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Books for Thought is where I post a discussion topic related to books, reading, writing, or something pertaining to one of the three. I hope you’ll join in, and discuss today’s topic of

failed book buying bans

Way back in January, I decided to buy one book a month. I’m not even going to try and estimate how long that lasted. I think it might have lasted, like, three months. Which is … quite terrible. I also don’t want to try and figure out how many books I’ve actually bought each month since I completely and utterly FAILED at my book buying ban, but as an example: I’ve bought five books in November already, and we’re only a little over halfway through the month.



I should have known, back in January, that my book buying ban was not going to last. When I see a book I must have, I buy it. When I see a book I’m interested in and it’s on sale, I buy it. I HAVE NO SELF CONTROL, OKAY? I just like buying my book babies, because they’re precious. And besides, a lot of the books I buy are LGBTQIA+, which is good. People need to buy queer books, but that’s a discussion for another day.

I genuinely wanted to cut down on my book buying, not to save money or anything so boring, but to read the books I actually own. I’ve still got hundreds of books I own in ebook and physical format, and I have been a little better at reading them when I have the time, but they’re still taking backseats to my review copies (and library books, on the off occasion that I have them).

Rather than trying another book ban next year, which would undoubtedly fail as badly as this one, I think I might challenge myself to read at least one book per month that I own. More, if I can handle it. I mean, since I cannot restrain myself from buying these books, I should at least be reading them, right? I guess we’ll see how that goes in about a year. *nervous laughter*


What about you? Have you tried a book buying ban? How did you go?


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Posted on: November 18, 2015 • By: Chiara

32 Responses to Book Buying Ban = Failure

  1. Kayla says:

    I feel like I might need to try one–just because I literally have shelves of books (not to mention ebooks) that I haven’t read because I keep buying more!

    • Chiara says:

      This is my exact problem! I really want to try and read more of the books I own, because what’s the point in buying them if I never get around to reading them? D:

  2. Valerie says:

    My favorite thing about this post is seeing that post title hahaha. IT’S OKAY CHIARA. BECAUSE BOOKS ARE AWESOME. I fully support your book buying…wait, should I be supporting your book ban? Bleh

    • Chiara says:

      I KNOW THEY ARE! Which is why O keep buying them XD Pfsh, I don’t need support in my book buying ban. I have officially given up, and didn’t even set one for myself this year :D

  3. Prima says:

    Best way to get on a book buying ban is to be broke like me… after you’ve bought heaps of books XD

    • Chiara says:

      Ah, yes. Sometimes I am stern with myself, and actually realise I don’t have the funds to splurge on books, but sometimes it’s just too good to pass up!

  4. Yup, we’re both officially terrible at book buying bans. Remember how I said I’ll read all my books on my shelf at the start of the year? Then Bookfest happened…whoops.

    • Chiara says:

      At least we are terrible together :D <3 Saaaame. I read a book I got in December 2014 yesterday, and I felt so guilty that I'd had it for SO LONG. I want to try and read the books I own!

  5. Oh my gosh, me too O_O I bought heaps from Book Outlet last Boxing Day and I’ve read like one of them. Oops. I’ve promised myself not to buy books until after Christmas but I have no idea if that will work, lol. Especially since I NEED Winter.

    • Chiara says:

      EEP. I did that, too. Which is why I didn’t do it again in 2015, haha. I think there are exceptions to book buying bans, for series installments or favourite authors :D

  6. Shannelle says:

    I don’t know, being in China and being so aware of my money definitely has been a very effective book buying ban so far.

  7. Haha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Book buying bans? What are those? *nervous laughter*

    I have tried plenty of times to go on a book buying ban…and they always fail. Surprise, surprise. However, I’ve only purchased three books since March, but that’s because I literally couldn’t afford books…moving out and paying my own way for everything and not being employed proves to be the only thing that stops me from compulsively buying books…it’s just so hard when there’s so many to read!

    • Chiara says:

      I know, right? I know of the concept, but now how it works XD

      Ah, yeah. That totally makes sense. At least you would have been forced to read the books you already owned. That’s a good thing, right? And yessss, it’s always so hard to resist buying a book!

  8. The only way I have been able to prevent myself from buying more books is the knowledge that my birthday is next month. Whenever someone asks me what I want I give them a book off my wishlist so that I know I can’t buy the book for myself.
    I’ve also written a list of all the books I own (kindle and physical) since long lists terrify me as they make me feel like I have too much to do and no time to do it, so it acts as encouragement for me to read more and to not buy books as it will increase the list.
    This has been my most sucessful book buying ban technique yet. If I ever feel tempted to buy a book, I buy a free classic from the kindle store :’)

    • Chiara says:

      Oh, that is an awesome idea! I always try to keep myself from buying some books I want, because otherwise no one would be able to buy me books for gifts XD

      Lists are so good for me, too, but I don’t think I’d be able to move my hand if I wrote a list of all the books I own. There would be hundreds upon hundreds on that list D:

      I’m glad they are successful for you, Helia! And even getting that classic downloaded onto your Kindle is getting a book ;D

  9. Haraiah says:

    I ALWAYS try to ban myself from buying books but they are almost always a FAIL . I used to have been able to stick to my 5 books a month limit but when I found the joy of bargain books and thrift book shopping it was so freaking hard. I’ve been doing a good job lately though. Last month I only spent $2 on books and so far this month around $7 so hurrah!

