My Name’s Heather and I’m a book hoarder……

My Name’s Heather and I’m a book hoarder……

I’m pretty sure if there was a book addiction/hoarding group then my Fiancé would send me off there with no hesitation.  I am a complete book addict, I have two full size bookcases crammed with books and a kindle which is also full.  I’ve been a complete book addict all my life, as a child I had a wardrobe that was filled with books instead of clothes and all my pocket money went on books instead of sweets and toys.

As I’ve grown older, my love of books has grown.  Books are my oldest and best friend,, they’ve been with me through all my struggles, they’ve offered me guidance, confidence and taken me to a completely different world when my reality has been tough.  As a result of my love for books, I’ve built up quite the collection, my favourites being my huge leather bound collection of classics which weigh a ton and take up a lot of space.  There is nothing better though, than looking at a bookshelf full of books and running your fingers over them, knowing that each book is filled with a different adventure.

Unfortunately my love of books has led to a huge issue with giving them up.  I’m sure most people will read a book and then lose the connection to it, it will be donated to a charity shop or thrown away.  I cannot bear to give books away, it’s like sending away a part of my heart.  I’ve gone through my collection many times and made a pile of books which I would consider giving away….and then a day later, they are all back on the bookshelf.  It would be okay if I resisted buying more books, but any chance I have to buy a book I take and then I come home and my Fiancé gives me an exasperated look and says “Where are you going to put that?”.

I tend to read multiple books at once so each night I’ll bring a different book to the sofa and read away till bed, the next night I’ll bring another book to the sofa and so on.  By the end of the week, there is a pile of books by the sofa and on the coffee table, and my Fiancé is wondering why I bother having a bookcase in the first place.

I also have a crazy OCD attitude towards my book case, my Fiancé will put books back in an attempt to tidy up and I’ll go crazy because he’s put it back in the wrong place.  I order each shelf of my bookcase and split up genres and topics so I know where to find everything and I get a little insane if people move books around.

On top of my huge collection of books, I have a kindle full and the one click buying option on Amazon will be the death of me.  My bank statements are just full of tiny amounts going out on random books I’ve downloaded and I also have an aversion to getting rid of kindle books, I keep them all in my cloud storage and can rest well knowing they are all in this invisible place waiting for me.

I am a book hoarder, a book addict and I wouldn’t change it.  Books are so underrated, so much new technology comes out these days and young people don’t want to bother with boring books when they can be playing all the latest games or chatting online.  It’s a shame because my childhood was filled with books and I’ve been on so many adventures through them, I’ve learned so much.  When I have a child of my own, I’ll treasure the times I get to read fairy tales to them and introduce them to all the fictional worlds I love, I’ll give them the same experiences I had and hope that books bring them the same support they’ve brought me.

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Books are my medication.

Books are my medication.

Sometimes my Depression gets the best of me even though I’m on medication which is meant to stabilise me.  Medication is all good when it works but I find that sometimes my mood drops for no reason and it’s up to me to fight through it with willpower.  My Doctor always told me to try and distract myself when I was feeling particularly low, and I tried a lot of ways but only one thing works for me and it’s reading.

I’ve been a bookworm since my first book at 5 years old, I’ve always had bookshelves full of books and I don’t go anywhere without a book, whether a paperback or kindle.  Books take me away from my life and give me adventure and excitement, they allow me to live so many lives and learn so many things.  I have an Alice in Wonderland tattoo dedicated to the book because it’s one of my favourites, I’ve always loved the idea of finding another world or reality and getting lost in it, I could just never understand why the characters wanted to go home again at the end.  I also have a Jane Eyre quote down my spine which reads “I am no bird and no net will ensnare me” which is one of my favourite book quotes.  Reading for me is about being free and letting go of everyday stresses for a while.

I soon realised that when my mood dropped, if I picked up a book and read it through, by the end I felt a little better and a little more hopeful.  The thing with me and reading though, is that I have to read a book in one go, there is no putting it down and picking it up the next day.  I start and finish a book in a matter of hours because I live the story and I don’t want to pause halfway, I want to live the whole thing all at once.  So I would read late into the night when my insomnia was bad and it actually helped me sleep better because I dreamt of the things I read and it was a refreshing experience for me, because I’d usually dream of disturbing things and have nightmares.

The Doctor was glad that I had found something that distracted me when I needed it but she was also a bit worried because my imagination is overactive and early on in my depression and at some points still, I can become confused between reality and imagination.  She advised me to carry on reading but to not get lost in books and try to forget my problems because it was only a short term release.  I have a habit of avoiding my problems and bottling things up until I explode and then my mood becomes unstable, with books she was afraid I was just avoiding my feelings.

I think she was right to some extent, I do avoid real problems with books.  If I’m stressed or something bad has happened that day, I’ll pick up a book and ignore the world for a while, I’ll forget to eat and drink but I’m happy and free for a few moments.  This is why books are my medication, maybe it is bad for me to get lost in imaginary worlds and ignore the real one but it makes me happy for a while and I’ll take that.  Books bring me hope and joy, they let me relax and unwind and become invested in something.  I would never give up books, reading is my life and it’s what gets me through my hardest times.

To end, enjoy some quotes from those who also believe imagination is one of the most important parts of life:

Here in your mind you have complete privacy. Here there’s no difference between what is and what could be. CHUCK PALAHNIUK, Choke

We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better. J. K. ROWLING, speech to Harvard Alumni Association, 2008

The man who has no imagination has no wings. MUHAMMAD ALI, Newsweek, 1975

Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere. Albert Einstein

Imagination is the eye of the soul. Joseph Joubert