No, It’s Not A Class Issue…

Hoarding, that is. Yes, it’s the WHO’s decision to class this as a mental health issue, as Tim Worstall pointed out.

…the 50-year-old council worker is surrounded on all sides by his ever-growing collection: 15,000 books and DVDs fill his small bungalow on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

“It’s quite tricky to let go of some stuff,” he admits.

Woods is a hoarder, as is his housemate Lynda. They’re midway through an anxiety-ridden declutter, which has already resulted in one transit van full of “stuff” being taken away, with about six more left to fill. By the end, they hope, there may even be room to sit down.

If I was living in a big, posh house and had this amount of books on the shelves, they would call it a library,” he said.

“Nobody would go ‘Oh, Lord Toffington is a hoarder!’ But because I’m living in a bungalow and I’m the underclass, I’m a hoarder.”

No, you idiot, it’s because Lord Toffington has the room for the things he buys!

When you’ve got no room to store them, and are forced to sit on piles of them, yet still keep buying them, you’re a hoarder!

An estimated 5% of the UK population have hoarding disorder but experts believe the true figure is higher.

It sure will be, now that it’s a recognised mental disorder, and people can go on benefits for life!

Woods said he did not realise he had a problem until a mental health support worker visited his home three years ago.

“I just thought it was normal to buy a lot of books you don’t necessarily read.”

I know council workers aren’t the brightest, but….

11 comments for “No, It’s Not A Class Issue…

  1. john in cheshire
    August 31, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    It’s to be hoped he’s not a binman otherwise I could imagine the anguish he’d experience with each bin he has to empty; rummaging through the disgarded stuff and agonising whether to keep it or throw it into the back of the wagon.

    • September 2, 2018 at 6:22 am

      LOL!

  2. James Strong
    August 31, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    It IS normal to buy a lot of books you don’t necessarily read.

  3. ScotchedEarth
    September 1, 2018 at 12:18 am

    The word is ‘bibliophile’—someone who loves books. And as James Strong notes, it’s common to buy books one doesn’t necessarily read: a book might be bought for reference rather than reading cover to cover; it might be a favourite book that one avidly collects different editions of (hardback, paperback, first Australian edition, Japanese language edition (‘Can you read Japanese?’ —‘It’s a Japanese translation of Nineteen Eighty-Four, don’t you get it?’)); it might be a collection of old books that are not read at all, just taken out now and again to smell the ancient pages and spend moments contemplating the journey that book has been on through the decades or centuries; or it could be a book that one read a good review of and bought intending to read it as soon as the book being read was finished, but another book got in the way, then one read a review of another book and bought that one, and next thing you know, there’s a guilty pile of books that will definitely be read just as soon as the current book is finished, and what book is that guy talking about?

    What’s the problem? He’s a council worker—IOW, gainfully employed—living in a bungalow (unlikely to be council property); so, he’s working, and living in his own place. The only criticism he merits is not telling the reporter to f*** right off along with every other nosey busybody (including the WHO and this ‘Life-Pod’ nonsense) questioning the way he lives in his own house on his own shilling.

    • September 1, 2018 at 7:27 am

      Hear hear.

      Read read.

      Delve, scan, refer, look up. Cherish.

      “”“If I was living in a big, posh house and had this amount of books on the shelves, they would call it a library,” he said.

      “Nobody would go ‘Oh, Lord Toffington is a hoarder!’ But because I’m living in a bungalow and I’m the underclass, I’m a hoarder.”

      Spot on.

      “”No, you idiot, it’s because Lord Toffington has the room for the things he buys!””

      So what? If he wants to buy books and doesn’t have the ‘room’ to display them all tidily, so what. What friggin’ beeswax is it of yours?

      Bloody Zozchial Verkers

    • September 2, 2018 at 6:23 am

      I hate to think how many cookery books I’ve got that may have only produced one or two meals. But at least I’m not climbing over them to get to the front door!

  4. macheath
    September 1, 2018 at 9:39 am

    ‘Woods said he did not realise he had a problem until a mental health support worker visited his home three years ago.’

    Somehow I’m reminded of what happened to relatives who were applying to adopt a child; the official visitor inspecting their home tut-tutted at the sight of their numerous bookcases and sent in a report that, in her opinion, they were compulsive readers and would therefore be unlikely to give a child the necessary attention.

    Although the presence of the mental heath support worker suggests there are other issues involved, a vast collection of books is a very different matter from hoarding used food packaging and disposable items – the kind of behaviour which has been observed in, for example, former prisoners and famine victims. It looks from the picture as if the first priority should be a decent set of shelves rather than removing as many books as possible.

    (Actually, I have sympathy with Mr Woods (and something of the same problem); as a severely cash-strapped student in the 1980s, I struggled to afford the books for the course, let alone for recreation; once I had more money and second-hand books became relatively cheaper, I developed the habit of snapping up as many books as possible – rather like Scarlett O’Hara vowing never to be hungry again.)

    • September 1, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Indeed.

    • September 2, 2018 at 6:25 am

      Well, quite! The sort of hoarders I’ve seen usually hoard less useful items, like newspaper, food containers full of their own bodily waste, etc.

  5. auralay
    September 1, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I do feel their pain.
    We had problems when my father died. Our ex-council house was already stuffed with full bookshelves in every alcove and my parents had accumulated a larger housefull. In the end we had to be brutal and only keep reference books and cherished volumes. Most we sold or gave away, but we had to bin some, which is heartwrenching.

  6. Errol
    September 1, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    What I find sad is he calls himself ‘underclass’. Is this an attempt to hide his problem from himself through an inferiority complex? I know a hoarder. You can barely open his door. There’s a foot wide space ito go up his stairs. In all other ways he’s a high functioning, incredibly bright family man. Does he need help? Probably. Is it for me to force it on him? No. I collect books. There isn’t one of the 6 bookcases in my cupboard that is not full and double stacked where it can be. I’ve already given away 24 ft cubed of books to charity.

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