Thursday, January 14, 2010


If you love books, and have ever been accused of owning too many, Biblioholism by Tom Raabe is for you. Although it's a little uneven, I really the good parts were worth it.
Why I say it's uneven is because I loved the first five chapters, but then lost interest in the next several. Then it picks up again around chapter 10. So, it's two-thirds awesome, which is still pretty good. And it's easy to just skim the middle if you'd like.
Now for the good stuff. I am definitely a book collector. Not in a rare book kind of way, but in a lots and lots of books kind of way. I completely identified with the book. I have a tendency to come out of bookstores with more books than I can carry. I wonder why book stores don't have shopping carts. I attend library book sales with multiple bags to stuff full. I have an entire room devoted to books, my own personal library. And shelves in other rooms too. Yeah, it's bad. I've even done the whole accidentally buy a second copy of a book you already own thing. I ignore household chores in favor of reading. I have books strewn all over the house, in every room. I have the tell-tell head tilt to the right symptom. That cracked me up because I've had people point out that I do that frequently, and the book says that because we spend so much time browsing books and have to tilt it to the right to read the spines better.
I also thought the part about reading while traveling was funny. I always travel with multiple books. Even if I'm just going away for a few days. For a four-day trip, I often take six books. The book said it takes most people a couple of hours to pack their clothes, and minutes to throw in a couple of books. It takes biblioholics a few minutes to throw in clothes and several hours to pack books! That's totally me. And I even try to trick myself. I'll promise myself that I'll only pack three books, but then an hour or so later, I sneak in another one that doesn't really count because it's a book for work. And then another because I might be really tired at night and just want a romance novel. And then I think about what if my first flight gets delayed and I end up missing my second flight and have to hang out in the airport forever. So I sneak another one in to a side pocket just in case. I'm not sure why I always end up doing it that way, but I do. And sadly I pack that many books even when I just take a carry on, which I usually try to do. My coworkers all stand in amazement and awe of me for my mad packing skills. Although they think I'm slightly insane for packing so many books.
So, in the end, it was nice to read about someone as crazy about books as me. But, I'm glad I got this from the library since it was a little uneven, so I'm glad I I'm trying to cure my book buying habit with library usage!

Pictures of my bookshelves:


  1. Sounds like a fun book--I pack more books than I can possibly read too, but I like to be prepared for whatever taste strikes whilst on the road.

    Libraries are my saving grace, though if I really like a book I borrowed from the library, I'll go out after I finish and purchase it for the reread!

  2. Jane- It was a fun book. I hate feeling limited in my choices as well, which is what leads to the sneaking around, packing extra books.