In the Seinfeld episode “The Ex-Girlfriend,” George breaks up with his girlfriend, then later asks Jerry if he will go to the girlfriend’s house to pick up some books he left there. Jerry doesn’t understand why George even wants the books back. And when he asks George, his response is, “because they’re books!”
Jerry replies, “What is this obsession people have with books? They put them in their houses like they’re trophies. What do you need it for after you read it?”
That quote really made me think… because I am the same way! We have a wall of books in our house. I would hate to think of getting rid of them! And I’ll admit, I do like they way they look.
But unless it is a reference book, how many times will you really use it after you read it once? A lot of our books are reference, but I also have a collection of “once-read” novels. I have a collection of “never-read” novels too!
Also, books become dated fast. Not only the content inside, but their cover and jacket start to look dated over the years as well.
But having this realization probably won’t stop me from buying more books. Maybe I will just try to make a goal of borrowing novels from the library, and only buying reference and non-fiction books.