Friday Coffee Chat (8) – Are you a bibliomaniac?

Are you a bibliomaniac?

We’re back! Last week, Jennifer from Girls Gone Reading had a special edition of Friday Coffee Chat where she wrote about books that helped her through some very hard times. It was a really inspirational post that had us all talking about some of the books that have helped us through hard times. So this week, we’re looking at the lighter side of some of our *ahem* buying habits. Jennifer is writing about bookstores that fail for her side of the Friday Coffee Chat so make sure you check out her blog as well!
**Note to booksellers and authors: I promise that the fourteen of us participating in A Girl Reads a Book's September Buying Ban will not break the bank. We'll make sure to get back to our buying habits (although hopefully somewhat restrained) in October!


You know how some friends have these crazy collections of things that you privately shake your head to? You know, the friend who has a craft collection that makes Hobby Lobby look like a mom and pop store, or how about the friend that has a shoe collection that could rival Ymelda Marcos’ closets of shoes? Well, recently on Twitter a bunch of us book bloggers have admitted that we have our own “collections” that others might think we are crazy to have.

I’ve asked two bloggers with sizeable collections to write up a short blurb about their TBR list of books they own. We’ve been laughing about our ridiculous collections that we can almost never hope to significantly reduce because let’s face it…we book bloggers LOVE books! However, our TBR Lists are so out of control that Bella from A Girl Reads a Book has promised to lock herself (and anyone who will join her) in her TARDIS for the month of September and not buy any books to give our poor neglected shelves full of unread books some much needed attention. I mean, I’m sure authors like us to buy their books, but I think they probably would love it if we actually read them!

Image taken from

Did you know that bibliomania is a real thing? According to, it is "A type of obsessive compulsive disorder where the patient compulsively collects books. The books bought are generally not even looked [at] but are simply bought and hoarded." Are any of us that bad? I'm thinking "no", but we might have bibliophilia which according to means, "A lover of books especially for qualities of format; also: a book collector".

A more modern term for bibliomania could be book hoarding (this is in my complete unprofessional opinion of course). It seems like many a book blogger has at the very least a mild book hoarding problem. Don't all those books looks super pretty sitting on our shelves?

We have to think about those authors and booksellers too who are just trying to make a living for goodness sake! We can't let them go hungry!

But at what point are our acquisitions too much? Fiona from The Book Coop says:
“I don’t want to get to the age of 80 and look at my shelves and still see 400 odd books on my shelves and regret that I could never have read them all. It’s this that drives me on. Firstly the space issue and secondly the fact that I own more books then I’ve read. So far, of all the books I can remember well enough to say I have read, there is 321.”
Bella from A Girl Reads a Book says:
“One day you are cruising along, happy as Larry with a few books, and then before you know it you've got 2,000+ books and you're being called a book hoarder. Well that is how it happened to me. I swear I woke up one morning and I suddenly had over 2,700 books.”
Read Fiona and Bella’s stories about their TBR Lists by clicking here (my story is there too).
You DEFINITELY want to read their stories because they are both quite fun and entertaining. These ladies are two of my favorite bloggers and I love the honesty and the ability to make a little fun of themselves in their posts.

So my questions to you readers this week are:

  • Are you a compulsive book buyer? Do you have to buy right away, or do you keep a wishlist and only purchase when you have space on your shelves?
  • Do you think it is ethical to go on a formal book buying ban for a set amount of time?
  • At what point do you cut your losses and just give books that have been sitting unread away to charity, friends, etc.?
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