FIR ’11: Reading Question #4

I loved reading all the answers to last week’s question! Even though I’m definitely a “gadget girl,” I can still related to those of you who have a passion strictly for physical books. (This week’s reading question will make it clear that I can never give up good ol’ bound books.) And I found it fascinating to read about all the different ways you all enjoy your e-books! Love the variety in this Fall Into Reading group!

Now for this week’s question…

How large is your personal/family collection of books? And where do you keep them?

This question is weighing heavily on my mind these days. And I mean “weighing” in more ways than one. We just moved to a new house (as in, yesterday) and in the process, I had to pack up boxes and boxes and boxes of books. I have yet to unpack them — that task still lies before me. And I’m extra-grateful to my husband, who moved all those boxes of books for me.

The bottom line is: I have no idea how many books we have. I suppose I could have counted them during this moving process, but that didn’t happen. I do know that my husband and I share about 6 regular bookshelf units (and by “share,” I mean I take up most of them with my books). There is a bookshelf in each of our sons’ rooms as well.

And we have every shelf packed with books. I will also admit that there are a couple (but honestly, only about 2-3) boxes of books that live in storage, because I ran out of room.

Some of the books we keep are old classics, passed down from family members. Some are college textbooks (hint: these are not mine). Many are reference and nonfiction. Some are fiction. Most have been read; some have yet to be read. Many will stay; some will be passed on to others or will make a one-way trip to HalfPrice Books.

So the answer to this week’s question for me is: a lot. Possibly too many. I promise I go through them regularly, attempting to weed out ones I’m ready to part with. But the truth is…I’m rarely ready to part with books.

So how about you? What is the book collection like at your house?



  1. At least one bookcase in EVERY room except the bathrooms (bad place to store books, so they are carried in one by one!) The craft/kitchen area has a 6 foot, 5 shelf bookcase. The den has an entertainment center with books, stacks on the hearth (these need to move soon!) and generally several books on the various tables around the room. The bonus room has an glass fronted bookcase that belonged to my grandparents and now house most of my children’s lit collection. The living room has 3 bookcases which house mostly dh’s books and the remainder of the children’s lit, and some collectible books (not for money value, but just because I love them). Our bedroom has twice the bookcase space in the craft/kitchen — one for each of us. Dd has 3 bookcases in her room. Ds is the only one with just a couple of shelves in his room. He doesn’t like to read for leisure, but even he has a few books he can’t/won’t part with. Oh yeah, and then there’s the box of Christmas books that come out during the holidays and the kids books that we’ve put in boxes for them to share with their own children some day.

    Remember, I’m the one who encourages the use of the library! LOL!

  2. My own personal collection is relatively small….NOW. Since I’m not a big re-reader, I don’t hang on to books. Our librarly has a used book sale every year, they receive a lot of my old books and we have had few yard sales that have consisted mostly of books. I have two shelves in our living room that have some hard cover “classic” books (designed to make me look smart when we have guests, haha) and there are two large floor to ceiling shelves in our office that contain our reference books, mostly things like field guide to mushrooms, birds, etc, Idiots Guides to just about everything, and a few old college text books. My children, however, oye…I can safely say, including bathrooms and the laundry room, there isn’t a room in our house that doesn’t have at least one children’s book in it. I have no ability whatsoever to say no to my children when it comes to books and they take advantage of this. That darn used book sale at the library…most of the kids books are $0.05 and $0.10…and my kids will still manage to spend $20. They have one large book shelf, 8 shelves, floor to ceiling, filled to the point that the shelves are bowing. They each have at least one of the cubbies on their bed filled with their “current reading”. I can think of at least 10 utility baskets that are full of board and activity books, located throughout the house. There are probably more. I think they breed. Stephen’s Kindergarten teacher has mandated 20 minutes of reading daily, so, I have set out to actually read each and every single book that they own. Kindergarten may need to last several years….

  3. My personal book collection is two buckling bookshelves – one in the living room and one in the family room: approximately 250 fiction and 150 non-fiction.
    My oldest daughter’s (11) collection: 2 buckling bookshelves in her room plus various and assorted stray books on her desk – over 400 total (mostly chapter books with some non-fiction and biographies thrown in)
    My youngest daughter’s (5) collection: 1 buckling bookshelf in the family room – mostly older sisters leftovers and some mom has added – close to 250 for her.
    My mother (who lives in another state) also has probably around 50-75 books from my collection as well.

    We use the library a lot as well, and I definitely frequent the twice-a-year local library book sales (ours is running this week *g*). I’m like Liz…I can’t say no to my kids when it comes to books.

  4. Wow. A lot of bookworms here :) I’m glad I’m not alone, especially as I’m a reader who has overtaken my parents in terms of book possession. My full answer is here if you’d like a look :)
    Claire´s last post ..Fall into Reading – Question 4My Profile

  5. My short answer is a lot. To see my full answer click here – I even included some pictures!

  6. Our home library is huge it takes up bookshelves, closets and every space you can place a book. but I wouldn’t change it for the world and I still buy books when ever I find one I want to add to the home library.
    Peace Love Rainbows and rainbowns´s last post ..Leaf tracing art and Investigating Why Leaves Change Their ColorsMy Profile

  7. We have far too many books in our house! Many of them are old books I haven’t read in years but hold onto for some reason. Here’s more detail and pictures:
    Julie @ MyBookRetreat´s last post ..Fall Into Reading: Our Collection of BooksMy Profile

  8. You can never have too many books :P

    My husband and I don’t allow ourselves to go to the bookstore very often because we rarely get out with less than $100 worth of books. It’s like crack to us. And then I just end up getting books for the kids. They are bookaholics too!

