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Poll: How many physical books would you say you have in your house?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:50
SITE STAFF
May 15

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many physical books would you say you have in your house?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:50
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
100-300 May 15

I’d say circa 300, probably more. I have 146 dictionaries and encyclopedias on my bookcase beside my working space, a lot of reading books on another bookcase in my living room and a few more in the basement (boxes I haven’t opened yet since I moved 4 years ago from Brussels to Lisbon). Before moving I offered a good number of dictionaries and reference books to a Portuguese association library…

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
500-600; maybe more May 15

I have to confess, I have quite a few books. I can't bring myself to part with them. At least 160 are references that I've saved over the years for translation and editing work, including at least 40 style manuals. Then there are a couple of hundred on alternative health and healing, another 150 on the Enneagram of Personality, about 100 on plants and landscaping, a bunch on design theory, 10 shelves in my living room filled with classics, and so on. And then there are the piles that I've sent f... See more
I have to confess, I have quite a few books. I can't bring myself to part with them. At least 160 are references that I've saved over the years for translation and editing work, including at least 40 style manuals. Then there are a couple of hundred on alternative health and healing, another 150 on the Enneagram of Personality, about 100 on plants and landscaping, a bunch on design theory, 10 shelves in my living room filled with classics, and so on. And then there are the piles that I've sent for on Amazon and haven't had a chance to finish reading.

I did manage to part with about 200 books on linguistic theory, an Encyclopedia Britannica ...

But it wasn't easy. I like having them around. They give me a sense of identity. I have a bookmark that says "A room without books is a room without a soul."

[Edited at 2019-05-15 08:59 GMT]
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Andrénise Aimé
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Thousands May 15

Thousands and thousands. There is a whole room lined with overstacked shelves bending under the weight. There are bookcases everywhere else. And boxes of books. And random piles everywhere.

But not many in the office these days. I've even started putting some of the old outdated reference works on the woodburner.


Angie Garbarino
Hege Jakobsen Lepri
Vanda Nissen
Kevin Fulton
 

Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 01:50
Member (2007)
German to Croatian
+ ...
1000+ May 15

But I'm not the only one to blame, both my husband and me are bookworms

Hege Jakobsen Lepri
Josephine Cassar
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Thousands May 15

At a rough estimate I have about 300 in my workroom and 70-80 (including four volumes of French dictionaries weighing about 1.5 kilos each) just outside my door.

Then we have a whole wall of books in the living room and another bookshelf halfway along, and quite a lot in the guest bedroom… Plus a metre and a half of cookery books in the kitchen.

I have a couple of metres of shelves just on glass art...

OK, we really ought to sort them and give some away,
... See more
At a rough estimate I have about 300 in my workroom and 70-80 (including four volumes of French dictionaries weighing about 1.5 kilos each) just outside my door.

Then we have a whole wall of books in the living room and another bookshelf halfway along, and quite a lot in the guest bedroom… Plus a metre and a half of cookery books in the kitchen.

I have a couple of metres of shelves just on glass art...

OK, we really ought to sort them and give some away, but after a lifetime of collecting books, my husband and I have accumulated some real treasures! In many ways the Internet simply cannot compete with Built-in Orderly Organised Knowledge on paper, especially when it comes to modern techniques for illustrations.

In some cases it is still far quicker (and more reliable) to use my reference books than to poke about on the Net, and I don't have to keep remembering to update my subscription for those.
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Hege Jakobsen Lepri
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:50
Member (2018)
French to English
no idea May 15

They are all heaped in our bedroom, much to my partner's displeasure, in that he feels like there's barely any room for him. But when I had them in the living room, people used to look at them and ask to borrow them, and we all know books never come home.

If you want a stat, how about they hide over 75% of the walls of a 6mx6m room? Some piles are in double rows too, so there wouldn't be much wall left if I were to build shelves for them all to fit in nicely.

Oh and o
... See more
They are all heaped in our bedroom, much to my partner's displeasure, in that he feels like there's barely any room for him. But when I had them in the living room, people used to look at them and ask to borrow them, and we all know books never come home.

If you want a stat, how about they hide over 75% of the walls of a 6mx6m room? Some piles are in double rows too, so there wouldn't be much wall left if I were to build shelves for them all to fit in nicely.

Oh and of course there are quite a few books in the kids' rooms, a fair proportion borrowed from me because I can't refuse my kids something that may foster a love of literature, and my art books and dictionaries and recipe books are in the living room, because people don't ask to borrow them.

There's a big box full of books I mean to put in the free outdoor library round the corner, but it's in my lodger's room and he doesn't mind them being there and he's a nice kid with a love of literature so he might just enjoy reading some.

And I still feel the pain of the books that went missing before I decided to be mean and no longer lend them out... there must be at least 20 of them, poor things.
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Rita Utt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:50
Member
English to German
+ ...
There are still more than 100 left May 15

but tired of fighting for room for my books I switched to electronic books
which I find very useful, even it's not exactly the same pleasure.


