I think I have a problem.

I have too many books.

I have no more shelf space left and yet, in the last two days, I’ve purchased 20 books (at 6 for a $1 at two of my favorite thriftstores).

Having all of these unread books doesn’t stop me from requesting more from the library or borrowing them from friends. I could read books I own for the next year and not exhaust my collection.

The other problem is that I keep buying the same books. I have multiple copies of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A Town Like Alice, 84 Charing Cross Road, Saint Maybe and From Time to Time. I love these books, and I like to be prepared to pass them along to friends without fear of losing my only copy, because it’s a well-known fact that people rarely return books. I’ve never understood why people would never imagine keeping anything that didn’t belong to them think nothing of keepinga book on lend.

My book purchasing addiction began at a young age. From the time we moved to Portland when I was 9 years old, every second or third Saturday my mom and I would go to the main Goodwill in SE. Upstairs to the left was the bookloft, a dusty, well-organized haven for readers. It was divided into sections, I would make a beeline for the kid’s section, and settle myself on the floor in front of the shelves to select my 10-15 new books. At $.69 a piece, the price was right and the selection was broad. Writing this, I am awash with longing for that thriftstore, with it’s book loft. In the grand tradition of making things bigger, nicer and newer, Goodwill Industries of Oregon ripped down that store when I was 12 years old to make room for a big, glossy store, with handicap accessible bathrooms and no book loft.

It’s time to go read.

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