This picture is of my dining room and the piles of books that Brooke and I were unpacking.
Keep in mind, this is only a small portion of our collected books. My academic books, more than half of our collection, were already moved up to my office (in which I have several similar stacks of unshelved books as I write this). These stacks also do not include the nine boxes of books that we have decided to put away for the time being, not being worthy of any sort of display or availability.
So, how many books are too many? A question Brooke and I kept asking ourselves as we were unpacking, stacking, sorting, and shelving our large collection. I used to think, with regard to books, the more the merrier. But things have changed. First of all, moving these books across country (from Texas to North Carolina) will make anyone think twice. First you have to pack the books, then you have to load the heavy boxes, then unload the heavy boxes. Finally, you have to unpack, sort, and find room to shelve the books. As Brooke and I sorted the books on Sunday, we cringed several times. We love most of our books, but then there are those that we look at and say, "What was I thinking when I bought that book?" Or, "Who gave us that?"
The second thing that has changed is the advent of the Kindle (or similar device) and a good selection of eBooks. Brooke and I have almost completely switched to eBooks for our everyday reading. From now on, if the book is available as an eBook, we will buy it as such. We both love to read the eBooks on our iPads. The convenience is great, the format is great, being able to carry entire libraries in one device is great. I have a feeling our physical book library will not get any larger, in fact, I hope it will shrink. Here's to the digital library.