    Haraiah @ Random Things In Action

    • Chiara says:

      I am also terrible, haha! I don’t even try to set myself limits anymore, because I almost feel like they entice me to break them XD Thrift and bargain books are irresistible, as far as I’m concerned! And $2 and $7 are amazing amounts to spend on books :D

  10. Grace says:

    I’m not good at stopping myself from buying books. This year though I’ve been able to keep it to a minimum, with the exception of the library booksale, because I know that feeding my book-buying habits there supports a good cause.

    Generally I’ve been asking myself before ordering a book off or Amazon or buying a new book if I’m realistically going to read the book within the next week. If the answer is no, then I hold off.

    Even so, there are a lot more books that I own that I haven’t read, and I’m not sure how to remedy that.

    • Chiara says:

      Library sales and op-shops are in a different category, as far as I’m concerned. Like you said, they’re supporting a good cause AND they usually don’t cost very much, either.

      This year I haven’t bought that many books! I’ve kind of been doing the same thing as you: only buying books that I know I will read ASAP when they arrive.

      SAME. I am going to try and cut down on the number of books I request to review, and instead focus a bit more on the books I’ve bought. I bought them for a reason, right?

  11. Romi says:

    WHY do your posts have me snorting ridiculously? Use more sensible gifs, I plead with you.The one on this post is just not appropriate. At all. It is too wildly inappropriate for me to formulate a single thing to say about it.

    I am, like, such a massive bookish cheapskate compared to most bloggers. I hardly ever buy new books and book buying bans are just… a part of my life, regularly? Like, christmas is the only time I might buy myself some books, most of the year, and that’s because I get given money to spend on whatever I like. What else would I buy? Books and Funkos. And green hair dye. *nods* Although I would love to regularly splurge and buy myself books. It is a sad truth (really) that I am a good saver. *sobs*

    • Chiara says:

      Because I am fabulous, obviously. HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT ALREADY? Ah, Spike <3 You have to meet him, Romi! Then you get to look at his face way more often.

      I never knew you were so terrible at book buying, HAHA XD Although, I suppose it is good that you're saving? I always inevitably end up buying a book. Although, I have to say I haven't been as bad lately. I have only bought a handful of books this year, which I am kind of proud of :D Especially since they are ones I KNOW I will read soon, unlike a lot of books I buy *side eye*

  12. I actually haven’t bought more than 10 books this month. I think it’s because I don’t make money and my parents would rather let me buy LUSH than books. Somehow, I’m alright with that. I think I’m “lucky” to not have a buying affliction. Actually, buying stresses me out because I’ll buy something and wonder, “why didn’t I buy that something else?”

    • Chiara says:

      10 books in a month is fabulous, though! I know what you mean. Although, my mum always indulged me when it came to buying books XD I actually feel that way when I buy something that ISN’T a book. If I buy a $20 shirt, I’ll be all: I could have bought a book with this! LOL.

  13. In January, I write up a list of books that I’m “allowed” to buy throughout the year…I only went…50 books over?
    I think…I haven’t counted.

    Nevertheless, I fully plan on doing the same thing next year.

  14. I go on book bans all the time, haha. Then I do really well for a short period and then I fail SO hard :’) It’s best to just give in every now and then. Like you, it’s more that I want to read all the books I have, so that’s why I do the TBR pile challenge. I guess I’m just not a ban-type of person :p

    • Chiara says:

      I can hold out on buying books for a little while, but I will always eventually fail! I should probably try and do that challenge! I am going to attempt to read more of the books I own, rather than keeping on requesting review copies, though. I don’t think either of us are book ban types of people :D

  15. This is rather interesting – for some reason, I have never really had a problem with buying too many books. I think it’s because I try to prioritise quality over quantity; I rarely buy books I haven’t read, and when I do it’s because they are either part of one of my favourite series or by an author I adore. Other than that, though, I am quite proud of the fact that my bookshelf is slim – it is a rather lovely thing to own only books that I love with every fragment of my soul. And for anything less than that – there is, of course, always the library. ;) xx

    • Chiara says:

      I’ve always bought new books I have never heard of, simply because they caught my eye and I had a desperate need to read them XD But I applaud you for your book buying ways, Topaz! I have far too many books than I will probably ever read, but it is like having my own library, so it is quite lovely :D

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