This post on Book Riot (Food Riot’s big sister-site) got a lot of people hot and bothered! Well, a commenter did, anyway, when she got judgmental and called having an over 800-book TBR (To Be Read) pile hoarding. Really, hoarding? Hoarding is serious business, something that not only negatively affects your daily life but your ability to connect to the world and function on a day-to-day level.
Had the commenter tossed hoarding into the fray ignorantly, as I often toss in crazypants— to be silly about something serious, which is not always a bad thing– things may have still turned out well for her. But no, she compared 800 unread books to 800 dogs in a house.
Granted, the original author seems to feel a bit guilty herself about having that many books, and so many of them unread, but ultimately she ends up unapologetic about her love for books and acquiring them. She gamely asks the readers how they feel about ever-growing piles of TBR piles.
I say, if it isn’t genuine hoarding– the books aren’t hindering your ability to reach, say, your kitchen or your bathroom, and they aren’t about to fall on your head and cause you to trip– then why not? Get rid of books to make room for more books! Get rid of books to clear up a wanted space, perhaps. But not because some stranger calls it hoarding.
I like having books of my own to pick from, a personal library. That’s not hoarding, is it?
And what about ebooks? Would the commenter be so judgmental about books that took up invisible space on a microchip? I wonder. I wonder how much of her vehemence was from personal experience, as it came out rather bitterly, and without the capacity to bend. I was so irritated at her a few hours ago, but now feel sorry for her, imagining how she developed that brittle and unyielding attitude.
So, as for me, I’ll keep acquiring new books, old books, ebooks, cookbooks and nod at her comment and next time I’m at a yard sale I’m still going to pick up a few books. I might even decline to read them and put them on my TBR pile, just for kicks. Judge away, random lady!