Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Many Books is Too Many?

One of the things we have to do for our trip to England is figure out what is going where (to storage, to England on the slow boat, to England on a faster boat, to England in our luggage) and how much each shipment will weigh. The website provided does a mediocre job of helping with this task. One of the main challenges for us is our collection of books, an item not listed on the website. Why would they have our book collection on their website? I don't know, but it would have been handy. Anyway, I did a little research (i.e. googling) for a solution to the problem.

Most, but not all, of our books

One of the first links to come up is this formula from Answer.com: weight of paperback books in pounds = (L x W x H) / 39. Of course, not all our books are paperback, nor are they of uniform size. In fact, all our different shelves are of different lengths as well, so after making several estimations, I applied the formula, changing the (L) to (Average shelf length times number of shelves).

Isn't it dreamy?
Our estimate is approximately 2000 pounds, i.e. one ton of books! And that is just for the ones going to storage. We also have another hundred or so pounds coming with us to England. That's after we purged out books we don't want to read again or loan out to other people or have our kids read some day. Something inside of me wonders, "Don't you have too many books?" But that is only a very small part of me. An infinitesimal part, in fact. A much large part of me wonders, "When will we have a library with one of those cool ladders that roll along the bookshelf?" We can't shop for such a home in England unless the library comes pre-stocked. But when we move back to the States, maybe we won't return to our humble home.

We are sad to see many of our books go on an extended holiday. But someday, we'll be reunited again! And we are sure to add some more wonderful treasures to our collection in the coming years abroad.


  1. Is there such a thing as too many books? :-D

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  3. what is the weight of an electronic book? ;-)