There is one thing that book lovers love and fear at the same time; book buying. There’s nothing like walking into a Barnes & Noble and having infinite amounts of time to peruse all the books in every aisle. It can fix a bad day instantly, and make a great day even better. So what possible issue can arise from a book obsession and any bookstore either physical or online? The need to buy more books.
For those with a membership to their local library, or a monthly book subscription this may not be as bad an issue (at least money wise), but good lord there’s nothing like bringing a new book home and then realizing the TBR pile had just gotten bigger and bigger. Most of the time this isn’t as bad an issue for me, but as I’ve stepped up my reading and reviewing I’ve seen more books enter my home, and the TBR pile grow.
Beyond just reading what you have, which would be the kind of sarcastic advice that isn’t really helpful, let’s go into some things that have helped keep this all under some control with me.
First, controlling the beginning of the problem; the buying. No, I’m not saying start a book buying ban for yourself (I couldn’t do it to myself), but rather figuring out the best ways to limit the amount of times I go to a bookstore or how many books I can get at a given time. During those times where the TBR is really bad I’ll only get new releases that are a huge deal for me, it generally means buying online too, so it keeps me from entering bookstores where I’m more likely to spend more money.
Another tactic for physical bookstore visitors is planning book buying trips with a friend. It doesn’t mean always limiting the amount of books (unless it’s a non bookish friend), but it curves how often I go, and makes it a lot more fun since we’re both getting to hang out and talk one of our favorite subjects; books! I also remind myself on solo trips a number I’m limiting myself to buy, so I go in and behave myself. That strategy doesn’t always work, but it can help. The other version of that is going in with specific books I’m wanting in mind. It’s the old get in, get out mentality and it’s effective since you’re scanning shelves and running. Keeps me from looking at books I might get too interested in.
A non-book buying tactic I’ve used are reading challenges and book clubs. It could be something like an annual reading challenge or an A to Z, where it challenges you to find and read books that start with a certain letter. Clubs like those on Goodreads are good since they are aimed at having more than one book of the month (so less chance of book buying temptation) and the one I’m in has monthly themes you can compete in. It’s fun, it’s also a good way to read a book you might not have too.
So, hopefully none of us find ourselves going to any extremes to control the book buying. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday season with lots of books, and let me know your tricks to book buying in the comments below!