electronically presented material.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 13, 2013:

Thanks for your comment Mel. Glad to have you visit one of my hubs. Yes, I think many of us are addicted to reading and will continue to do so in some form or another, even if the paper version should one day disappear (that would be sad).

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on October 13, 2013:

I am certainly addicted to reading but not necessarily to books. I constantly am culling out my old ones and donating them to the friends of the library. I have embraced the ebook, although the paper version just feels better in one's hands and seems more alive. Great hub!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 07, 2013:

Thanks for the kind comments Sallieann,

Sounds like your "library' system using Microsoft Office Access works well. My own system only works up to a point because I usually I decide I want hard covers separated from paper backs, and then sorted into similar sizes so the book shelves are aesthetically pleasing, then separate those books I've read. This means I have one book case for paper backs, another for hard covers, fiction from non-fiction etc.

I borrowed the you tube video you had on your hub, hope you don't mind.

sallieannluvslife from Eastern Shore on October 07, 2013:

Great hub, Jodah!! Reading the comments to your hub, I see there are many of us book lovers still left out there! I agree with your cataloguing ideas...I recently made my own "library" system by using the Microsoft Office Access program, listing them with Title, Author, Publisher, date, whether hardback or paperback, where it is located in my house, whether or not it is a children's book (I have many of them from when I was younger and from my boys), whether fiction or non-fiction, if it is a reference book or if I have loaned it out. With access you can change, according to each cell, how you want to find it i.e. alphabetically by author, title, etc. It is very nice to have for ease in finding a particular book I am looking for. Happy Reading!!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 01, 2013:

Wow Nellieanna! Your comments and those of Jaye are always so delightful. The backgrounds you give of your own personal stories enthrall me. This seems to be an instance where the comments are more informative and interesting than the actual hub content. I think it's great when the comments actually add to the pleasure of reading the hub.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 30, 2013:

Oh, my! What a delightful book-lovers' discussion your hub has incited, Jodah~ I love it. These are some great fellow Hubbers!

But in my defense, reading books on digital screens is a challenge for my one-seeing eye (and that one none too strong). Following the screen in shorter segments doesn't bother me, but whole books - - (even very long hubs or other online articles, I often print out to read!) - not my best activity!

BTW - my great friend, TwilightLawn's good organization of his DVD collection was my inspiration for organizing my own! We even compared our lists. Now I've added more DVDs to my collection but haven't yet added them to my list. It's on some former computer, I suppose. :-/

As for double-decking books, I dislike it, but have had to in places. If I eliminate some of my late husband's stacks of obsolete papers & magazine collections from his 'sides' of bookshelves in the office and the bedroom, I could un-double those shelves, at last. The books in the back are actually antiques, some of my parents' old textbooks and informational tomes from late 19th and early 20th centuries. I am unlikely to pick any of them for 'a good read', so I've not fretted too much about their being out of sight, though I wouldn't want to part with them, either!

I guess one could call me not only a book-reading addict, but a book-having addict. I've belonged to numerous book clubs over past years, and that's a danger: - one collects many books that way, starting with the promotional 'free books' for joining, some of which have become some of my great treasures. My last temptress of a book club was The Folio Society. Now, that is a club that is nearly irresistible. I cancelled my membership several years ago but they still send morsels & deals to temp me. sigh. I'm hopeless!

As for using paper and trees, there is this to consider: The strong possibility of actual books becoming obsolete and unread by the youngest and future generations is as least as much of a national tragedy as misuse of forests, which can be replaced, especially if people would stop dropping live cigarettes in them and burning down hundreds of miles of priceless trees. There is a kink in the value consciousness I find alarming. Good stewardship of all natural resources should allow for things of value to be enjoyed, I'm thinking, including good books. Used books are a great alternative, but without already having a love of books, the future generations won't have an inkling of their value, either. Probably more book loving is generated by Christmas gifts of lovely children's books that we can imagine! Our efforts to be good stewards of our Earth are not wasted - and WE are part of it! I'm awed and gratified by your zeal, Jodah!

Books have lured me since I can remember! When I was 3 and 4, I would 'run off' to scour the neighborhood homes for their libraries. Mother knew my tricks and would look down the street to see where I had gotten, and I'd duck behind a tree, thinking it made me invisible. Fortunately all the neighbors knew my addiction and they'd call Mother to let her know where I was, while they servred me lemonade and cookies while I browsed their bookshelves. That and the fact that I'd smuggle books & an battery-powered lantern under the covers in my youth bed after lights out convinced my parents that I needed to be in school, so I was started in first grade in a one-room, 8-grades, one teacher school at 4 and a half, the only first-grader! It kept me off the streets, for sure and I suppose I learned some things. I was promoted to 2nd grade and was able to start it at the public school!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 30, 2013:

Hi Jaye,

Good to meet another 'book addict" I think there are a lot of us out there. You are right it is really an obsession but a good one. I'm new to this but I'll never get sick of reading such wonderful comments, even critical ones I will learn from. Thanks for voting the hub up and sharing.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on September 30, 2013:

Hello, Jodah - Reading your hub was like reading a description of myself. I, too, am a "book addict" and have been since I learned to read at the age of four. Since I'm now 70 and have been collecting books for all of my adult life, I have thousands of them.

There would be tens of thousands if I didn't regularly purge from several hundreds to a thousand per year and donate them to Friends of the Library, sell some online and give others to family and friends. I still have nine large bookcases full of books in my home, some shelves of which are, unfortunately, "double-rowed" with books. I still have an overflow in storage boxes.