Liena Vijupe
 

Gitte Hovedskov
Denmark
Local time: 01:50
Member (Mar 2019)
English to Danish
+ ...
Fewer than 300 May 15

I used to collect books and felt they represented different chapters of my life. Then I realised that the vast majority of those books just sat on shelves, collecting dust, and I wondered whether that meant my life had come to a standstill, too!
So I started giving away books to friends, family or charity. At one stage, I put several boxes of books on the street outside my front door along with a sign that invited people to take what they liked, for free. It was actually wonderful to watch
... See more
I used to collect books and felt they represented different chapters of my life. Then I realised that the vast majority of those books just sat on shelves, collecting dust, and I wondered whether that meant my life had come to a standstill, too!
So I started giving away books to friends, family or charity. At one stage, I put several boxes of books on the street outside my front door along with a sign that invited people to take what they liked, for free. It was actually wonderful to watch complete strangers rummage through the boxes and walk away with one or two (or more) books each. The only book that was left behind was a Spanish-Danish technical dictionary!
I did the same with CDs and DVDs that I had stopped watching or listening to. Brilliant experience.
Nowadays, I have just one bookcase in the study corner of my living room, and that isn't even full. Whenever it gets close to being full, I sort through the books and only keep those that I think I will read again + a few personal treasures, of course. We all have those, don't we? Oh yes, and there's a selection of cookery books in the kitchen. Mind you, I hardly ever look at them, let alone use them, so they will probably go out next.

I actually BUY a lot of books, Amazon is my friend, and I love to sit with a proper book, and wouldn't dream of switching to e-books. But I have also discovered the library for all those books that I will only ever read once. What a clever invention that is.
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Christine Andersen
Elizabeth Tamblin
Liena Vijupe
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:50
Member (2018)
French to English
Gitte May 15

Yes, I too have put out boxes for people to help themselves to books that are no longer relevant to me or that I have never managed to finish.
I will admit to having put some books in the recycling bin too, books containing ideas that repel me and novels I really hated. No more than ten, and the love I have lavished on the hundreds of others more than make up for that.


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:50
Member (2012)
French to English
I can't even guess May 15

They are everywhere, on shelves, piled on tables, on the floor... I've got duplicate copies of some books that I forgot I had.

I try to limit myself to ebooks now, but sometimes I just have to have the physical book, especially books with illustrations, etc. Ideally, I would like to give most of the books I don't use to charity, and I am doing this little by little. I will always keep my son's childhood books, though, and my husband refuses to part with old computer manuals, even th
... See more
They are everywhere, on shelves, piled on tables, on the floor... I've got duplicate copies of some books that I forgot I had.

I try to limit myself to ebooks now, but sometimes I just have to have the physical book, especially books with illustrations, etc. Ideally, I would like to give most of the books I don't use to charity, and I am doing this little by little. I will always keep my son's childhood books, though, and my husband refuses to part with old computer manuals, even though the old computers are long gone...
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Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
600-1000 May 15

They consist of classical and 20th-century Spanish and French literature, classical English literature, including a collection of Shakespeare's plays, classics in translation, like Dante's Divine Comedy, psychology textbooks and journals, foreign language textbooks, about 35 multilingual dictionaries, specialized and general, and my own published book translations.

[Edited at 2019-05-15 14:54 GMT]


 

Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:50
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Thousands May 15

I love my books and to have all these words, thoughts and all the knowledge at my disposal. Still it is somewhat of a problem when one lives in a house far to big for ones needs, but can’t move because one needs the space for the books…
I do like Gitte’s approach, though; to keep a limited number of books and “recycle” the rest.
For some years now, I have been doing something similar, albeit on a much smaller scale.
I go by train several times a week and always bring
... See more
I love my books and to have all these words, thoughts and all the knowledge at my disposal. Still it is somewhat of a problem when one lives in a house far to big for ones needs, but can’t move because one needs the space for the books…
I do like Gitte’s approach, though; to keep a limited number of books and “recycle” the rest.
For some years now, I have been doing something similar, albeit on a much smaller scale.
I go by train several times a week and always bring a book I know I’ll never re-read along. On the first (empty) page I write a message that finder may keep the book or pass it on to a fellow traveller. So far I have never seen any of my books left behind.
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Barbara Cochran, MFA
Ricki Farn
Elizabeth Tamblin
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:50
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
? May 15

I have no idea, and... I don't have the time to count them. Maybe I will once I retire.

Elizabeth Tamblin
 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:50
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
600-1000 May 15

I use to leave them in a bus station after reading them, because it's nice to share knowledge.

Barbara Cochran, MFA
Vera Schoen
Ricki Farn
Elizabeth Tamblin
 
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