Compulsive hoarding is a problem, but until it becomes a problem, it’s a cheerful habit to engage in. Take me, for instance. Although I’m a one-book-read-at-a-time kind of gal, I’m a lots-of-books-contemplated-for-future-reading-all-at-once kind of hoarder.
This means that even as I settle on a single book to which I’m dedicate my attention, I’m continually scanning the horizons for other books that make interesting next reads. I read book reviews; I pull up summaries of books that my current book mentions; I download and read samples to other things that cross my purview. I visit library catalogs. I make a list.
Then I hit the stacks. I roam the libraries. I load up both arms with books that I’ve put on the list. I hum as I check them out of the library. I cart them home, lovingly placing them on my shelves in the order that they make the most sense as a collection, defying the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data as I go along.
As the days drift by, I drool over my little assembled collection. I pick them up, run my fingers along their edges, crack open their spines, flip through their pages, and contemplate which one will make the best next read. I still haven’t finished my last book, but I have shelves of library books at my disposal to choose from as soon as I do. In the meanwhile, I look for more books. I make a list.