Is there such a thing as too many books? My husband thinks so. Mainly because he has moved them twice now. The last time being six months ago. My dad thought so too. He worried about my having so many books. ‘What are you going to do with all those books anyway?’ He would be horrified to see my collection now. He’s been gone sixteen years and my library has grown a bit.
I knew I had a tremendous number of volumes, probably more than I will ever be able to read in my lifetime. I had even guessed at the number when friends would ask how many there were. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I had an exact count.
My mom, and two sisters, along with nieces and nephews spent the day at my house Monday. In the midst of all the talking and lunch preparations I noticed my great-niece, Hannah, in the library “browsing” each shelf. I assumed she was looking for something to read or just reading titles to see what I had. An hour or so later, Hannah came to me and said, “Aunt Vickie, I counted all of your books. You have 3,863 books.” I heard a few surprised comments and some laughter but I wasn’t surprised. Her actual figure was close to what I had jokingly told people I had when they asked. My husband wasn’t surprised either. He’s had to haul them around recently. But I can just hear what my dad would say, “that’s too many books. You need to get rid of some of them.”
Too many books? Maybe for some people. My friend, Jeanne, wouldn’t think so. She has a huge library too. And I justify my collection with the fact that my friend, Durren, has twice as many as I do. I do pass books along to others sometimes but I can’t imagine a house without books. They’re like good friends that you want to spend time with. And you hate the idea of those friends departing. Don’t you hate goodbyes? I do. The only thing better than being surrounded by good friends is finding new ones. And speaking of that . . . here comes the mailman. Guess what he’s carrying in his hand. Yep, that’s right. Another book.