Monday Musings | Book Buying Habits

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I guess it comes as no surprise that my book buying habits have changed over the years, but as I was celebrating a great find at the library (yes, I’m a nerd), I wondered if everyone has a list of criteria that determines whether they buy a book or not. Or, more realistically, what those criteria are.

When I  grew up, the books I “bought” were the ones I successfully convinced my parents and relatives to buy for me. When I started having a (small) allowance, I was very picky when it came to actually biting the bullet and buying a book with my limited funds. At this point in life, I mostly bought books that I had already read but loved. But once I moved into my own place and started my first “grown up” job, there was no stopping me. I started buying books that I really wanted to read immediately, regardless of price and format. Well, let’s just say that that kind of buying isn’t sustainable and now I’m back in the “pull back” mode of buying where I have to really think carefully about the books I’m buying as I’m running out of space.

So, I normally follow a set of guidelines when I decide whether I want to buy a book: a) how badly do I want to read this book? b) do I want to read it right now? c) can I buy this as an e-book instead? d) might I find it in the library?

I find these guidelines have served me well so far, and when I see an anticipated read at the library, it’s extra exciting.

Do you give yourself any guidelines when deciding whether or not to buy a book? How have your book buying habits changed throughout the years?

Monday Musings | Book Buying Bans and TBR Guilt

Monthly Summary July 2014

It seems like the more I blog and interact with the online bookish community, the longer my TBR list becomes. I know this is a common “problem” and there have been many great articles that address “TBR guilt” and how we shouldn’t feel ashamed, but for me there is a limit to my funds and space when it comes to books. Because of this, I’ve been thinking about book buying bans lately.

I had never heard of book buying bans before becoming a book blogger. It seems to be quite commonplace in this section of the blogosphere and I’m starting to understand why. I hear about new books every day and that means that I’m adding books to my TBR (mental or physical) on a pretty regular basis. This has resulted in an over-flowing bookshelf and stacks and stacks of books lying around my house unread. In the interest of my wallet and living space, I think it might be time for me to implement this dreaded book buying ban.

But before I do anything rash, I want to ask you about it! Have you ever gone on a book buying ban? How long were you on the ban for? Did you find it useful?

I’ve put myself on “unofficial” bans before but it never really lasted for longer than a week or two. My reservation with this money-saving/space-saving method is that once I lift the ban I’ll go crazy and just make up for lost time by buying a ton of books anyway. Wouldn’t that be counter-productive and just make myself feel worse in the long run? Should I just embrace the fact that I love collecting books because of their potential?? Or maybe it’s time that I pay more attention to my “Books bought/Books read” ratio and only reward myself with books if I’ve read a certain amount each month. I don’t know!

Bookish friends, how do you manage your TBR? Do you feel TBR guilt or do you just accept the fact that there will be books on your shelf that you may never read?