Flights of Fancy | Book Obsessive?

Am I Book Obsessive?
Or, am I Normal?


I was riding in the car with my husband, Mr. Birdie, this past weekend, he was listening to music and I was reading.  I thought it was peaceful, but I guess he was feeling lonely because he made a joke about how my reading in the car leaves him without anyone to talk to.  I put my book down and asked him if my love of reading is something that drives him crazy, or if it’s something he secretly loves about me.  I swear it wasn’t a loaded question, I was honestly just curious.  I wouldn’t read less in general, because I am who I am and we’ve been together since I was 16 so he must not hate it that much, but I would be willing to put the book away on car rides if he really wanted me to.  (He’d probably regret it.  I’m a panicky mess on the highway.  Anxiety galore.  Reading helps.)

I was curious for his opinion mainly because my husband isn’t a reader.  He’s read a handful of books, but he doesn’t get the same level of enjoyment out of it as I do.  He’s one of those instant gratification kinda guys who’d rather they just make a movie.  That’s fine, most of the time, when I don’t think about it too hard.  (Just kidding!  He knows I love him!)  It does mean that we don’t often come together on the merits of reading, so I was pleasantly surprised when he said he likes that I’m a reader.  It’s something that he’s always liked about me.  Awww, right?  I know.  🙂


He did end his sweet words with, ‘most of the time’.  He said that he does find it frustrating when one of my books is damaged or lost and I need to spend more money to rebuy it.  In his head, I’ve already read it so why do I need to spend more money on replacing something that’s just going to sit on a shelf and collect dust.  Do I really have to pay another $20 for a hardcover book that I may or may not read at some later obscure time?  My answer was an emphatic yes!  When something happens to my beloved books, I must replace them even if they are just sitting on a shelf untouched.  I just struggled with finding the words to explain why.  How do you explain to someone who doesn’t understand how much a story meant to you?

Even when I tried to find a comparison, his love to mine, nothing seemed to fit right.  The things in our home that he loves are things that he physically uses daily, so to him they are worth replacing.  A book, one that I read 2 years ago, doesn’t rank very high in his mind.  I understand his logic, but you can’t usually use logic on love.  To me, no matter how old the book is, if it’s on my shelf then it left it’s mark inside me the same way a family picture would.  The characters mean something to me, and I like to know that at any point I can pick up that book and revisit them.

Perhaps it’s because I don’t own every book I’ve ever read in print.  I tend to read on my IMG_20170724_201223_894.jpgKindle and then if I love a book I buy it in print for my shelf.  When I do spontaneously buy a book in print and I don’t love it, I pass it on or donate it.  What that means is nearly every single book I own is special to me.  When one is missing from my shelf, I don’t put another book in it’s place.  I leave a hole there until it comes back home.  I let that hole remind me that one of my most prized possessions is missing.  If I’m going to give into the dramatics, it’s the physical representation of the hole in my heart.  I’m sure most of you understand.

I think that’s the nail on the head, actually.  They are my most prized possessions.  If there was ever a fire in my home, I wouldn’t hesitate to get my daughter and our animals out of the house.  They aren’t possessions, they are all family.  After that, I would be running from bookshelf to bookshelf trying to save my favorite reads, because out of everything I own they are the one thing -well more like 300 things- I care most about.  They helped build me into who I am today, and most of the time I like me.

And that is why I’m willing to pay to replace books I’ve lost.  Do you think he’ll ever understand?  Do you?

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

36 Responses

  1. No. He won’t understand unless he finds something that he loves as much as you love books. I speak from experience!
    That’s so funny about reading in the car. Every time I get in the car as a passenger I want to read. I don’t have to pay attention so it’s perfect! But my husband gets lonely so I have to reserve it for long drives and only in intervals 😐


  2. My husband and I are so similar to you guys. He doesn’t really read, but he likes that I’m a reader – I guess if I’m reading, I’m not nagging! I try not to spend too much money on books, but if I see that he’s buying something for one of his hobbies, I feel justified in spending some money on books. And I would replace a book that had been lost or destroyed!


