Monday, February 17, 2014

Discussion: Book Buying Bans

I've seen a lot of people struggling with their book buying habits. And in an attempt to "take control", they put themselves on a book buying ban. Typically, this means not buying a single book for a period of time. I've attempted doing a book buying ban, but it's never worked out. There's always a book that I want to buy, so I do, and then the book sits on my shelf collecting dust. How long can you go without buying a new book? I'm sure it depends on the new releases, but I have never last more than two months without picking up a book. And when I do break my book buying ban, it's with multiple books. Not just one or two. I've also seen this happen with many other book tubers and book bloggers.

So this year, I decided to make a change.

I want to preface by saying this: you do not have to feel bad about your book buying habits. There are far worse things to spend your money on (i.e. drugs). Books are my addiction, so to speak. And I cannot just stop buying books. There are too many series I want to complete, and too many new books I want to add to my shelf. But I have chosen to regain control, to save money, and I'm offering some suggestions to those who DO feel guilty about the number of unread books on the shelf. Here is my 2014 strategy.

- Clean out my shelves. I have packed up books I am no longer interested in reading, and am taking them to a local used bookstore for cash.
- Preorder more books online. The biggest reason for preordering online, is that books are much cheeper online.
- Avoid going to the bookstore on a regular basis. Only go for special occasions and signings. This is to avoid the temptation of picking up books I hadn't planned on purchasing.
- Create a list of preorders for each month, limiting the number of purchases/preorders to 5 or 6 books per month. Or choose to limit the number of preorders per year (rather than by month). *
Have you gone of a book buying ban?  How long did it last? Are you limiting your book buying? Have you tried any (or all) of the methods I've used above to limit your book buying habit? Do you think there should be such a thing as a book buying ban? Let me know below and let's talk!

**I have chosen to do both. I have limited the total number of preorders in 2014 to 30.


  1. I've never actually done a book ban! I feel like I buy a lot of books, in the sense of buying every book I read (I don't go to the library or have an e-reader). But I don't really buy much more than I know I can read in the near future! Great post and good luck with your strategy!

    1. That's awesome that you read most of the books you buy! I think that my issue was buying SO MANY books when I first began blogging. Too many to keep up with. Now I'm trying to only buy books I know I will soon or immediately read. Hopefully my strategy will work. :)

  2. I've successfully done bans on adding books to my review shelf, but I'm hopelessly addicted to buying books. Worse, apparently there is a person or persons with excellent reading taste in my area who loves to donate books. This weekend I picked up 9 semi-new release hardcover books (including Gone Girl and The Cuckoo's Calling) for $19. The last time I went to the library, there happened to be be copies of books 3+4 in the Mortal Instrument series in the donated/purchased section...and I needed those to finish my series, lol.

    I've bought only two books at full purchase price since January 1st and all of my many other book purchases have been for less than those two books combined...but it's a lot of books. I limit my online purchases by only using credit card points, but my major problem stems from the thrift stores. It's hard to feel guilty about buying so many books when they're only $1-$3 each.

    1. I never thought about the issue of buying used books from thrift stores! In that case, of COURSE it is tempting to stock up on a book you might enjoy if it's $1 or $3. Hence why I'm trying to stay away from bookstores this year. LOL. Thanks for commenting!

      BTW, you should totally read Gone Girl! Such a mind-bending/crazy book.

  3. I actually haven't gone on a conscious book ban, but there have been periods where I just don't buy any books because nothing really inspires me to hand my money over for. :O I haven't forced myself to go on a book buying ban because I'm fortunate enough not to need to, and I've also seen many people who do and when they end up breaking it they buy much more books than they normally would've.

    I never used to pre-order much, but I've been pre-ordering a lot more lately. :3 I hope your strategy works out for you and good luck!

    Kaede @ Wake Up at Seven

    1. I've come to love preordering! Plus, I use coupons from BAM when I preorder, so that 20% initial discount is usually even more. It's a wonderful thing, so long as books come to me in good shape. And I haven't had a huge issue with that.

      Thank you for commenting!