The Problem of being a Bibliophile: No Space, Time to Update?

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So many books, so little space.

To Kindle or Not to Kindle? That is my question

As the shelf space in my tiny room grows smaller and my collection of books impossibly larger, I have inevitably reached that point in my life where I’m beginning to question whether I should invest in that tiny little electronic device.
My mum made this decision a few years ago, investing in an ipad mini. A devote bibliophile herself, mum has treasured books always and worked in a school library for close to 14 years. I expected mum to hate electronic reading- she loves the feel of books in her hands- and when recently questioned, mum looked at me like I was crazy. She said I was nuts for not having switched over already, and then went on to subtly hint my room was far too full already without a new load of books that was coming in the post. She through my own oft repeated words back at me; “Move with the times”.

I would, if I wasn’t so nervous about the purchase.

Mum’s love of books was transferred to me from the time I was born; I’ve always had a book in my hand or nearby, even when I didn’t have the fine motorskills to lift them myself. Books have always been my escape. They’ve taught me much and find tuned my vocabulary from a young age. They fostered a formidable imagination from an early age, one that still serves me to this day.

But that’s just it isn’t it. Books have always been that sturdy pressure in my palms. That’s what makes, to me, the reading experience. The feel of the pages. The wrist aches from reading a book long into the night. The smell of a new book plucked from the shelf. The worn feel of an old, much loved book that someone else had treasured before you. That sense of delight walking into a book store and knowing you’re not going to walk away empty handed.

Can I give that up?

Or do I have to? Could I, for economic reasons and emotional reasons, split my attentions between two very different formats?

In my mind, I can only see one compromise; using an electronic reader and books 50/50. Would that work though? I’m paranoid that I’d invest in an electronic reader and then not like the format itself. I can’t shake the fear that I’d hate it and that itself is probably the main reason behind me not investing in one now.

My books hold pride of place in my room, often to the detriment of my other belongings. A few years ago, I was forced to get rid of some of my books… some…. I was supposed to get rid of a lot more but I sneakily hid them in places that weren’t visible to the eye. I’m immensely guilty about it, and I feel kind of like a 5 year old hording things that absolutely cannot be thrown away.

There’s a box of books hidden underneath my formal dress shoes. There’s some hiding in top shelves hidden behind old memory boxes. Some are hiding in the family’s large storage cupboard behind craft supplies. Some are hiding in a big box my grandmother painted for me that is supposed to hold old childhood toys.

My book collection is still growing. So is my ‘to-read’ list. In fact, my to read list is so big, I will run out of room for these books in my small bedroom within a year. My desire for books is insatiable, and it has never been a problem until now that I’ve run out of room.

This is why an electronic reader is so attractive; it can possibly curb my expensive habit to something much more reasonable. I may also have a chance to save room.

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So perhaps my dreams of a personal library like this need to be put on hold

So I put this question out there; who has made the switch? Is it worth it? Should I put my fears aside and convert or do I have a right to be wary?

Leave a comment to let me know

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