Controlling the urges to buy all the books is hard!
34 Books is an awful lot of books to buy for one month. Yet I managed just that last month. It has got me wondering about my book buying habits. I love books, and they make me happy. But is my book buying still manageable? Am I an out of control impulsive book buyer, and do I need to reign myself in? *
Amount of books each month
A good way to see if I am out of control is to see how many books I usually buy per month. Last Saturday I posted some of my reading stats from the first half of this year. Next to those I have been keeping track of how many books I’ve been buying each month. Below you can see how many books I bought so far this year.
January – 4 books
February – 10 books
March – 19 books (15 at Boekenfestijn)
April – 4 books
May – 5 books (but one is a bind-up of 3 books)
June – 34 books (16 at Boekenfestijn)
With the exception of March and June, I’ve actually been doing rather well at the book buying front. I seem to buy mostly between 4-10 books a month which is I think is a reasonable amount of books to buy per month for myself. March and June I bought a lot of books. However it is also clear to see as to what the reason to that was. Boekenfestijn is a book fair where you can buy books cheap. I always go a little crazy there.
Browsing and impulsiveness
Like many readers, my to read list on Goodreads is rather long. I follow many book lovers on various social media platforms, and my interest in what books I want to read has grown a lot over the last year and a half. So many books sound good. At the online stores** I buy books I have made wish lists. Often when I have found a book that interests me I check to see the price and to add them to my wish list. So I browse a lot online. Sometimes I see what books I have on my list, if they still interest me and if the prices have been lowered. In these situations I am not that impulsive.
I also pop into book stores at least once a week. There is one book store in my city that I visit. In general they don’t often have the books that I want so I’m not often that impulsive when I am there. In a nearby city there are two book stores and one second hand book store that I visit at least once a month. Again, they don’t often have the books I have in mind, but they do have more books that interest me. If I do buy a book in the two book stores it often is only one that I really want. It will be a book I’ve been eyeing there for a while. But I’ve walked away there often without any books. On occasion I buy books in the second hand book store. I only get books there that I really want or if the price is pretty good.
In the above situations I really think about what I want to pay for a book and how much I really want a book.
However when it comes to sales or cheap prizes I can be more impulsive I’ve noticed. Sales on the online book store I buy at make me very impulsive which is also what largely got me such a large amount of books last month. The click. ‘add to basket’ is easily made. But be honest, who can pass up on 3 books for 20 Euros?
Boekenkraam is also a Dutch book buying site I have recently discovered that sell books cheaper. I really have to force myself not to look on there too often, because I always see something that interest me for a good price.
So I can be an impulsive buyer but in those moments I do always check with my husband first. I always make the agreement with myself that I talk it over with my husband with these impulses just so I have someone that can say to me, ‘you’ve already bought too much’. Or that the price isn’t reasonable at all. Or maybe to hear that it is very reasonable and to be confirmed in my feelings to go ahead and buy it.
Feelings have a lot to do with my book buying. I have a stronger urge to buy books when I am stressed or extremely nervous. Books help to calm my nerves I’ve noticed over the last few years. They helped me get my head above water in one of my lowest moments a few years ago. On the other hand, when I feel happy or something good happens, I also feel the urge to celebrate with books. Both these things happened in the month of June. And though it is not an excuse, it is a reason as to why I bought so many books last month. I think it is good to know, realize and accept these things for the next time those situations arises.
So I don’t think I’m out of control. I have a good idea of when I buy books and why I buy books. I know my weaknesses. Do you think I’m out of control? You can be honest!
What are your book buying habits? Do you check with someone else before you buy books? Do you find yourself an emotional buyer? Or can you resist all those sales?
* I would like to point out that I am not judging anyone. If you buy 1 or 50 books a month, that is great as long as that makes you happy and your budget allows it. This is just an insight into my book buying behavior and what I feel comfortable with.
** To the Dutch people, I buy my books online at Bol, Libris, and on occasion Eci, next to the mentioned Boekenkraam.