I have a weighty book collection. I started it back in 2008, once I started making some decent money from a get-paid-to website that rewarded its users with Amazon gift cards. I went on several shopping sprees, the most significant being a £200 shop to buy a load of coffee table Hip Hop books that I just needed to have. Since then, it exploded in size. In 2013-2016, I needed three large book cases to contain them all. But – I’d stopped buying books long before then.
The collection contains everything from political commentary to the life and times of the world’s greatest pimp-turned-author. It’s all over the place, and it’s made me want to get a lot more than I originally did. But how did I manage to accumulate so many?
I need to speak my truth. I need to admit where the majority of my book collection came actually from.
2013 was a great year. Myself and Hollie had not long before moved into our first place together, and we had space to fill. We opted for a two-bed flat, because we just liked the idea of having plenty of extra space.
I came with a lot of baggage – I wanted to bring all of the things I hadn’t brought with me from Nottingham yet, so ended up filling the spare room with stash of books I’d gathered over the years, along with the DVDs, CDs and games. I had to get rid of a few bits, so we did a little eBaying until we got down to the things that weren’t worth the effort. That’s when Hollie introduced me to Freecycle, a platform for kind people that declutter by offering their goods to people in the local community.
It was a simple system:
- You list what you’ve got
- People that want it
- They come around and get it from you.
After I got rid of the excess, I wanted to grow these collections of mine, specifically the music and the books, so I would need some suitable storage solutions to match my aspirations. After I bought a £90 cabinet from Homebase, I really didn’t fancy spending more money on anything else, so turned to Freecycle. I just wanted to see what came up.
It wasn’t long before I acquired a great guitar-shaped CD rack in Downham, then a pair of Ikea media storage stand from a couple down the road, and then we went a bit Freecycle crazy. And it continued through the year. Soon we advanced and were able to get free vinyl records, games consoles, and eventually I was led to non-fiction books.
I couldn’t stop. I swear that everyone must have got a Kindle the Christmas prior, because people were dumping box after box of books, helping me to gather literally hundreds of them over the course of a few months.
Now look at the state of it (well, a portion of it).
So that’s what happened. A year’s worth of free book collecting has pretty much set me up for a lifetime of paying to fill all the gaps. Congrats.