Searching Out Hoarders

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!


Please follow & like us :)


Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

2 thoughts on “Searching Out Hoarders

  1. Nila

    Regardless of our nation’s “Let’s Move” program the kids can’t play outside if they live in an HOA. NOW, the bookshelves are going to be stripped clean, so that leaves reading of ANY KIND out! Next I’m going to be reading they can’t play with Lincoln Logs because that would be building houses without an HOA! Geez…somebody please sound the alarm for the legislators to come to our rescue!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.