So, while I was packing to move, a number of people asked me how many books I owned. I had no idea, as I'd never counted before. A few friends wondered if I had 1,000. A girl I work with has 2,400-plus. I knew I wasn't to that level, but I figured a few hundred wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility.
Now, when I moved into my old apartment six-odd years ago, I came in with 14 boxes of books. And over those six years, I accumulated more. Some of them I knew I'd be able to part with: books I read but couldn't recall what they were about when I picked them up, several books I found I actually owned a duplicate of (somehow I'd managed to acquire two copies of Alison Weir's "The Life of Elizabeth I") or random thrillers my dad had passed along to me that really aren't my speed. Ultimately, I donated 165 of them.
Some of the first things I packed were books: they're easy to toss into a box and you don't have to worry about adding any kind of packing materials to make sure nothing is damaged. In the week before I moved all the big stuff, I brought several car loads over to my new place and stowed them in the garage. My roommate, Pam, kept asking how many more there were, although, a reader herself, she was excited to have some more reading options at her disposal. Ultimately, the majority of boxes I picked up at local liquor stores wound up filled with books. In fact, by the time I was done, I had 26 boxes of books that came with me to my new place.
I make no secret of the fact that I daydream/long for a home with built-in bookshelves, or an entire room turned into a library, preferably. I do have one smaller book case next to my desk, but it's only three-shelved and two feet wide. There's a legal sized bookcase in the living room and that small plastic bin filled with to-be-reads currently lounging under my bed. But I needed a place to store lots, so last weekend, with the help of several (awesome) friends, six pine shelves were installed on one of my bedroom walls. This weekend, I stained them a lovely darker color. Today, I filled them. And they are things of beauty. I just keep looking over at them and grinning like a Cheshire cat, hoping, too, that gravity and the weight of my books won't somehow send them crashing down. They are truly loaded with books, 467 all told (counting those on a "shelf" I created on the floor beneath the shelf lowest to the ground).
Anyway, since all my books are now shelved. I counted everything. Grand total: 758, including cookbooks and my school yearbooks. If I hadn't parted with those 165, I'd have had 923, so still under 1K, but it's a completely respectable number, I think. And that doesn't mean that I won't eventually acquire more. There is still a little bit of space on the top shelf for additions. :)