My goal at this point is to reduce my collection by at least half, keeping only those books that are meaningful to me and freeing some space in my home they currently occupy. It's especially important to me not to have books in storage boxes if someone else can be reading and enjoying them.

At one time I tried to keep my books organized, separating fiction from non-fiction, shelving the non-fiction by topic plus alphabetizing authors, and alphabetizing all fiction. Eventually, my collection grew so large it overwhelmed me, so much of it is currently disorganized.

While loving books as we do may be deemed an "addiction", I certainly think it's a relatively harmless one compared to other addictions and obsessions. Yes, it costs money and takes up living space, not to mention all the trees sacrificed for the output of books' paper and board. I do have qualms about the latter, but still love the feel of a real book in my hands. (I read some e-books on my computer, but still don't own a Kindle.) Just think of the many hours we've enjoyed reading our books and all the things we've learned within their pages. Not a bad trade-off....

I always enjoy meeting another book lover and hope to read more hubs by you, Jodah.

Voted Up+++ and shared


P.S. Love the cartoon!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 30, 2013:

Hello Twilight Lawns,

Thank you for taking the time to read my hub and for your comment.

No, I don't take exception at all. In fact I believe in recycling and cutting down less trees myself. I never buy new books, only pre-loved copies, so I definitely don't encourage pulping old growth forests to produce books.

To tell you the truth I also have an Ipad and e-book reader on which I have downloaded a selection of novels including every book in the John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Buroughs. It's just that I still can't get rid of my 'hard' book collection, hundreds of which are still unread.

I agree with you about not placing books in two layers (back and front) in the bookcase, and try to avoid that preferring to have easy access to the titles I have. My problem is I have no room for any new bookcases, so I have been trying to avoid entering any second hand store so I am not tempted to buy any more books. I have only actually purchased one book in the last month so my will power is working (for now).

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 30, 2013:

Jodah, Nellieanna, a very dear friend, and one of the most talented persons I have ever met, sent me in your direction.

I also put my DVDs and books into alphabetical order, and know almost exactly where every book is, as I just think, "Steinbeck" and know exactly where 'East of Eden' is located. The same with my DVDs.

But here you are going to fall on the ground frothing at the mouth and curse the day I was born... I have not opened one of those paper and hard cover things for at least a year.

Why? I am always within a few metres of my Kindle and have expanded my literary interests and known authors accordingly.

I live in a large (ish) Victorian house with three reception rooms and passageways and corridors, but not enough wall space to place book cases in conveniently. And I abhor the idea of having two layers... one at the back and one in the front.

So it’s out with the old (unless it’s completely unobtainable as an e-book) and in with the kindle (to coin a phrase).

And please don’t take exception to this, but if you want to save the planet, why do you want to pulp up half od the pine trees in Northern Europe so that the dreadful ‘Fifty Shades of Soft Porn’ in hanging around on the shelves of bookstores?

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 30, 2013:

Hello sligobay,

Thank you for the welcome to Hub Pages. I have been awhile but for one reason or another not very active. Yes, it seems my addiction is still manageable compared to yourself but I do also have boxes full of books stashed under beds etc. I can't part with books I haven't read yet either, and in fact I collect books by authors I'm sure I'll like but haven't actually read any of their works yet. Is that weird? I am often reading two books at a time, alternating between the two depending how I feel. I am glad you also admit your addiction, but I don't think there is a cure fortunately.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 30, 2013:

Thanks for your kind comments Nellieanna,

I was just sitting back browsing Hub Pages the other night and was amazed at how many hubs some people had written (this is such a great outlet for expression and talking about what interests you) and I thought "What's wrong with me? I have been a member for three years and only written three hubs. I searched my brain for what else interested me and what I had enough knowledge of to talk about...and it came to me....books! I'm glad I've actually become more pro-active on here and met encouraging people like yourself.

No, I didn't know you were 81, but that explains your amazing wealth of knowledge and view of the world etc. I sometimes think people are like old classic books, they get better with age. Thank you for rating my hub, and welcoming me to this community.

sligobay from east of the equator on September 30, 2013:

Welcome to HubPages Jodah. Your addiction is still healthy and manageable. I buy boxes of hardcover books, never organize them, stack them five boxes deep, pluck out two or three at a time for the bedstand, read them through and return them to a box again - never to relinquish a single one. I am addicted to books - even those which I have never read.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 29, 2013:

This is EXCELLENT! I am also a book addict. I've tried to keep my enormous collection of books in some sort of a 'Dewey Decimal System' order, as you mention, over all these years. Within it, one still needs to alphabetize. (You do know that I am 81, right? The accumulation of a lifetime, plus inherited books from my book-loving parents and my equally book-loving late husband, really is massive.) I really cannot part with my books. Once I gathered up some for the used book store. The money paid for the several boxes was enough for me to buy a book to take home! It was a good transaction, really.

So in spite of my good intentions, much to my chagrin, my books seem to be rather jumbled in some areas. There are bookshelves, some quite extensive, in every room of my house except bathrooms! Even the hall has its stash. Most surfaces manage to display one or more books, as well. I've wondered why home builders don't build most of the walls as bookshelves! One could still hang pictures on them quite attractively!

I have organized my extensive DVD collection by alphabetizing it, plus making a list of them. So I know how valuable that system is!

Anyway, your very valuable ideas for organizing will be most helpful, Jodah! You've inspired me!! I'm definitely voting it up, useful and interesting! I simply love your practical - and sentimental - approach to your book addiction! You are a wonderful addition to the HubPage community!!

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