They put them in their houses like they’re trophies

By , January 12, 2008 5:19 pm

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.

10 Responses to “They put them in their houses like they’re trophies”

  1. Jenniy says:

    I rarely keep books. I buy them cheap, usually used on Ebay and then give them to my mom, who gives them to my Grandpa, who gives them to his local library when he’s done with them. Occassionally I’ll love one so much that I note on it to return to me, but that’s very rare. I do, however, have a few books that I’ve read a dozen or more times.

  2. kilax says:

    Jenniy – that sounds like A LOT better idea than what I am doing at the moment – collecting masses of them! Maybe I should look for a book exchange program.

  3. Felicia says:

    oh gosh I have over 300 books and they are not on a shelf, they are in boxes, on dressers, and just scattered all over the place. I do sometimes read them twice (I know it is silly), have a lot of self-help books, some reference books, some biographies, ect. I don’t know what it is about books….maybe I like the smell of them 🙂 But I am one of those bookie people too 🙂

  4. kilax says:

    Felicia – I am afraid we are in the same boat 😉 A lot of my books are reference and self help (and travel!) too, so I think, “why not collect them?” Maybe we should check in on each other every once in a while to make sure we are not going overboard 😉

  5. Lisa says:

    The only ones I pitch are the paperbacks. All the hard covers stay on the shelves, and about 98% of them never get read again.

  6. Hilly says:

    I never read them again, unless they are the classics.

    When I was single, I participated in this charitable book program and never kept any of them just sitting around but Shawn…sigh…is a pack rat.

  7. diane says:

    I’m the same way, but admittedly, every now and then I’ll pick up an old book and read it again. I also like to own so many of my favorites so that I can loan them to people who have never read them. It makes me feel really awesome that I can share something that means a lot to me that someone else may not have ever been exposed to!
    I guess it is the English student in me but eventually I would like to have a house big enough to contain a library. 🙂

  8. kilax says:

    Lisa – Does your son have a lot of books too? I still have TONS at my parent’s house!

    Hilly – Steven and I try to purge everything we don’t need, but we seem to both hold on to books for no good reason.

    diane – Don’t tempt me! I would love to have a huge library too! I like to lend books, but it seems like people never read them 🙁

  9. kapgar says:

    Why do you think I’ve had my big book sale on the blog before? The ones that didn’t sell got donated. I’m probably going through them again soon to purge a bunch more. But there are some I will keep regardless. They were that good that I will loan them to friends to turn them into fans.

  10. kilax says:

    kapgar – I was actually thinking about you when I wrote this post. Did you have a hard time getting rid of them?

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