Books, Books, Books, and More Books

posted in: Ally Broadfield | 13
Halfway through the process of stuffing all of the books onto the shelves.

I’ve been reading and collecting books for as long as I can remember. I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands, and of course, I love the way reading them transports me to other times and places and allows me to become someone else for a while. Needless to say, I love everything about them. Except trying to store them. Before you ask, yes, I do have an ereader and have had for several years now, but if I really love a book, I’ll also buy a print copy.


My conservative estimate is that there are more than 10,000 physical books in our house. There are four large, overflowing bookcases in my husband’s office, six floor to ceiling bookcases upstairs along one wall in the game room, and now four more bookcases in the master bedroom. My husband got tired of my books being piled all over the place, so he bought the four bookcases for the bedroom while I was out of town a few weeks ago. Of course, he claimed two of them for himself.



One of my helpers.
Another of my helpers.

The first bookcase is entirely devoted to my research and writing books. It’s a huge relief to actually be able to find the book I need without having to search through piles of books. I finished organizing that the weekend before last, then tackled the second bookcase this past weekend. This was a challenge because I had to try to fit all of those books stacked against the wall and on the floor onto one bookcase. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to organize most of it. I ended with one shelf devoted to Russian literature, one to Jane Austen, two shelves double stacked with my favorite historical and contemporary romance authors, one shelf of young adult books (my daughter and I also share an entire YA bookcase upstairs), a shelf of fiction and non-fiction books about dogs, cats, and other animals, and lastly, two shelves of historical fiction, mystery, suspense, biography, etc.

The results of all of my hard work.

Of course, I wasn’t able to fit all of the books on the bookcases, so I had to make the difficult decision to send four boxes of books to join the others up in the attic. Someday I’ll have enough bookcases for all of them. There was one curious thing I discovered by finally going through all of these books. I had duplicate copies of several books. A lot of books, in fact. It was a combination of me forgetting I had them, and friends and relatives buying them for me. In any case, I’m going to be using the duplicate copies as giveaways for my monthly newsletter. If you’re not already subscribed, you can sign up from my website: or Facebook author page:


So tell me, do you still buy and keep physical books, or am I the only one?


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Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and several reptiles. Oh, and her husband. She likes to curse in Russian and spends most of her time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia. She loves to hear from readers and you can find her on her website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of them properly.

13 Responses

  1. Victoria Vane

    Hi Ally, at one point I had several hundred print books but after seven moves, it just didn’t make sense to keep them all so now I have print copies of my very favorites in addition to a growing collection of research books. Having said that, we have another move coming in our near future. Since we are building this home, I made sure to include some built in bookshelves in the plans!

    • Ally Broadfield

      I would love to build a house someday. For now, I’m trying to convince DH to get rid of the giant, outdated entertainment center we have in the family room and have a custom wall unit built. I’ll talk him into it one of these days.

  2. Diane Eberly

    Hi, I love to read from the book itself and my closet is filled with boxes/bags of books from Book Sales, thrift stores and my sisters (who give them to me when they’re finished with them). I have some oldies and some new from misc. authors I’m following – as freebies. Diane

    • Ally Broadfield

      Hi, Diane! We’re kindred spirits! I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t part with my print books. Most of my first romance books were purchased at used bookstores. They used to have a $1.00 grab bag that had twenty books in it. It was so fun to open it up and see what treasures were inside. That’s how I got my first Jude Deveraux and Kathleen Woodiwiss books.

  3. Bronwen Evans

    I love books too and originally thought I’d never like an e-reader. Then I suddenly realised the advantages of an e-Reader like price, convenience, storage, instant books at my fingertips and the kindle was the size of a book! I’m also long-sighted and getting worse, so it’s almost impossible for me to read a print book, especially at night. I LOVE my e-reader and pretty much no longer touch books. I have a keepers shelf – but now it’s on my kindle as a separate folder and I love that I can browse it anywhere, anytime!

    • Ally Broadfield

      I like the convenience of my ereader now, Bronwen, and I really like it for trips and to just keep in my purse if I have a long wait somewhere. However, I still prefer to hold a real book in my hands when I read.

  4. jessicajefferson

    I didn’t realize how many print books I had until we moved. We are still unpacking and dare I say, the moving crew seemed to really appreciate all my paperback romance novels. It must be the covers.

  5. Barbara Monajem (@BarbaraMonajem)

    I still buy physical copies of my favorite books. I still prefer reading that way — mostly because of being able to flip back and forth — but I do love my Kindle when I’m on vacation and can’t carry a whole bunch of books.

    • Ally Broadfield

      Thanks exactly how I feel, Barbara! I also try to keep my Kindle in my purse so I always have something to read. 🙂

  6. ki pha

    Yes, I definitely still buy physical books. Though I don’t buy them in bulks as much as I used too. I now designate them as keeper books or autographed copies, or part of a series that I have to collect books if they’re going to be prints. I feel sad though that I can’t but them all in prints, I just don’t have enough room — technically there’s a lot of room but they aren’t my room space to use — and bookshelves aren’t cheap. But I do agree that I’ve found duplicates of books too, we really need to invent an app that tells use which books we have or don’t just by scanning the barcode.

    • Ally Broadfield

      You’re a genius, Ki! We need to develop that app. For while I tried to use Goodreads for that, but it’s too difficult to search.