I Am a Dragon

 

 

Dragons hoard treasure in their lairs. Gold, mostly, but the occasional jeweled chalice or silver goblet can be found.

As you know, Smaug did it. And now all the cool mythological reptiles are doing it. Because. Tolkien.

Actually…

This trope dates back to Beowulf which was written during the time period academics call, “A wicked frickin’ long time ago.” That’s the earliest literature I can think of where a dragon is hoarding gold.

“the…dragon…is driven to hunt out hoards underground, to guard heathen gold through age-long vigils…” – Beowulf

It’s a thing. It just is.

In the wonderful world of Harry Potter, dragons are used to guard treasures in Gringotts Bank. (But, let’s not go there. Evil lurks in the hearts of goblins.) In the Goblet of Fire, one of the trials in the Triwizard Tournament is to get an egg from a dragon. A golden egg.

I know what you’re thinking (or maybe not). Why gold? I mean, the dragon can’t walk into a cobbler’s shop and order shoes. Can’t buy a Van Gogh. The gold is useless. Precious…but not enjoyed. Just hoarded. So…why? And where am I going with this?

I hoard books.

I have a TBR (To Be Read) pile that is large enough to fill half my house. There are books I’ve been meaning to read and ones I’ve already read that I won’t part with. A dragon could sleep, curled up, quite comfortably on top that pile. I could have a party on there with room to spare. I could send invitations with an option to bring a guest and still we’d be able to move about freely.

If I live another 100 years, I will never get a chance to read them all.

I am just like the “dragon jealously guarding its gold hoard…” *

Things don’t usually go well for these dragons. I know this.

Yet…that’s me. The greedy book-loving word nerd who jealously guards its book hoard. Unlike a dragon’s gold, books are not useless, they are priceless. But what good are they if they’re sitting here, staring longingly at me from their shelves? I should be ashamed. That I don’t give my books away. That I breathe fire at anyone attempting to steal from my pile. That I hoard in the first place. Alas, I am not ashamed. And I continue to collect and hoard. *sigh* I’ve learned nothing.

Except that I am a dragon.

 

Am I a reader or a collector? Hmm… Do you hoard books or do you buy, read, give away, repeat, and keep your pile manageable? I’m wicked curious how many book-lovers out there actually have a manageable TBR pile.

 

Photo source

* Quote source

 

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59 thoughts on “I Am a Dragon

  1. Definitely a dragon hoarder too! My bedside table has totally disappeared under the weight of read and unread books. And Hubby, who thinks I should clear it, gets the wrath of my firey breath upon his tidy shoulders. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t rightly say when my love of books began. I can remember clear scenes from my early toddler years, probably because I was reading real books by the age of two. I spent weekends from the age of four or so in the children’s library of my then home town, which, at the time, seemed the size of a theme park. I remember thinking, “How will I ever get to all of these?” as I climbed the shelves to grab a book at the tippy-top of a shelf (shelves I learned, upon a recent visit to the same library, are actually no higher than a doorknob).

    When I got my first job (a paper route at ten) and had my own money, the first thing I did was sign myself up for a mail order book club. I loved reading the synopses in the catalog and then enduring the excruciating wait for the books I’d chosen to arrive (which, of course, required me to fill in the item numbers by hand on a post card, mail that back, and then wait). But the pay-off was always delicious.

    And those very books still line my bowing shelves at home to this day. Whether I particularly loved them or not, I learned something from each. (As much of what I’ve learned as a writer has come from analyzing what didn’t work in other authors’ books as well as what did.) And I have vivid memories of the where-and-when for each of my reads along the way.

    I wonder how many people watch a scene like when Beast introduces Beauty to his vast library and think that her reaction is itself a product of fiction. Not so I. I breathe differently at the sight and thought of it.

    On occasion, I’ve lent someone a book and forgotten to record the transaction. In such cases, I have reordered the book, even though I’ve no intention to reread it any time soon (though I mourn the loss of my own smudge stains and binding cracks that adorned the original). And when I unexpectedly get such a book back, I celebrate. Like not just in my head. It’s an event.

    So I get it. I really do.

    And if that makes us hoarders … c’est la vie.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m better older. Now I read/listen more and self limit if it looks like I might be whelmed let alone overwhelmed. I stop reading if the book is shite/boring/full of errors/By Steiglarson/shite. I am bookobese, a bibliobetic. A book slob mostly. Happy me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup…a bibliobetic. You’ve coined a great term there. It should be licensed or something.

      No one likes to be whelmed. Hell, no. I’ve also stopped reading books I’m not enjoying. If they are shite, I am done.

      ‘Life is too short to read shite books.’

