Confessions of an OBC: Obsessive Book Collector

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more satisfying than looking at a shelf full of books you’ve read. Seeing the sheer size of your library can be the most amazing feeling: you have all of those words, and all of those worlds, inside you. Have you ever closed a book after you’re finished and let out that sigh of satisfaction? Feeling the weight in your hands of a finished book is something I love — it’s almost like holding the weight of the knowledge you’ve gained, or the fictional world you’ve experienced, in the palm of your hand.

That being said, owning books is hard. I consider myself something of a (very, very mediocre) book collector, but with my bookish habits come some kind of … stringent conditions.

I can’t own an incomplete set.
Yes, I’m looking at you, Twilight. My eighth-grade self just had to have a copy of that sparkly, vampiric goodness — and of course, I couldn’t just stop at Twilight; I had to have New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn to complete the set. And while I’m at it, I might as well read and own the accompanying novella: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. So yes, a full set of the Twilight series has found a permanent place on my shelf. (And no, I’m not ashamed; Twilight wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was certainly entertaining.)

Also, who am I kidding? The white edition of the Twilight series is freakishly pretty!

I can’t read library books … because they’re not mine. 
I’m terrified of checking a book out from the library and loving it, and then having to buy my own copy — why, you ask? Because that won’t be the copy I fell in love with, of course. (See? Totally sane. Right? … Guys?)

And to go along with this…

I don’t like owning a copy of a book I’ve read that isn’t the copy I read.
Sure, I’ll take advantage of a nice, wrinkle-free copy of The Lovely Bones or Life of Pi that I might find in Goodwill for 99 cents, but I don’t have to be happy about it! For me, the copy of that book that I first fell in love with will always top a good deal at a second-hand store. If anyone knows a cure for this, my bank account will thank you.

I hate reading books on Kindle.
This is perhaps the worst of my quirks (and one that desperately needs to change), because it means I end up spending money on books waaaay too often. I can’t help it — I’d rather have a hard copy in my hands than the Kindle version. Maybe I’m cursed, but it seems like every book I read on Kindle ends up being terrible. So instead, I take my chances and purchase that expensive hardcover. Or if my wallet is hurting, I’ll go for the paperback. Look, I’m not that picky.

However, I’m not crazy enough to pass up a good deal on Kindle Unlimited, or my new favorite, BookBub. I recently discovered this site and it’s awesome; they send you an email every day with the latest awesome ebook deals (for Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and more). And the best part is, some of these books are totally free. Go ahead, squeal. I know I did.

Although I would love to have one of these color-coded shelves…

Who am I kidding — I just can’t do it. Organizing your books based on color means that the series aren’t together! It’s blasphemy, I tell you! Perhaps the worst part is that some book series would be together and others would be separated.Ugh. My soul hurts just thinking of it.

Off with the jacket!
I tend to take my books with me when I travel — whether that be to my job or to the grocery store or to Florida. Either way, my current reads are always on the move. And that means some wear and tear. The last thing I’d want to befall my gorgeous hardback is a ripped, bent, or mangled dust jacket. I always take them off while I’m reading and keep them in a safe spot. Plus, this keeps the dust jacket safe from my cat, Rosie, who likes to devour any sources of paper in her path.

I’m scared to death of lending out my books.
When I own a book, it’s like a child to me. I keep that little dude in pristine condition: I make sure he’s dust free, I surround him with friends of equal size and color, I make sure my dingus of a cat can’t get to him and start chewing on his delicate midsection… So when I lend out books to my friends and they lose them (*collective gasp*), that’s like a personal blow.

Now I don’t want to be that girl, but a few years ago I lent out my first copy of A Game of ThronesMY FIRST COPY. Horror story time: my friend misplaced it. And though I’ve repeatedly asked her to look for it throughout the years, I now have an incomplete set, and my original copy of AGoT is out there somewhere, crying for its mother…

All of my books have to be the same cover design and cover type. 
I can’t have one book as a hardcover and the sequel as a paperback. Even worse, I can’t stand having one book with the original artwork and another with the crappy movie adaptation image on it (ahem, The Lightning Thief). I also can’t stand it when the design on the spines look different.

Perhaps the worst thing I’ve encountered lately is when I finished reading an old paperback of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve had that copy lying around since high school, and if there’s one thing that book has going for it, it’s beautiful cover art. When I finished the first book, I went on a scouting mission for the second book. But the only paperbacks I could find had a NEW COVER DESIGN. And I physically could not do it. Because then my babies wouldn’t match and look pretty on my shelf!

Go on, say it: #firstworldproblems. I know, and I have the good grace to be ashamed.



And now for a quirk that it seems like a lot of readers don’t have:

I love marking up books.
I love bending the spines of paperbacks and highlighting lines that move me. When a book is sitting on a shelf and I see cracks in the spine, all I can think is, “I’ve been there. Those are my footsteps.”


I’m not opposed to dog-earing.
In fact, I do it whenever I have a page I want to come back to, even if I have a bookmark on hand.



Phew! Got that off my chest.

What about you? Do you have any weird, bookish confessions? Don’t worry, we’re all mad here. Tell me about it in the comments below!


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