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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

book buying bans

Once upon a time (okay, it was, like, January 1st) I thought to myself: shit, Chiara, you’re buying WAY too many books and never reading them. Do you even want to try and figure out the mula you spent on books last year? I responded to my own question with a resounding no.

And then I took a look around me. At the hundreds (and I am being 100% literal here when I say hundreds) of books that occupy my house that have not been read.

You see, I am not being sarcastic when I say I have a book buying addiction. OH, NO. No sarcasm from this girl (at least at the moment). I legitimately cannot stop buying books. I buy them online, in store, at sales, secondhand. If there’s a book and I see and I want it – I will buy it, and ain’t nothing on heaven or earth (or hell for that matter) that can get between me and my book purchases.


I don’t read them. I don’t even read these hundreds of books that I buy! I read review copies, or I go to the darn library and check out 1001 books – and I never end up reading the books that I have paid money for.

So what did I decide once upon a time?

That I am not going to buy any more books. (Well, that’s how it started, but I’ll get to that in a sec). I NEED to read the books that I have bought. To make my spent money worthwhile, and to read these stories that I simply could not resist spending my money on. No more books, I thought to myself. I am on a book buying ban.

If you have posted about a book buying ban, I probably commented along the lines of: I could NEVER do that. Buying books makes me happy, so why would I deny myself something that makes me happy?

This is true. Buying books does make me happy. But it also makes my wallet empty and my bank account low. And when I don’t read these happy-inducing items then the happiness is only an instant gratification kind of happiness which isn’t the same thing as the long lasting happiness of say, buying a book and reading it and finding out that it is a new favourite. Now that happiness is awesome. That’s the happiness I commented about. But I’m being a total hypocrite (kind of) because I haven’t even been giving myself the chance at this happiness.

So no more books, I thought. I will spend this year reading the books I have already bought. I will not buy any more, and I will not go to the library to read borrowed books instead of the ones I own.

Skip ahead to two days later, and I fill my cart with books and delete them all without buying. MAN, I was so proud of myself in that moment.

party hard

But then I saw a book (about two days ago) that I need to read. I need to. And my library doesn’t have it. SO I decided that I would let myself buy one book each month. ONLY ONE. Because, let’s face it – me? Not buying one book in 2015? That was pretty much never going to happen.

I’d like to keep to this, because I really do want to read my purchased novels + cut down on my bookish spending. I guess we’ll see how I go!


What do you think of book buying bans? Have you ever placed one on yourself? How did it go?


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Posted on: January 12, 2015 • By: Chiara

38 Responses to No More Books (kind of)

  1. punkfarie says:

    I NEED to go on a book buying ban. Did you see my post about how much money I spent on books in 2014? Almost $500. And I only read 15 out of the 82 books that I bought. Insane.

    I’m putting myself on a sorta ban. If I officially ban myself, I’ll stress out. My goal is to only purchase books I REALLY want and will definitely read. I want to try and read the books I didn’t get to last year.

    • Chiara says:

      EEP. That’s quite a lot! I have a feeling mine could probably be even more than your amount. I bought SO many books, and in all reality I read very little.

      I get the fear of official bans. I wouldn’t be able to do it if I hadn’t changed it to just buying one per month. There is always the library, after all!

  2. I went on a book-buying ban last year, and it saved me SO MUCH money. Probably nearing a thousand dollars by now, after borrowing from the library and such. I think I only bought discounted books (like $7 down from $15) or e-books that don’t cost very much anyway.

    Good luck with your book buying restriction! :O

  3. Best of luck with your cut back on book spending! I don’t know how I do it but I manage to be pretty good with spending money on books. I guess I just have to think about all the other books I have sitting at home or I think about how I could be spending the money on food. I think I have a food buying addiction. :3

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you! Yeah, obviously I need to start being a bit more frugal with the money I spend on books. I need to think of the ones I already have that i felt SO excited to buy but still haven’t read. Hopefully it will help.

      Food is good!

  4. Oh bless your soul, Chiara. Last year I said I would be on a ban, and I did pretty well… Until the holidays came and bookish gifts and sales and jesus the books are still arriving Dx I’ll need to learn from you.

  5. Good luck Chiara. I’m also trying to read more of the books that I’ve purchased. I can’t resist new books though. :-(

  6. Here’s a deal: I’ll help keep you in line and you help keep me in line. We will buy NONE of the books together! (this will be especially important at bookfest next week)

    Buying one book a month is harder than buying none, I think. You have to be REALLY selective and if you’re as indecisive as I am, it may turn into buying no books (unless you’re desperate) because you don’t want to waste that one chance.

