Yes, indeed, certain Homeowners Associations are actually doing unannounced mandatory inspections for hoarding. Among the items not to be hoarded are books! Scary, isn’t it?
I have to make a confession here. I hoard books. I still own just about every book I ever read. None are piled on the floor, but my shelves are packed. Somehow, I just thought my grandkids might someday wonder how their old grandpa got the nutty ideas in his head for some of the directions in life he took.
My mother was a wise old bird. She had a ‘secret compartment’ on her shelves that held some books my brothers and I were forbidden from reading. Of course, as soon as I discovered the ‘secret section’ I made a good inventory and went back as often as I dared. So at the age of ten, I started making my way through a number of naughty writers like Ayn Rand, Gore Vidal, D.H. Lawrence and Aldous Huxley. I don’t remember many turned down pages, but I do remember that Ape And Essence was kind of titillating,
Among the forbidden books were some by James Madison and Charles Dickens. Ah yes, there was also a book called Fahrenheit 451.
It was about people who hoard such things as books. And the local HOA squad goes out and torches the illegal collections.
In my forty year career as a news reporter, I’ve walked into hundreds, perhaps even thousands of homes. Some were clean. Some were not. But in all those years I never saw anyone’s book collection that should have been confiscated.
Hoarding is a problem. But isn’t it the wildest form of arrogance for a private non-profit corporation known as a Homeowners Association to do surprise inspections and make random decisions about what is and isn’t ‘hoarding’? I don’t like mice. Or termites. But just keep your hands off my books!