The other day there was an internet dust-up over some girl saying people really only need to keep 30 books. I think she was saying to pare down and get rid of the things that are cluttering up your life, but readers took it the wrong way.
First off, why the hell would anyone listen to some girl no one's ever heard of? Or even some girl everyone's heard of when it comes to what you should and shouldn't do? Hell, I wouldn't listen to someone I genuinely respected and cared about if they suggested I should only keep thirty books. Look up at my header. That shows three bookcases worth of books and I have 5 other bookcases.
I have all those books for reasons, and only I can determine the reasons I have each of those books. (Well, Hubs does have a say. Some of them are his, after all. And while mine outnumber his, he has way more than 30 himself. The majority of the non-fiction bookcase is his.)
The reasons? Well, some of them I haven't read yet but still plan to. Some of them are part of my collection of pulp crime novels. Some of them I've read but loved enough that I'll read them again. Others I don't plan on reading again, but I loved them, so they stay. One case is my literary collection. There are also reference books in there that I might need to refer to in the future. And the shelf with the collection of the complete works of my favorite author - sometimes with duplicates (other editions with different covers).
There's the vintage engineering books Hubs found at an estate sale. There's the encyclopedia set that belonged to my parents, that still has pressed stuff from when we were kids. I don't think either of us will really be reading those ever, but they're there and they won't be going anywhere.
Oh, and the case of really old books no one will ever read again. They're too precious to read. I'm hoarding them for future generations. And there's the books my father bought me and the ones that are signed and the ones... Well, I did say 'because reasons'. I have a lot of reasons to keep books.
Sometimes, I go through and re-determine which books I want to keep. Some of them have lost their meaning to me. Some of them I can't remember why I kept them in the first place, and if I can't justify them taking up shelf space, off they go to St. Vinny's to find an owner who appreciates them more.
I'm sure the girl had her reasons for picking the number 30. I'm willing to bet that even she thinks the number is subjective and arbitrary. Not sure what the dust up is all about. And I'm not sure why she felt the need to make her opinions public. In this day and age, I'm willing to bet she's gotten some really nasty emails over it and perhaps a death threat or two. I wonder if it was worth it. :shrug:
My point is there is no point in getting angry over anything anyone says about how many of anything you should hang onto. Go your own way. If you want to have a zillion books and have to make tunnels through them to get to your bedroom, so be it. Who am I to judge your book hoarding habit?
When we moved from CO to MO, I got rid of about 2/3rds of my books. That sucked, but we had a tiny moving van to transport everything we owned, so it had to be done. I miss some of them sometimes, but I'm finding those titles I really miss and buying them when I can. I will rebuild it, I have the technology. ;o)
How many books do you have? If you had to pare down - you know, to move across country in a small truck with the rest of your belongings - how many do you think you could part with?