    I’m on a complete buying ban this year. No books for Bec. There’s only a couple of exceptions (books from my favourite authors/last books in my favourite series) and I plan on STICKING to it. I managed to really cut down my spending in my buying ban last year and the fact that I literally have no money to spend in 2015 is definitely going to help me stick to it. Mostly I survive by allowing myself to go into bookstores every now and then and writing down the titles of books I want. Then I check the library and if it doesn’t have the book it goes on my wishlist. Another great tip is enter ALL THE GIVEAWAYS for books you want/ those $x of books from Book Depository ones. You’ll probably win one eventually.

    • Chiara says:

      Banding together against books. Why does that sound so good AND bad? OH LORD THE BOOKFEST. I don’t know how I will cope. *wails*

      I often buy books that I am only interested in reading, rather than DYING to read. So I’ve decided I will only buy DYING TO READ books, and I don’t suppose there will be TOO many of them a month. And there’s always the library + review copies :D

      Favourite authors and continuing series don’t really count, I think. I mean they’re special and continuations of books you’ve already bought. Totally legit at being excused from the ban. I used to write down titles when I visited bookstores, too! I should go back to that. Giveaways are always great, but I don’t win too many >.>

  7. That’s really good! I think 1 book a month is the best way to start a book buying ban. Last year, I bought around 10 books during the whole year so this year I thought I’d challenge myself to buy 0 books!

  8. I’ve never been on a book ban, but I remember once gifting a book to two friends who were on one, from their wish list. They loved me, ha! I go into a bookstore and sure, I see books I want to read. But I *know* how many are waiting for me at home. I can resist. I just like being in bookstores, dropping in for a quick visit, just being around them. I think that safely classified a book nerd ;)

    Good luck with your one a month goal, which is way more realistic! Hopefully it’ll also help you pick up the ones that line your bookshelf and give you a chance to read them. I mean, if you read them all, you’d totally be able to break the ban. That’s what I think, at least…

    • Chiara says:

      I have a secret hope of winning giveaways and being spoiled for my birthday so I can get more than one book a month, haha XD I went around to several bookstores yesterday and I was tempted, but I didn’t buy anything. Like you said: most of the time just being around all those pretty books is enough!

      Thank you, Rebecca! I hope I can do it :D If I do read them all (which is super unlikely), I’ll likely lift the ban!

  9. I think that’s good idea, I hope it’ll work! For me, I think I’m quite good with book buying ban…well, occasionally. Maybe because I’m very frugal and if I know I don’t have enough money to spare or I don’t really need to read the book now then I won’t. But book sale is another story, I can’t say no to that. T.T

  10. OH LOL YEAH The thing is, I have a shopping addiction in general. If I cut the books out, I’d move to something else. I had a ban from mid November to December last year (still feels weird to say that) and while I stopped for a month, that money just went elsewhere. The amount of shoes I bought in that month was insane. AND SHOES COST MORE THAN BOOKS OH GOD. Yeah, so unless I can stop myself from buying things in general, it won’t happen. Because I’m a hoarder. I just like stuff.

    • Chiara says:

      I can’t believe that it is 2015, right? I’m in a bit of denial over here.

      OH, SHOESSSS. I LOVE SHOES SO FREAKING MUCH. I had a bit of a show buying addiction a few years ago. I haven’t even worn some of them >.< I like owning things, too, which is why this isn't a complete ban :D

  11. I’ve never actually done a ban but thankfully I don’t own too many unread books yet, but give it a year or two and that will almost definitely changs xD Good luck with yours!

  12. We must share a mind wifey O_O I’m about to post something like this on Thursday! I decided that I couldn’t possibly limit myself to one book a month, with how many releases that are coming out this year. So I think I’ll stick to a max of 3 per month – with the exception of May because that’s just impossible.

    I’m so proud of you for doing this! I’ll be cheering you on all year :D

    • Chiara says:

      Ofc we do, that’s why we’re married! <3

      Three per month is pretty reasonable, I think! I'm probably going to use the library for books that I don't NEED to own but really want to read.

      We'll be cheering each other! ;D

  13. I found that the best way to cut back on book buying is not by implementing a total ban but regulating reading and buying. I told myself that I’ll only buy books when I read one or two already from my current TBR. It’s working so far! It helps to keep track of your purchases too.

