August 2, 2013

But I GOTTA Have It! - The Compulsion to Buy Books

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

This post's title reminds me of my tantrum throwing days (thank GOD no one in my family is reading this right now). But I digress. And in addition to apologizing for digressing, I also have to apologize for being a little bit of a hypocrite, considering JUST YESTERDAY I launched my new feature asking you guys for help deciding what to buy when I get a Barnes & Noble coupon in my inbox.

Apologies aside though, I still want to talk about this with you guys. While I do often borrow books from the library, I mostly buy lots of books (as I confessed to Once Upon a Different Discussion Post), I really do have this insane compulsion to by lots and lots of books. I know I shouldn't, mostly because I have about 100 unread books on my shelves (and this doesn't even include my 60 or so BEA books!). But every time I'm sad or mad or celebrating something or have any kind of strong emotion whatsoever, I'll buy a book.

[None of this even begins to account for the coupons I get, which drive the feature mentioned above. Yeah. That's right. I get coupons often enough to start a feature to encourage my unending spending at Barnes & Noble.]

I think I derive comfort from both buying books and having an abundance of them on my shelves. I'm sure there's some sort of psychological thing going on here and I should probably seek help. But I won't. 

What I did do for about a month was go on a Book Buying Ban. I broke it the other day (You win, Rachel, you win). I didn't buy books unless I had a coupon on the ebook was on sale or someone gave me a gift card. I also got a couple of books from a few different channels. Basically what I'm saying is that it was only a half-hearted book buying ban because I love buying books and I just can't help it. I honestly don't think I could ACTUALLY go on a hardcore book buying ban. I'm just not capable of it.

And while all of the above is SUPER GREAT for the economy and my local Barnes & Noble and the indies nearby, it's REALLY not so great for both my groaning shelves and pouting wallet. It's like, no matter how many books I already have to read or how good my library is, I just can't keep myself from spending.

Basically, what I'm saying is, I have insane grabby hands when it comes to book buying. Some people have shoes, others have clothing, I have books. I just gotta have 'em, even if there's no way I can read even a fraction of the ones I already have anytime soon. Coupons may encourage me, but I really don't need all that much encouragement (which I think this post clearly explains). 

Do you guys have this problem? How about any tips or tricks to keep the grabby hands from springing to action? I know I'm not the only reader with this problem, so don't be shy and share in the comments below!


  1. I totally understand! I'm the same way. Of course, it doesn't help that I pass a book store on my way home from work every day!

  2. Hey, I say embrace it! But... maybe instead of making a "no buying ban" on books, do a "I will read one book for every book I buy" goal. At least then you're reading some of your spending! :)

    Or you could always share with your friends!

  3. Haha I am totally terrible at this. (There's a reason I named my blog The Book Addict's Guide hahaha.)
    I can't not buy books. I love them. Me buying books is that feeling that other people get when they buy clothes or shoes or jewelry. Had a bad day? Go buy books! I also cannot pass up a sale. I love thrift stores. Used book stores. Buying books for events at indie stores. It's hard not to buy 800 books at B&N. I am right there with ya girl!

  4. I completely understand this. I NEED ALL THE BOOKS.

    My wallet says I do not need all the books. When I got my tax refund back the first thing my BFF said to me was "Ashley, you do not need to spend it all on books" and I'm all YES I DO. Plus, I live by the local indie, so I justify it for helping the local economy. Can you tell I do a lot of justifying?

    But really, I'm the same way. I'll buy books I'll probably never read because I want to buy them. Then every so often I go through this cleaning spree and start to clean out my books (it took me a LONG time to get here) and then when I have an empty spot I'm like "YES MUST BUY MORE." Plus I take the books to a used bookstore, get credit and then buy MORE BOOKS.

    Yeah, vicious cycle.

  5. Haha I'm actually pretty good at this, but I'm not sure why. I WANT all the books, but I have no room to put them! (Plus I'm leaving the country in a month.) So I just sort of wait to get through my TBR pile before I buy more, unless a birthday comes up or I win them in a giveaway. It still gets ridiculous even with those two things though! I somehow am fairly lucky with giveaways, and when my birthday does come around I end up buying like 20 books. Meh.

    I think I just try to remain in denial that more books exist. Online shopping? What's that? Oh there's a book store over there? IT DOESN'T EXIST! I live in the strange world where no book buying avenues exist as protection. It somewhat works... Somewhat...

