This year, my husband and I decided to be responsible adults and save our tax refund, with a small exception: we put a tiny portion toward an Amazon gift card so we could each indulge the smallest amount and add to one of our collections.

I added to my absolutely ridiculous who-collects-that? Harry Potter book collection. I’ve written about it on other platforms, but since I haven’t addressed if here, I’ll give you a look:

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Yeah, that’s a custom bookcase. Yeah, we made it. Yeah, I know the “H” is off, but two years later I haven’t replaced it, so I don’t see it happening. No, I don’t speak any of those languages.

This ridiculous (and AWESOME) collection started when I was in the 7th grade and trying to decide if I would take German, French or Spanish the next year. I settled on French and, assuming I’d pick it up easily because I was a confident student, asked my mom for a French Harry Potter book for Christmas, sure it would motivate me to learn. At the time, Barnes and Noble had a section of children’s books in foreign languages (this was when people still very much shopped in stores. I swear I’m not as old as I sound), but they were out of French, so she got me what she could find: book 2 in both Spanish and German. I would eventually pick up my French copy (no, I can’t read it. No, I don’t want to talk about how many years of French I took…) and it went on from there.

Fourteen years later, I’ve finally completed one of my favorite sets, the Japanese books (which I can totally read! What? Is that unbelievable? … … Okay, yeah it is). I love this set in particular because they don’t just have different covers. Japanese is printed in what an English reader would consider back to front, and vertically across the page. Despite getting them all used, several came with ads, and the fifth book even had a HP bookmark in it. The picture below shows each book next to its American counterpart.

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You’ll notice that some piles have an extra book. As the books got longer, they were split into multiple volumes in Japan. My final addition was volume 1 of book 6. Despite all the books up there, I have few complete collections. It tends to be cheaper to buy used, so I’m never going after a collection in particular, but rather a good deal. Some exceptions exist, like the complete paperback set in German on its way to me from Europe.

So that’s my big claim to nerdom. Not that I occasionally play World of Warcraft, watch various shows/movies with “Star” in the title, played Legos on my anniversary or own more TARDIS’ than I own dishcloths. Nope. It’s books. I can’t think of a better reason to be a nerd.

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