  3. I find it so fascinating to be taken out of the book-centric mindset. My best friend loves makeup and she’ll spend extreme amounts on it, and I’m like, “That’s such a waste!!” because I’m not into makeup, and also, it’s going to get used up and…go away, but things like BOOKS last forever. But I know that she loves makeup like I love books, so it makes me check myself when I feel like people waste their money on things. I KNOW most people would probably think I’m crazy for how much money I spend on books, lol, but it’s entirely worth it to me. Just the other day someone said “Reading and writing will probably be obsolete soon” and I was like WHAT, but then I had to remind myself that this person doesn’t spend their life in books in writing like I do, so perhaps its easier to see things that way.

    Also, a fire destroying all my books would be the most devastating thing ever. I cringe to think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know right!! We read every day, even for minor things. I could have probably written a 10 page argument to that guy’s statement but instead I just said “I think reading and writing are still pretty important.” We talked about video taking over, but even then that’s just another form of media for storytelling, and it’s extremely different from writing. Books aren’t the only kind of stories I consume but I get a certain pleasure from them that I don’t get through anything else!

        Ahhh, that makes sense. That also does make it more difficult. Maybe….food? Hahah, but even then I know people who don’t love food, and that is a bit of a stretch.


  4. I probably wouldn’t read while I was in the car with someone else.

    I don’t have the same attachment to physical books. I have been buying them recently because I miss reading them, but I am more attached to the story than the actual book itself.

    Great post! 🙂


  5. thebrunettebookwormblog

    I think only readers can actually understand the love of owning physical books. Even if I don’t plan to re-read a book, if I’ve loved it, I still want to own it. Because it means something to me. And, they look beautiful sitting on the shelves.

    I can’t imagine living in a home without over flowing bookshelves. Because reading is so important to me and I’m the most comfortable when I’m surrounded by books. They just feel like home. ❤


      1. thebrunettebookwormblog

        Absolutely! I think looking at someone else’s bookshelf is a little like getting a peek inside their heads.


  6. 1. I’m so jealous that you can read in the car without feeling sick. If I so much as read too many billboards during car rides it makes me queasy. Audiobooks for me in the car!

    2. Your book collection makes total sense to me. I mean, it is just that. A collection. Collectors may not use what they collect daily, however, the items bring them joy with their presence.

    I’m the same way with ebooks or audiobooks, if I love it, I need a hard copy. If I get a hard copy of a book and don’t love it, it gets donated. My shelves are reserved only for books I haven’t read yet and books I love.

    Lovely post ❤


  7. Awww how sweet ❤ But yeah, sometimes logic just doesn't apply. It doesn't matter what's logical if you just love something! He probably won't ever understand your need to replace the books you love like that, but it's a good thing we don't need to understand everything about a person to love them! I can't read in the car though, I get motion sickness :-/


  8. Oh wow, this is one of the most relatable posts I’ve ever read. It could literally be me and my husband. He understands my passion for books to a degree and I’m of course always one to remind him that there are far more frivolous things I could spend be spending our money on. I’m totally with you on saving books if there were ever to be a fire. It probably sounds crazy but I’ve played out that scenario in my head, thinking about which books would be the hardest to replace, etc.


  9. mia

    awwww this is so cute! gosh i missed your blog (i haven’t been bookblogging for a while and now i’m back!) also, how do you donate books? i’ve always wanted to do that. ❤
    x. mia


  10. I agree, it’s difficult trying to explain your love for books to someone who doesn’t especially read a lot. I currently live with my grandparents and they’ve decided to sell up and move house. As a result, they’ve been getting at me about my bookshelves and the sheer volume of books lining them. They keep saying things like “You could sell them on eBay” or “You could give them to a charity shop” and it’s like, no! They’re there for a reason. They’re there because I have enjoyed them. Some of those books have shaped me with the ideas contained within them and selling them or giving them away would be akin to parting with a piece of my soul.
    A physical book for me is kind of symbolic in a way a book on an e-reader can never be. Open the front cover feels like opening a door to another world and it’s an exhilarating feeling that has never diminished for me. That’s why I keep all my favourite books as paperbacks!


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