As anyone who has seen my Goodreads or Kindle analysis posts knows, I read a lot. Once I had a bit of space at home, I started collecting books I’d read in the past, and reading physical books more. Here’s a summary of my collection in 2022, along with a little bit of analysis!
Later this year I’ll write about why and how I collect, this post is just the baseline what has been collected.
Without any further ado, here’s my poor overloaded living room bookcases:
I’ve added some basic colour coding to (attempt to) prove it isn’t just a chaotic mess:
- Red: Hardback fiction (except bottom-right square, “unread books”)
- Yellow: Hardback non-fiction (except bottom-left square, “comics”)
- Blue: Paperback fiction (except top-left square on the right, “novelty”)
- Green: Paperback non-fiction
|Hardcover||Paperback||Comics / Novelty||Total|
There are an additional 31 books in the “unread” square, giving a total of 596 owned books (403 fiction + 162 non-fiction + 31 unread)!
My Goodreads “owned” shelf only has 569 books, so 27 books aren’t accurately recorded, oops! I suspect almost all of these are books without a Goodreads page (e.g. local guidebooks, books from friends), or a difference in listing (e.g. a set listed as 1 book, but I counted the physical books individually), although undoubtedly there’s a few mistakes.
With hardcover books generally costing ~2-3x as much as paperback, the vast majority of my books are paperback. However, it is interesting that this split only applies to fiction, I assume this is because I tend to only buy hardcover books I really like, and liking a mixture of fiction and non-fiction is expected.
The third category might require a bit of explanation… This includes things like Tintin, webcomics, trivia books, and other books that despite being paperback or hardcover, aren’t traditional books.
Since I read fiction exclusively for years on my Kindle (and then purchased physical copies), it’s unsurprising that I’ve got ~2.5x as many fiction books. Most of these are science fiction from before I spread out my interests a bit (I ran out of golden age scifi!), and I suspect my recent reading is fairly evenly split.
This is probably the factor that distinguishes my collection from most! Almost all of my books are second hand, and from charity shops. I’ll eventually write a proper post about how I collect books, but needless to say paying £1-2 per book has made this collection far more affordable.
For hardcover or paperback books, around 80-90% of books are preowned. The new ones are generally gifts from others, for example 13 of my 18 new paperback fiction books are gifted Isaac Asimov Foundation & Robots series. This also explains why comic / novelty books are almost entirely new, as these are usually gifts from friends or family.
- When I first moved in, I had 1 small black bookcase, and plenty of space in it.
- This slowly filled up, and I replaced it with a larger white bookcase.
- Aug ‘19: This then filled up, and I purchased a tall DVD tower bookcase that just about fit in a gap, and was flexible enough to also display LEGO etc.
- Sep ‘19: These filled up, and I purchased a “Large 6-compartment” bookcase to put on top.
- Nov ‘19: This too filled up, and I replicated the entire setup to buy a couple of years future storage!
- Apr ‘22: I finally resorted to “vertically stacking” 2 layers of the SF Masterworks in the bottom left, and the paperback non-fiction in the bottom right.
As is immediately obvious, I’ve now entirely run out of space! Finding space for all of the books has been a challenge in careful measurement and creative thinking, I wish I’d taken photos after each change to show the progression.
The current storage setup is:
- 2x “Argos Home Maine 5 Shelf Tall & Wide Deep Bookcase”: I paid £48 each, they are now £60.
- 2x “VASAGLE Wooden 3-Tier Bookcase”: I paid £45 each, they are now £66.
- 2x “Argos Home Maine Tall CD and DVD Media Storage Tower”: I paid £27 each, they are now £48.
- Total: £240 (including delivery), would be £348(!) today.
And for those interested, non-books also included in the photo are:
- Stephen King artwork by Jordan Monsell
- LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery
- LEGO NASA Apollo Saturn V
- LEGO Land Rover Defender
- LEGO Dinosaur Fossils
- A few other small LEGO sets / minifigs / misc things.
So, that’s the current state of my collection. My shelves are full, my to-read area is full, it’s all full!
In a follow-up post, I’ll cover the how, why, and where of collecting all these books. This post serves as a baseline I can compare against in a few years when I’ve more space (and books!).