The article reminds me of that guy in nyc who had an apartment filled with stacks and piles of newspapers and magazines (probably some books in there, too). I think some stacks fell over on him and he was trapped for a couple of days. I believe he lived (but had to clean the place out). He might have had some paper cuts.
As a foil to this discussion, one of my former girlfriends had a whacky New England auntie who was a "packratter" of a kind. Lived in a Rhode Island farmhouse, and became a bit of a recluse except for the local neer-do-well who served as her gardener/handyman/delivery boy in her twilight years.
When she passed away, they found the house was crammed to the rafters with antique New England furniture, paintings, knick knacks, etc. "Junk". The assessed value was several million dollars, and the neer-do-well and the family fought over the estate for years (she'd left two separate conflicting wills).