March 13, 2012

Book hoarding: The down side


Book hoarders Claire & Vance have let their book collection completely overtake their home, including the kitchen.

Book collecting seems like such a noble pursuit — it suggests a passion for knowledge and an appreciation of intellectual pursuits. But the March 5 episode of Hoarders demonstrates that an acceptable, even admirable hobby can take a turn for the worse when it becomes compulsive. This episode of the A&E series shows married couple Claire and Vance, whose shared passion for book collecting has become so out of control that the cleanup experts tasked with clearing up estimate some 200,000-500,000 books are stacked throughout their house, taking up so much space that they pose a physical danger to the couple.

Luckily, Claire and Vance’s story ends on a hopeful note: since the episode was filmed, they’ve reportedly given away another 4,000 of their books. Hopefully their house will soon look more like this.

Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.