      Like

  4. *waving hand wildly* Oooh, oooh, ME! Fellow dragon, here. And I’m even guilty of keeping some books around just so I can look at the beautiful cover art! I have a VERY hard time getting rid of books, but I confess that for the first time in 20 years or more, I’m thinking I MIGHT . . . just MIGHT, mind you . . . pack up some paperback versions of books I wasn’t 100% in love with and trade them in at our local book shop for store credit. That way, I can replace them before the shelves get cold! 😀

    Books are riches beyond measure. One can never have too many! (And if I’m wrong about that, please don’t tell me. Let me live in my bound and printed paradise in blissful ignorance, please.) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, fellow dragon! 🐉
      Ah, yes…covers. I have many books just for their covers. Pack up those not-100-percent-in-love-with books, my friend. Think of all the lovely new, shiny books you’ll get! I have faith in you. You can do it! We should have, like, a Book Dragons Anonymous group or something. Of course…not really anonymous.Hmm… I’ll rethink that one. Anyway, Book Dragons Unite! 🐉📚❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! Book Dragons ROCK!! Somewhere I have a graphic I’ll see if I can find. You’d love it. 😀 ❤ Going off now to run barefooted through piles of books, like a deranged Granny Scrooge McDuck. (Urk. That's not quite as poetic as it sounded in my head.) With a flash of scales and a puff of fire, I'm outta here! (That's a bit better.)
        😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Deranged Granny Scrooge McDuck! 😂 That’s awesome. Run! Run through those books, my friend. Pure joy! 💖 (See if you can find the graphic – I’m sure I’ll love it.)

        Like

  5. Oh, what an awesome post, Sarah. I love the analogy. I really do try to be reasonable in my book purchases. I give myself challenges… “you must read two books before you buy any more.” I read those two and then buy four more. 🙂 You can see where this is going. Lol. But what a wonderful thing to hoard; much more precious than gold!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see where that is going. And I know the feeling. I’ve been trying that ‘one in, one out’ thing. Seemed like a good plan. Eh. Not so much. Yes, books are much more precious than gold, my fellow dragon. 🐉 (Speaking of books and toppling TBR piles… Congrats on your new release! I will be adding that to my TBR pile ASAP. It looks wonderful.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’ll be picking up Soul Swallowers ASAP. Seinfeld happy dance! 💃💃💃
        (I actually thought I’d preordered it. Apparently not. Life is a bit chaotic at the moment. But I do know I’ll enjoy it. I love your writing.)

        Like

  6. The hoarding of books comes & goes with me…right now I have my own copies of the Arthurian books by Mary Stewart by my bedside (thanks, Mom!) waiting for me to read while I continue to go to the library to pick up more books that have caught my eye…it’s hard to be a dragon with crow-like tendencies!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am also a dragon. I say I’m not going to download/buy any more but I break that resolution daily. I feel bad because I haven’t read and reviewed books I would have got to by now if I hadn’t been seduced by others along the way. The fact I already have more than I’m ever likely to get to read is kind of sad actually and makes the next choice of read ever more precious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Daily? Wow. You are queen of the dragons! *bows to you*

      You’ve hit on a major point here. Two, actually. The first that I feel guilty about not having read/reviewed books I already have before getting more. That’s a biggie. I hate guilt. And this is avoidable, self-imposed guilt. 🙄 The second is having more books than I’m likely to read. It IS sad. And it really does make that next choice extremely precious.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello my Lovely! Well, I’m not well versed in Rowlands or Tolkien as I just can’t get into those genres. But I do know about book hoarding LOL and big fat TBR’s that will most likely go to the grave with us. No, I don’t give books away. I need them on my shelves, I just do, despite have read them, with me they shall stay!
    Sorry I’m no comfort, for it seems I’m just like you! LOLOL 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • *gasp* Oh no! Noooooo! If one does not like (love) Harry Potter…I’m just…I don’t know what to say about it. I’m flumoxed and heartbroken and confused. I need time, you know?

      Hey, lovely, you’re awesome. You do you. Whatever genre you like, you like. It’s all good. And it is a comfort, actually. I’m not alone. Have a fab weekend, fellow dragon. ❤️🐉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My friend Kate used to teach English at a private school and she taught Tolkien. She would tell her students that dragons were real, and they’d come up with modern versions. Gold hoarders. Books are more valuable (and useful)! I only allow five books to be in my TBR pile — problem is the number of TBR piles expand faster than baby dragons!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I do the same! Limiting the number of books in the TBR pile but then…adding another TBR pile (or 4) so…erm…not really helping. 😂 Here’s to good books and baby dragons! 🐉 (Yay for Kate! Encouraging students to use their creativity. Also, dragons are real so… Bonus points.)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I try to pass on my read ‘real’ books, and have a new rule – if it’s signed or dedicated I’ll keep it, if I think I’ll refer to it (so non fiction) I’ll keep it, if I think I’ll reread it in the next 18 months – keep it. It helps that since I stopped being employed properly, I have minimal disposable income, so I buy far fewer books than I used to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great way to manage your give-aways. The signed ones are special and giving a time period to the ones you’ll reread is a fab idea. I’ll have to try that. I have a huge issue with giving away nonfiction/reference books. They’re like a crockpot or bread maker…always think I’ll eventually need it one day.