  6. I have this huge inability to pass up a really good sale, especially with books. If I see a book and it's about half price, I'm going to buy it most likely. Then when there are sales, I have to take advantage of them. Then there is when I'm feeling sad, I'll go buy a book because it makes me feel better.

    Like you, I have about 100 (more likely closing in on 150) books that are unread on my poor bookshelves. I'm trying, I really

  7. Oh yes. I have this problem. It's a huge problem. I am trying to keep my book haul buying limited to major holidays this year. Lime my birthday that just passed and Christmas. And then there is BEA. Those three big events net me more books than I can read in a year. And then there are the Kindle Daily Deals. I hate myself. Doll Bones is 1.99 this month by the way. SNORT.

  8. I have NO advice. I'm terrible when it comes to buying books and have had to purge my shelves NUMEROUS times of books that I bought WAY back but haven't read and now have no interest in. I think I'm finally at that point where I only buy books that I know I'll read, but I still can't keep up. The Amazon $0.99 sales are the WORST!

  9. I have no tips, I want all the books too. Fact 1 - Love that feeling of picking up a book I'm dying to read. Fact 2 - Hate the guilt of how high my tbr is and I have no time to read new book. I always seem to forget fact 2 when I'm indulging in fact 1. I think those two parts of my brain aren't wired together properly!

  10. YES! SO MUCH YES! I do the exact same thing and then I go on a 'book buying ban', which doesn't really last and I end up finding excuses to go ahead and BUY MORE BOOKS. These days I try to a book shopping spree once a month, right after my paycheck comes in, because you know, celebrating the money coming in and all :)
    But I have no tips for you other than to just embrace it and sit in front of your bookcase and be happy because you have so many shiny books. And then maybe despair of ever reading all of them.

    Also, I also have grabby hands for shoes, dresses and bags.

  11. Fun post! So, I'm a librarian, so I obviously use the library a TON. Until I started blogging, I bought very few books. But then I started blogging, and I just had this urge to get my own books.

    I think I go through streaks. Sometimes I just want to buy and buy and buy books, and other times, even when I have a coupon, I go to the store, and anything I'm interested in, I think, but I know my library has that one. I have been in a "but the library has that" streak for awhile, but I'm think I leaving that, and getting into a I NEED TO BUY BOOKS run.

    And often, I tend to buy books that I've already read either from the library, or from Ntegalley, that I love. That way, I KNOW I will love them.

    I have to say, it's nice to own books. I mean, I love the library, obviously, but I also love looking at my pretty bookshelves full of books, too :)

  12. Instead of going on a book buying spree - go on a "borrowing from the library" spree. It probably won't work, but that's what I got. I don't buy a lot of books, instead choosing to borrow most of mine from the library.

    Tanya Patrice

  13. "It's like, no matter how many books I already have to read or how good my library is, I just can't keep myself from spending."

    You describe me. When I have the slightest amount of money, I spend it on books. It's probably better if I try to save up some money, but I can't help myself. When I'm happy, I buy a book. When I'm sad, I buy even more books to treat myself. It's truly an addiction, but not one I regret. I have some unread books on my shelves *cough more around 500 cough* but I need them.

  14. My hubby always says that everyone needs a vice, and at least we're not smokers or drinkers or gamblers. And HE buys even MORE books than I do.

  15. Ah, book buying! I used to be one of those people who bought books nearly every other day (mostly because I'm obsessive compulsive about owning things), but I somehow managed to train myself to NOT buy books. It was, admittedly, one of the most difficult things I've ever done! I started off with a book buying ban (although I slipped up a couple of times), and then started really considering my finances and my options for space. I think my practicality finally kicked in and so, here I am, capable of (semi) controlling myself in a bookstore.

    Then again, this all gets tossed out the window when I finish my book buying ban or have extra moolah to spend so...

  16. This is both my biggest problem and biggest joy at the moment. I've been buying so many books lately, and I LOVE IT, and I need more and more and more, but really, I don't. I have so many unread books that I'm VERY excited about, but I have no time to read, and then I buy more books and ahhhh. Cray shit. However, I'm going on a ban in September and I will stick to it for once. Naturally, I'm only starting my ban halfway through the month, after the book fair I'm attending. Obviously.


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