Rural Massachusetts --Finishing off the last Bill Bryson book about the UK (The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain) Bill Pennington, 62, had to agree he has nearly all the things in life he is going to ever need. Some consumer stuff of course gets replaced every year. But the books, he has lots of those and does use some of the non fiction books from time to time, The fiction is just collecting dust.
He has a plan to go through the fiction and see which were gifts and save about 200 of those. The rest of the books are all over the house and amount to several thousand hard cover books and a lesser amount of paper backs.
Each room has at least two walls of books. Then there are the CDs and LPs and even cassettes. In his basement there is a cassette room, with a few boom boxes for checking them. In the living room is a nice stereo with a turn table and a nice tape deck and a CD/SACD player.
The thing about books is, he used to buy them and read them all cover to cover and then shelve them, never to be read again.
The LPs are in a shed with humidity control. There are 20 000 or so. He estimated that by taking an inch tape measure and adding up the inches of LPs.
"I have not given up buying LPs. I'm dedicated to that culture. The songs I buy that are digital, I've managed to store them on large hard drives. I have a guy working part time putting the 8000 CDs on the hard drives. Then I will get rid of them."
He says he will still go to garage sales and look for odd things. "There is a Nancy Sinatra LP I have three copies of but I still need one in better shape." So it is more of a collecting hobby. All the LPs are in alphabetical order. "I have another guy organizing those. He is allowed to check out any, but he only plays black R&B records from the 50s on community radio."
The books seem to be different than the LPs in that Bill can just sample any records he buys as he gets home. He may even play a whole side. With a book, once he sits down with one, is a several hour commitment, as he never reads just part of one, even if he has read it before. Bill has some 100 books that are marked brightly that he comes back to over and over. They too are in the whole alphabetical library among the unwanted books.