I've only ever watched, like, two episodes of "Hoarders," but it's enough to make me feel
1.) Vaguely reassured, that, despite my packrat tendencies, I'm not that bad (did you see the one with the lady that had two dried up dead cats under her rubble heap of trash? Like cat jerky they were, good lord). Also
2.) Slightly uneasy about my own clutter, to the point that, after I watched the last episode, I just started throwing things away to make myself feel better.
One thing that I've never been able to get rid of--even though we've moved five times (yes) since I started med school--is my books. I am unnaturally attached to the books. I have purged many of our other possessions, some of which would seem to have more sentimental value (Cal and Mack's old baby clothes went to Goodwill with the last move, for example--they were adorable and teeming with cuddly memories, but there's only so many outgrown onesies flopping around in boxes that I can abide) thought when it comes to my books, I have repeatedly put my foot down against giving any away. Because you can tell a lot about people by their books.
We used to have them somewhat categorized on separate shelves (all our medical books were clustered together in our workspace, for example), but at this point the fact of unpacking them seemed like feat enough, so everything is all jumbled together in a hodgepodge. Highbrow, lowbrow, and everything in between.
Evidence that I don't just recommend books willy-nilly. My own copy of Michael Ruhlman's "Walk on Water" has damn near been read to tatters, obviously. (I used to have the unfortunate habit of reading in the bathtub, which no doubt accelerated the process.) So you can see why I basically had to resuscitate myself when I heard he wrote a blurb for my book.
I went through I period in college where I read a lot of plays. I also went through a period in college where I got used texts from the college bookstore for classes that I wasn't taking because I thought it would broaden my horizons or whatever. (Nerd.)
And then when I was in med school I got a book of pictures of 1000 olde timey tattoos, just the right size to keep in the bathroom on top of the toilet. Highbrow, lowbrow.
Ophthalmologists have the best words for Scrabble.
These EC comics were a Christmas gift from my parents. Somewhere, possibly still in a box, is a complete box set of "Crime Suspense Stories," "Weird Science," and "Weird Science Fantasy." A healthy proportion of the books on my bookshelf are actually comics or graphic novels, a fact that perplexes my mother-in-law a great deal.
I still have a handful of author copies for my own book lying around. It seems weird to have them out but I literally don't have anywhere else good to put them. But they're on a very low shelf, at least, so less visible, thereby making me a little bit less like Richard Dreyfus in "What About Bob?".
(I said a little bit.)