10 Rules for Living with a Book Collecting Sci-fi Nerd

Disclaimer: This list may be fairly specific to the traits of one Mr NW…

1. Don’t lend their books to anyone.

Just don’t. It’s not worth the pain. In fact don’t let them lend their books either. Mr NW once lent a book to his sister but bought a replacement copy immediately in case he didn’t get it back. Now we have two identical copies.

2. Don’t ask why there are multiple copies of the same book.

Of course you need the hardback and the paperback and the updated artwork and the 10th anniversary version.

3. Don’t attempt to mix your books with their books.

There are two castes of bookcases in our house. We have the general family bookcases and then we have the reserved bookcases (see below). The general ones are cheap and made from MDF. The reserved ones are solid wood. There is absolutely no mixing of collected books with the general riff raff I bring home.

4. Don’t attempt to put any of their books away.

The organisational system must be obeyed. It’s not intuitive. You think you are helping but you are are not.

5. Don’t be surprised when courier packages keep arriving on your doorstep.

I asked Mr NW the other day how many of the books in his collection he had actually read. He reckons it’s about half. I think it might be time for a book buying ban.

6. You must take great care when transporting books from one house to another.

Don’t just throw them in a box. Mr NW obsessively checks the spines for damage.

7. If you are going to read one, always use a bookmark.

Dog-earring a book may be grounds for divorce. And definitely don’t leave them open upside down.

8. Don’t bother trying to sell the merits of e-books.

Space-saving, always with you, cheaper…none of the arguments will sway an ardent collector.

9. Don’t give the various series nicknames.

The one with the goat on it, the blue books. Apparently referring to books like this is blasphemy.

10. Pretend to be interested in discussions relating to release dates.

The Thorn of Emberlain might be coming out soon….how many times have I heard that!


Are you a collector? Do you have any of your own rules to add to this list?

23 thoughts on “10 Rules for Living with a Book Collecting Sci-fi Nerd

  1. Ah yes lending books is stressful and mixing books would stress me out!! And of course it makes sense to have multiple copies of the same thing (I for instance have four copies of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and I need every. single. one. 😉 ) hahahaa I got into it today about books I was waiting for and books on my tbr today with a friend- they know me well enough to just nod along quietly while I get it out my system 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The good thing about living with someone who likes having multiple copies of a book is it’s hard to go wrong with gift giving. Should I get Mr NW the 10th anniversary edition of The Name of the Wind for Christmas, why not? I think we own 4 copies of The Hobbit each with an incredibly distinct logic as to why it is required. I think Mr NW operates two lists – a TBR list and a “to be ordered” list.

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      1. I finally did a purge a few years ago. Told a local second-hand dealer he could have all my books and albums on condition he took all I gave him. Saved a couple boxes of the most precious and watched the rest leave in two pickups.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Mostly dust. If it looked like I hadn’t grabbed it in a while, or even thought of it, I let it go. Others I’ve gotten the digital version, like most of my Alan Dean Foster collection.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Mr and Mrs NW, I just loved your picture of the bookshelves, it was like “Two Worlds Collide”! Not difficult to tell which belongs to whom. Also thanks for checking out my little blog, much appreciated. I shall now go and explore your other posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Loved your creativity with the light sabres. In my defence, my bookshelf is shared with the children so that’s part of the reason it is such an atrocity!!! But my philosophy is certainly more “Is there a gap? Does the book fit in the gap? Great, it can go there”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much for your kind words, I like to put a bit more of an effort into my designs by coming up with a backstory or reason behind the saber. It helps form a connection with people (hopefully!) rather than the saber being just a metal looking tube! And no need to defend yourself but remind me never to take you on in a game of Tetris! I am now following your blog so will be back.

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    1. Mr NW read this and said to me “maybe, I should get all my SF books on Kindle too!”… Oh dear!…I spotted six Peter F. Hamilton’s in Mr NW’s bookcase but it seems to be the Iain M. Banks’ that are proliferating rapidly and cause the most eye rolling here 😋.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely hate dog-earing and any other sort of “marking” my books. The most I do is create a historical “log” of who owned the book by writing my name and the date I bought it on the inside of the front cover.

    Oh yes, different editions of the same book…. yes yes. I have multiple Hobbits- Pocket Hobbit, regular Hobbit, giant anniversary illustrated hardcover Hobbit…

    My husband and I are both book nerds, but I might be a bigger one… I have this habit of collecting books that go onto my “WILL BE READ” list but it grows faster than I can get through it. The least I can say is that generally the books are free! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you could identify with this, haha. The ever growing “will be read” list seems to be a common problem for book lovers. I guess you never wake up and think, I own a hundred books now, I’ll just read these for the rest of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

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