  14. I AM PROUD that you are even considering a book buying ban, merely a few days until the book fest *evil laugh* but you did really well for not ending up with buying those books! I’m dedicated to reading books on my shelves as well, before I get admitted to Hoarders Anonymous.

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, I realised that when we made the plans. EEP. I am going to limit myself to five books at the festival, because they’re cheap + secondhand, so they don’t count :D

      IKR. I am hoarding these books at an alarming rate!

  15. I am in the EXACT same position as you. I literally have hundreds (I’d say almost 300) of books on my shelves that I bought and have not read yet. I too suffer this book buying addiction, it really is crippling. This year I have decided I will read the books I have on my shelves – well 150 if them, which is a huge stretch for me, but I am determined.
    Going cold turkey and not going buying books for a year will never work. I like your idea of buying one book a month. I was thinking of challenging myself to read 20 books and then reward myself by buying 1 book (and repeating until the end of the year.) It’s just so hard though!
    Good luck with not buying books, we need to form a support group, seriously, a lot of us bloggers have this book buying addiction.

    • Chiara says:

      I absolutely love owning all those books, but I feel terribly guilty every time I look at these unread preciouses! I think reading half of your owned books is awesome! I’m going to try and read at least SOME of my owned books, as well as review copies (I can’t say no to them, haha).

      Going cold turkey would definitely not work for me, I just know it. I love buying books and there are some that I desperately want to own! Rewarding yourself sounds like a great plan, and I hope it works out for you :D

      We should do Book Buying Addicts Anonymous or something!

  16. Mawa Mahima says:

    Good luck with the ban! Not having new books in the house constantly is very hard to get used to but you’ll look forward to that one book and hopefully get a lot of that TBR done! :D It’ll all work out in the end (fingers crossed).

  17. Sydney says:

    This year I’m actually going to make more of an effort to buy digital copies of books! I don’t think I’ll go on a book ban so much as a “Do you really need to buy that today?” type of ban. I have a really bad habit of impulse buying books because I think I won’t ever get the chance to buy them again EVEN THOUGH I know that isn’t true!

    So this year I’m trying not to buy as many books and so far it’s working! eBooks? Yeah, I’ve bought those, but I’m also going to utilize my library and the “check out” feature at work so I don’t spend a crazy amount of money on books!

    I don’t even want to know how much money I spent on books last year. *hides* I’m sure it was well over $300 which makes me REALLY sad. I mean, what else could that $300 have gone towards?

    Obviously we’re going to still buy *some* books, just not all! ;D I think it’s 100% okay to buy your favorite books, or to buy brand new releases you’ve been insanely excited for. I know I will!

    *raises glass* So here’s to us, Chiara, trying not to buy books in 2015 and saving our money for other things! :D

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, impulse buying dear LORD. I go into a bookstore, see titles, flail and then buy them. XD I just have that ~need to get the then and there, but it’s really not necessary.

      Yes, libraries are fantastic. And I’m pretty sure Amazon’s one-click buy contributed A LOT to my excessive book buying last year, just sayin’.

      *shudders* I’m pretty sure mine would have easily been in the thousands. EEP. And I could have been saving all that money *wails*

      Of course we’re gonna buy books! It is too hard (and completely unrealistic) to ask ourselves to completely refrain. But cutting down? Yes. We can do that!

  18. Vicky says:

    I need to stop buying books too! I use a Kindle (it really isn’t the same as reading a proper book but it makes my life easier) and every day Amazon tempts me with books based on my previous purchases and so I just buy more and more. I said to my other half today I need to make it a New Years Resolution as well!!

    • Chiara says:

      Amazon’s Kindle deals make it very tempting to just keep buying more ebooks! And I always grab free ones, too, which doesn’t quite count but it still brings up my TBR! Hopefully we can both stick to it, Vicky!

  19. I have attempted a book-buying ban, but it can be very difficult when you do see something that you *HAVE* to buy because the library doesn’t have it and it’s been on your must-read list for ages. It’s definitely good to go for a book-minimising scheme instead which is a bit more flexible. Great post Chiara :)

    • Chiara says:

      I hate it when the library doesn’t have that one book that I have an overwhelming need to read. Because then I HAVE to buy it, otherwise I’ll never get the chance to read it D:

      Yeah, I thought a complete book buying ban might have been a bit too much, haha. I would have broken it very quickly.

      Thanks, Eugenia! :D

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