    Here’s my full answer :)

  9. Oh, how good it is to be in the company of like-minded people who also think that you can never have too many books!

    I have one very nice glass-fronted bookcase in my living room that my husband built for me as a wedding present. That’s where I keep my “showpiece” books. That doesn’t mean I haven’t read them; it just means i like to show them off! In my library/computer room/study I have two huge bookcases of cheap particle-board, but they look nice and they hold an enormous amount of books. My son has a smaller, cheaper bookcase in his room that is falling apart. I would say I have around 300-400 books and my son has about 200, including all his books from when he was really little. Whew! It’s a relief to admit that and know that I’m not weird.

  10. Great question! Answer… way too many. Just answering this question on my blog made my realize that my book collection is starting to get ridiculous!! lol
    Jen E @ mommablogsalot´s last post ..FIR ’11 Question: How many books do you own?My Profile

  11. My book collection mainly is in our house on book shelves and various shelves in the house, but we also have 6 boxes of books that are sitting in the shed, some are double ups that me and Mr C shared in common when we combined our collections others have just not been unpacked since our last move for lack of space. We also might be facing a house move and the thought of packing and unpacking all those books in daunting not to mention hauling those heavy boxes in and out of trucks. I have actually taken to borrowing books from the library due to the lack of space. I put off joining a library for a very long time, I like to own the books I read not that I do much re reading but I like to have them, books make a house feel homely but budgets and space signed me up to the library and for craft books it’s great for books i really want to read they always seem to be out and have a huge waiting list so joining the library has slowed my own library growing. Oh I feel i have wandered off topic lol I do so love books xx

  12. Oh, wow. Quick answer…LOTS of books and all over the house!! Check out my post for the details – I kept thinking I was finished and then thinking of yet another bookcase somewhere in the house.

    Maybe I should join Books Anonymous…


  13. I have a LOT of books too. In our old house we had two huge bookcases FULL of books {this included technical books and such of my husband’s}. When we moved, we didn’t have a place for those bookcases. So… We moved a lot of my hubby’s books to his office, I pared down my collection, some are in boxes {old Bible study books and such}. The rest are on and under a “book table” in my room until my hubby builds me a shelf for my closet {I have a huge closet}. I’ve tried to get better about moving books along if I don’t think I’ll revisit them. I love for swapping books! My kids also have books in their rooms, and I have a book basket in the family room for more of their books.
    Jenna´s last post ..Wreath Week: Leaf Wreath {With Book Pages}My Profile

  14. I’ve always dreamed of having a home that contained a floor to ceiling library. But alas, that ain’t happening. My hubby has allowed me a wall of 3 bookshelves in the family room downstairs. It’s getting pretty full. My daughter has a smaller bookshelf in her room but whether it’s filling with books or other stuff is debatable. And my To Be Read Books are in a basket in the bottom of my closet.

  15. We had over 25 boxes of books (mine and my girls’) and my husband’s pro-gear included about 15 boxes of books, in our most recent move. I traded and sold around 200 books last year, so we really downsized a LOT!

    I have bookshelves in my office and downstairs; hubby’s books are in his office, whereas last year they were in our house.

  16. I answered both this week’s and last week’s questions today on my blog. Here’s a direct link.

  17. My husband built me a wall of bookshelves. They are completely filled. At last count I had 469 books. I have an antique cabinet that holds 34 more books plus 38 of my grand-daughter’s books. A bookcase in my mother’s room where I store books on two shelves of books. A cabinet in the livingroom with 122 picture books for grandkids. Every closet shelf (3) are full of my books. There there are the books I store in my classroom at school. When read them at home I take those appropriate for my students to school. At the beginning of the year I had over 1200. They jokingly call it “The Other Library” . I use a program called readerware and the last edition of books said my personal collectionconsisted 2857 books total. I have a few stashed here and there around the house. Sometimes I come across a book I didn’t know I had. I found a box the other day and a basket full of books. I’m not sure how many books I have any more.

  18. My personal book collection is somewhere between 200 and 300; not sure of the precise number. I have at least 3 bookshelves full of books with a smattering of books located in my bedroom.

    Here is my latest Fall into Reading update:

  19. I’m not really sure how big my collection is. It’s scattered throughout three floors and occupies several bookshelves. heh. And I may or may not have a few PILES of books growing on my desk. Maybe.

  20. Over 500 books easily… And they keep growing! :)
    Although I am now able to give away a few I definitely know I won’t reread.

  21. Well, I have 250 plus books listed in my Goodreads accounts, and easily have that many more than I have already read. Since husband probably has several hundred more (he has read a larger percentage of his that I have), it’s no wonder that we have bookcases in three separate locations in our house – the upstairs “library”, the living/music room and in the family room. Oh wait, I forgot about the entire Agatha Christie collection we have tucked away in a cabinet in the foyer. And even with all those spots, there are still several boxes of books that I need find homes for, half of which are childrens’ books – can’t decide how many I need to keep for the grandchildren I hope to eventually read stories. My husband has dreamed of a room that has bookshelves on all walls from floor to ceiling – and although I don’t think we could fill that up quite yet, we are well on our way.

  22. We have an average size famil book collection. The books are in the rooms of the people who read them the most. We even have cookbooks stored in teh kicthen.

  23. HEY! I finally found question 4. : ) Serves me right for not staying current. Hee hee! However, I’ll just claim to have been buried under a pile of books and then that will get me off the hook, right? Here’s my blog about your post.
    Thanks, and blessings, ~Kristy~


  1. [...] part of the Fall into Reading challenge hosted by Kat @ Callapidder Days, Kat will be asking a weekly reading questionfor us to answer at our blogs. Because what’s better than reading a great book? Talking about [...]

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