Hey all, Dani here.
Let’s spend today talking about buying books, because well…I’ve had book buying stuck in my mind for a little while now, so it seems like an appropriate topic. Also, everywhere I turn online I’m being reminded of the current and upcoming sales at places like Barnes & Noble. For example, right now they are bringing back their annual #bookhaul blowout, where over 1,000 titles are marked as 50% off. It’s member only at the moment, but come tomorrow (Saturday) it’ll be open to everyone, at least until the sale ends, which I believe is Labor Day.
Oh, and I guess I should probably say here that this post is not sponsored by Barnes & Noble in any way. I’ve been a card carrying member of B&N since 2006, and they are the primary place where I get my books. I’m glad I have a big bookstore I can go to that is relatively local (the three closest stores are 45 minutes to an hour away), because I love wandering the store and browsing the stacks, and then relaxing in the cafe with a coffee and a snack. It’s just a nice way for me to pamper myself.
Which is where I run into problems. Maybe I pamper myself too much with books. I buy them almost compulsively. When I’m in a good mood I get books to celebrate. When I’m feeling upset or sad, I get books to console myself. When I’m bored, oh hey look, books!
Okay, okay, fine, I’m at least responsible enough to make sure that my necessary bills are paid first. I pay my rent. I pay my phone bill. I buy the food we need to cover each pay period. I make sure I have the money set aside to cover gas for the car. But after that…I spend most of my money on guilty pleasure purchases. For me that means D&D stuff, movies and TV shows, and books. Usually. I mean, sometimes there’s other stuff in there as well.
At my worst with book buying, which was I believe in 2016, I think I ended up buying 20-30 books each month. Was I reading that many each month? Not usually. But I kept finding all these books that sounded halfway interesting on Book Outlet, and I didn’t have much else going on in my life. So I just continued buying and hoarding books.
I read at a pretty decent pace, but not fast enough that I could keep up with that size of a regular haul.
I’m a bit better now, helped a tiny bit by the early reads I get thanks to NetGalley. I still buy a majority of those books in physical form after they’re released, though I can mark them as lower priority in months where there are a lot of book releases I’m anticipating (you know like September and October this year).
I probably do need to restrict my book buying a little bit more. With all the home maintenance expenses, and our wedding and honeymoon in 2020, we need to save money as much as we can. I’ve never been able to successfully go on a book buying ban, but a restriction works mostly. That’s where I buy only the highest priority of releases, and then keep a list of everything else.
If I do this book buying restriction, I’m sure my wallet will appreciate me more. And of course, so will my local library, because I absolutely would visit them more if I had to keep to my bookish restrictions.
So I guess I’m curious: what are your book buying habits? Are you an emotional/boredom shopper like me? Can you keep yourself to a strict book budget or book ban? Tell me all your thoughts and opinions down in the comments, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.