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View Poll Results: Do you hoard ebooks for retirement?
Yes. I would have done (or do) so with paper books as well. 20 10.81%
Yes, but I would NOT have done so with paper books. 18 9.73%
No, not for retirement... but... uh... I hoard (e)books anyway. 113 61.08%
No, I don't hoard. Not ebooks, not paper books. 34 18.38%
Voters: 185. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-02-2014, 03:36 PM   #1
Katsunami
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"I am hoarding books for retirement."

This is a sentence I see regularly, mostly in conjunction with "I expect my income to be less."

At this point in time, I have an ebook "hoard" that will last me for about 10 years to come, should I keep reading at my current pace (and, assuming that I don't read every single letter in my Delphi Classics). However, my retirement is another 30 years away at the very LEAST. Taking the current life expectancy of males into account (in The Netherlands), I can expect live another 45 years, starting today.

Let's say, I keep my current pace of ~50 books a year during my working life, and I'll work another 30 years. Also, let's assume I'll double the amount of books when retired, and that I'll live to exactly my expected life span.

That would mean that I need to hoard 30 years * 50 books + 15 years * 100 books = 3,000 books, and I'm not even taking some future books into account I might want to read. Hell, I can't even imagine 3,000 books in one place apart from a library, let alone pick 3,000 NOW that I'd want to read.

I wonder: Is hoarding for retirement useful (especially in the case of ebooks)?

If you're 63 and retiring in two years, expecting your income to drop significantly, I can imagine that you hoard as much books as you can. I also expect you to be able to read all of them, as I think the current formats will be readable at least for another 20 years.

I, however, would need to take into account that I might not actually be able to read the books I buy now, in another 40 years. It may be impossible or difficult to read the AZW3 or EPUB format. Yes, converting is possible, if DRM is removed, but a book might go through multiple conversions in 40 years, which may cause problems down the road. At this point in time, the future of current-day ebooks is therefore uncertain.

So, do you hoard books for your retirement?

===

The books I actively hoard are the Forgotten Realms ones. I do so because there are over 300 of them, and I get as many as I can at each sale. Another hoard is comprised of the books of the series I definitely want to read and have been on my TBR for a long time, but I never got them in paper: I now get them when on sale, often an entire series at once.

I also dumped 3500 well-formatted public domain books from a site I ran across once, just because I could. And yes, these books where free, but intended to download one-by-one, and the Delphi Classics, each containing many stories and books can also be seen as a hoard.

Therefore I ticked that I don't hoard for retirement, but do hoard anyway. Fortunately, my current hoard is easily within the limits of what I can realistically read in the rest of my life.

PS: I wouldn't be hoarding any books if I was reading on paper only.

Last edited by Katsunami; 02-02-2014 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:49 PM   #2
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Of all the concerns I have about retirement, the affordability of books isn't anywhere on the radar.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Of all the concerns I have about retirement, the affordability of books isn't anywhere on the radar.
Maybe for you it isn't (especially if you read public domain books or use the library a lot), but judging from the posts here, there seem to be quite a number of people who are stocking up on reading material, expecting to not be able to get it after retirement.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:05 PM   #4
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I think it's just an excuse for hoarding. There's a continuum between collecting books and hoarding, and my suspicion is that those of us who are on the hoarding side of that continuum know that we're buying more books now than we can read in a year or more, but figure that when we retire, we'll have a lot more time to catch up on that reading.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:05 PM   #5
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The only thing retirement will mean for me is that my collection of books will stop growing so much faster than my rate of reading due to teh fact that I will have more time to read books of choice with out reading for work and work in general cutting into my pleasure reading time. I would not call it hoarding, every single book I buy I do so because it is of interest to me. It's just that some many of those cross my path every week.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:23 PM   #6
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:27 PM   #7
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I hoarded paper books, which fill my basement (mysteries and thrillers), and actually told people at the time that while I might be eating dog food in my retirement, I would have stuff to read. That was in my early 30s. When it was obvious I was not going to be eating dog food in my retirement, I went with the "book buying is a separate hobby." I have 3 floor to ceiling book cases, double-stacked with paperbacks and hard covers.

Then, I got a first generation kindle. I now have about 2500 unread epubs, and another 4000 free books, which I probably will never read. I read about 100 books a year, and since I am still years from retirement, I don't have enough books!
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:43 PM   #8
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Is it not impossible to "hoard" e-books? Hoarding implies acquiring a larger than may be used in normal practice, of a rare or scarce item, or one that may become scarce. Ebooks could become more scarce if the internet were to become unavailable, or the sites that provide ebook files were made unavailable. Short of that, they can not become scarce.

The negative implication of the term does not come into effect, in any case, as for one to have any number of ebooks does not effect another's ability to have ebooks, there is no reduction in the supply of available ebooks.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 02-02-2014 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:51 PM   #9
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I'm a collector by nature. I have collected a lot of things at different times in my life. I collected authors in print, so it's only natural I collect their ebooks, too.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
Is it not impossible to "hoard" e-books? Hoarding implies acquiring a larger than may be used in normal practice, of a rare or scarce item, or one that may become scarce. Ebooks could become more scarce if the internet were to become unavailable, or the sites that provide ebook files were made unavailable. Short of that, they can not become scarce.
I'm not sure if you're kidding, but the hoarding discussed here is a form of compulsive hoarding. Fortunately for those who compulsively hoard ebooks, the clutter is digital and not physical, but unless one is only collecting free ebooks, there is still a cost involved in buying far more books than one could ever read.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:24 PM   #11
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I buy books (physical or electronic) with the express intent of reading them now, or very, very soon. It doesn't always work out that way, but I don't usually buy books for a rainy day/the future/or retirement ... whatever the heck that is.

My TBR pile is, in fact, primarily virtual. The books I've purchased that I haven't gotten around to reading yet, run a very real risk of never being read. I'm OK with this.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:30 PM   #12
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I too once favored the "I'll be eating cat food in my retirement, but I WILL have books to read." Then I discovered ebooks & Kindles - and began acquiring ebooks - tons of them - so now I'm planning on being buried with my Kindle and an electric drop cord so that I can continue reading in my afterlife.

I've stockpiled a lot of "Complete Works of ...." compilations - which I dip in & out of as interested - these alone will occupy me into & beyond retirement.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:39 PM   #13
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I voted yes - I plan to retire within 2-3 years. I'm sure I'll continue to buy books after retirement, but more moderately. For example, a few minutes ago I spent $130 in one go on the 9 major Star Trek Voyager books.

I've bought tons of paper books in my lifetime, but never put them away for later - always passed them on for others to enjoy. I've really only thought about retirement the last few years. And since ebooks require so little space, I've replaced the paper re-readables.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:45 PM   #14
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$130 on 9 books?

Those are some expensive ******
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:00 PM   #15
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$130 on 9 books?

Those are some expensive ******
Are they outrageous?? a few were only 220 pages long.

I had to think long and hard, and read every review on Amazon twice before buying them. But that's where the issue of retirement comes in. I really loved the Voyager series, so my rationalization is that they'll keep bugging me until I buy them, and it's easier to buy them now than later. :
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