      Like

      • the thing that really put this in focus was when my mum and I moved her mum from London to a residential care home near us in Devon (sounds harsh, but all her friends were unable to visit regardless of where she was and she was well into dementia)
        She had lived in her home for over 65years, and it genuinely appeared she and grandad had never discarded anything. the additional burden of sorting the important /sentimental items from the non (eg books that were school prizes, or Readers Digest abridged collections) took the pair of us a month and was incredibly challenging in every way you can imagine.
        with mine, if I have a reference book that’s only any use for one or two items, I scan that (eg) recipe and print and put into one I use more regularly, or into a binder. Then it goes to the charity shop , with a note inside at that page.
        Makes me feel like I am sharing not discarding!
        It gets easier. Promise!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry you had to go through that. It is so difficult for all involved. I can definitely see how that would give you perspective. Absolutely. I’ve had a perspective-inducing trend going on here for a bit.

        I love the idea of sharing instead of ‘giving away’ or ‘discarding’.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Do squirrel dragons exist? Hmmm…

    I don’t have many physical books in the house, but I do have a drive filled with audiobooks. But if I share them with others, does that really count?

    Liked by 1 person

    • If they do exist, I want to meet one. 🐿🐉 Any way to work a squirrel dragon into your Cera Chronicles? That’d be cool.

      (I don’t think that counts. But it’s not exactly dragon-like hoarding so you’re good.)

      Like

  12. I’m a lot more ruthless than I used to be, but that’s with things in general. When I die, no one is going to suddenly want all the stuff I’ve had, so I figure there’s no need to hang on to stuff just for the sake of it. At its heart, that’s one of the reasons why I prefer to use Kindle – it’s a lot less clutter. Doesn’t mean to say I don’t have a big TBR list – I do. It just doesn’t take up too much space!
    Hope all is well with you, Sarah – apart from the obvious dragon issues…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean. Been thinking a lot about people not needing/wanting all this stuff when I’m gone. Can’t take it with you. 🤷‍♀️ Do NOT get me started on clutter. Ugh! I’ve been dealing with clutter around here and it’s not pretty. I am hanging in there, my friend. Hope you are doing well. 🙂

      Like

  13. My TBR is not really manageable but I do work hard to try and tackle it. I wouldn’t put money on me, because I always seem to find loopholes in my book buying bans lol. Oh well. Do plan on giving books to libraries in Puerto Rico since I believe some efforts will go down for that in the coming months so I part with books that are OK and breathe new life to them. My dynamic has changed. If it’s something special, something I would gladly reread, I’ll gladly keep. Same goes for indie books of my friends and gifts. But those OK books? I think I need not keep them any longer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Working hard to tackle it. That about sounds like where I’m at, too. Kinda takes a bit of the enjoyment from it. But…books. As far as indie, I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of those – I’d rather let someone know about it so the author gets another sale. But, then again, passing it along would give the author more exposure. 🤔 (I love the idea of giving books to libraries in Puerto Rico.) 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I hoard books, I will admit to it. 😀 And I love the image of a dragon curled up sleeping on a pile of books. I’d love a dragon to guard mine. Maybe it would like reading them too?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am definitely a hoarder, but am trying to reform. Earlier this year I set a goal of trying to read 40 of my unread books…which is a small number when you compare it to the total amount. I’m pleased to say I’m making my way through them, although used book sales and recommendations by friends are making it very difficult…

    Incidentally, I just finished reading Gloria Swanson’s hefty memoirs, “Swanson on Swanson”, and her writing is fresh, clear and full of wonderful observations. Her book rather reminded me of your writing in a way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you. I’d like to eventually say I’m a reformed book hoarder. We’ll see… Some people have 100-200 books on their Goodreads yearly challenge and I’m like, ‘Yeah. I’m going with 20-30.’ Unfortunately, mine aren’t all coming from my TBR pile. So good plan.

      Will have to look up Gloria Swanson’s book. Thanks! (Though your recommendation is not helping my cause here.) 😉🐉

      Liked by 1 person

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