The dreaded book-buying ban.
When your physical TBR pile is (much) taller than you, and you need to cut back on a few purchases, do you put yourself on a book-buying ban? I did. And I’m wondering just how effective it is…
I’m not sure how many unread books are lying around my house, I plan to count them soon (which will probably scare me senseless) but I do know it’s a lot. As for cheap eBooks, they destroy me. I checked my Kindle app recently and discovered so many books I forgot I had because I clicked that wee “autobuy” button when it was 49p (or something equally ridiculous), and I’ve never even read them.
So, when I’d made a few purchases and then saw just how many books I had yet to read, I put myself on a ban. The longest I’ve consciously gone is 6 weeks. It was hell. And while I was on the ban I set my shopping cart up with what I was yearning for anyways. Metaphorical shopping to ease the pain, if you will. So, what happened when I came off the ban? I instantly clicked through to the checkout, on the exact same DAY I became ban-free.
Hey! No judging.
During the 6 week ban there were a lot of offers on books that I wanted and “couldn’t” buy. I told myself not to panic, offers are on all the time, of course I could get those books again with 20% off my total order, free shipping and an additional 10% cash-back…
On the day my 6 week ban ended I bought 7 books from Amazon. Would I have bought more than 7 books in those 6 weeks if I hadn’t been on a ban? Probably. But I did notice when I came off the ban I was a little more careful about what I bought. I’ve noticed that in general since I started blogging, I’ve seen reviews and heard snippets so I don’t just reach for a new book and think, “Oh, pretty”. I have a (very long) list of books I want to read because I’ve seen or heard about them and think/know I’ll like them or I want to read them e.g. the Shatter Me trilogy, the Mistborn series, The Lunar Chronicles etc.
The moral of this story is that I tried to become a more conscious shopper in general and I kind of have the following deal with myself:
- I only buy books on great offers and I shop around (originally, I was meant to use library books more, but I like OWNING, so that hasn’t happened). I placed an order recently that totalled £18 for 10 books (new), including shipping.
- I try not to make a purchase unless it’s already on my radar. This works pretty well (except for cheap eBooks!). I try not to impulse buy because the list of books I know I already want to read is pretty huge.
- I don’t impose “bans” on myself, so I don’t go mad buying all the books when it’s over, and then feel guilty about it, I just try to reduce purchasing in general, and purchase smartly.
- I don’t feel guilty about purchasing books, because of points 1 and 2 above. Reading is a “good thing”, and as long as I’m not spending large amounts every month (which I don’t), and reading isn’t detrimental to my life (which it isn’t), then I refuse to feel guilty about a productive hobby.
I used to purchase at a greater rate than I could read, and I think this has definitely slowed down, but of course, I still have my backlog waiting for me on a rainy day. My purchasing choices are far more select and I’m getting the best price possible.
That’s the best I can do for now.
How do you feel about book-buying bans? Do they help you control your bookish buying ways? Or do you throw caution to the wind regarding your purchases? Let me know in the comments!