My name is Nathalie Foy, and I am a book addict. Also, a stationery addict. Also, I buy too many pens. I may be developing a similar habit with perfume; the jury’s still out on that one.
I willingly admit to buying way too much of what I have listed above, but in no way will I cop to the label “hoarder” or call what I have “clutter.” It’s precious. I have these absurdly abundant collections of things because they are a passion, not a problem. It’s true that the sun will burn itself out before I have occasion to write a note in each of the thank you notes I have collected, but that’s ok with me. I like to have a selection to choose from, and as long as stationery designers and etsy are still in business, I will keep adding to my collection.
It’s true that I will probably not get around to reading every single one of the books I have bought and that have piled up on my TBR shelf, and some of them (a very rare few, because I do read reviews and do my research before buying a book) will be duds that I give away after reading. However, the books I read get marked up and annotated and they bear the trace of my having enjoyed them. I have a terrible memory, so the marks I leave behind serve as an external hard drive. You can’t do that to a library book, and I’m terrible about returning them on time, anyway. I gobble my books, but the wonderful thing about gobbling books is that they survive the process and go on to live long and happy lives on a new shelf, in alphabetical order, so that I can easily find them again. And I do go looking for them again.
True story: I gave away a set of books once. All of the books from my Old English class in graduate school and some Middle English books from undergrad. I tossed the notes, too. I felt assured that I would never, ever in my life need to look at those books and notes again. Along came my kids who developed an interest in Beowulf and King Arthur and The Hobbit, which draws heavily on Old and Middle English, and where, oh where, were those books? The collections of Old English riddles that I translated? My notes on the Arthurian matter and where history and legend meet? Gone, and I have regretted it for years.
Of course, I could have gone to a library for everything that I wanted, but I wanted my own books, with my notes and my marginalia. My memory.
I don’t have a lot of patience for clutter or disorder. A place for everything, and everything in its place. I work to make that true for
90 80 70 percent of the house . There are towering piles of books all over our house, but I look at them with nothing but fondness. I enjoy putting order into the piles and sorting and shelving and relishing all the delights past and still to come.