As an avid reader and book collector, there are few things I love more than buying a new book. It's a thrill to hunt through the shelves in your favorite bookstore and find the perfect book. The one with the gorgeous cover you know you're going to love and read immediately.
However, how often does that really happen? How many beautiful books have sat unread on your shelves for embarrassingly long amounts of time? For me, that number is very high. Towards the end of 2016 I realized I was buying books at such a rate that medical science was going to have to advance a whole heck of a lot before I'd have enough years to read them all. So, at the start of 2017, I instituted a book buying ban.
That's right, I banned myself from doing my most favorite thing. Why, you ask? Because buying books shouldn't be my favorite part of books. Reading them should be! And somewhere in all of the madness, I'd lost sight of why I started my blog/bookstagram to begin with. So, six and a half months deep into 2017 I've only purchased...*drumroll*...six books!!
That number is insanely low for me! And the best part? I've discovered some real benefits of a book buying ban.
1) I visit the public library way more
The library is such an underutilized tool. It is a building full of books, and you can take home as many as you want! It's like being able to walk into Barnes and Noble and buy anything you want (except you have to return them all within four weeks, of course). The truly amazing thing about the library is that you don't just have to pick up books you know you will love. The library grants you the freedom to step outside of your comfort zone. You can try out a new genre or a graphic novel without having to worry that you've just wasted your money on a book you'll hate. Plus, the library has way more than just books. We're talking CDs, audiobooks, magazines, DVDs. Plus, most libraries now offer eBooks, which you can check out online from the comfort of your own couch as long as you have a library card. It's a beautiful beautiful thing.
2) No debilitating reading slumps
When I was constantly buying new books, I found myself crippled with indecision over whether to read one of the dusty books on my shelf or one of the crisp new ones the postman had just delivered. Even worse, I found myself feeling guilty every time I set aside a book I'd bought months prior in favor of a new release. Honestly, I started to feel like my reading life was all flash and no substance. I could post pictures of all of the pretty books I'd just purchased, but in all likelihood most of them went unread. Now, I find myself sitting down with books I've long been meaning to read, but never found the time for. Truly, I'm reading much more regularly and there is zero guilt involved, which is how it should be.
3) Money money money
I've saved so much money. So. Much. Money. Between frequent trips to the library and receiving more ARCs and galleys from publishers, I've spent so much less money this year than I did last year. And with a baby on the way, every penny counts!
I originally instituted my book buying ban with every intention of caving one month in and going back to my old ways, but honestly, I may extend my ban well beyond 2017! I'm saving money, reading more often, and enjoying what I read more without all of the buyer's remorse. It has been a wonderful change.
Would you ever implement a book buying ban? Have you implemented one before and what benefits did you see, if any? Let me know in the comments!