Monday, January 11, 2016

Discussion Post: My 2016 Book Buying Ban

This conversation always stems from the same thing. I need to get a new bookshelf because I can't fit them all on the shelf that I have. Then I get a new shelf, reorganize my books and realize just how many books I own and see how many of them are unread. That happened this weekend. (Check out my pretty new shelf). Well plus I already had a freak out last week about breaking my ban.

Last year I decided to put myself on a book buying ban of sorts. Us bookish people, we can sort of go overboard when it comes to getting books. I know for me in particular if I see a book sale or have a coupon I'm like "I NEED ALL THE THINGS!" That's why last year I put myself on a plan that allowed me to buy very specific books.

So as 2015 drew to a close I decided to look back at that ban and see how I did and reassess these goals for 2016. Here's last year's post if you want to check it out.

1.) Don't Buy Books You've Already Read

In 2015 - At first I thought, I actually did pretty good with this one. I didn't want to buy books that I had already read and I could only think of a few times I broke this one last year. But then I thought about it more and realized I bought hardcovers for books I had already read, I bought books in multiple formats, I probably broke this more times than I realized. I know we all deserve a cheat from time to time so I'm not to mad about it but I can't really say that I accomplished this.

In 2016 - Be better. I will admit that I will probably break this one again. I'll get an e-ARC and want a physical copy. I'll buy books to complete a series. Saying I can't do this at all isn't realistic. I think I'm going to set myself a limit for this one. I'm going to allow myself to do this 6 times throughout the year. So this way I can keep it to a minimum but set a goal that is more realistic. In general I don't want to buy books in multiple formats. That's the big thing. I already have a few books that I'm getting a physical copy and an e-book because Tor has discounted versions through Amazon. I'm considering cancelling these because that's already two off this goal. And I recently had this huge internal conflict about canceling a preorder because I got a physical ARC and an e-ARC. I want a hardcover so badly but that would be half of my limit in the first couple months. I must stay strong!

2.) Only Buy Books You Know You're Going to Read

In 2015 - I thought at first that I did really good about this one as well. I could only think of a couple books that I bought that I didn't read. Okay so there was that pesky library book sale, but that doesn't count. I was supporting the library. In general I honestly can only think of a few physical books I bought that I didn't read. Then I looked at my Kindle. I bought 47 books for my Kindle in 2015 and only read 12 of them. That is terrible for someone on a book buying ban. I usually justified it because they were all on sale, $2-5 for a book isn't bad at all but wow that adds up after awhile. So that part of the ban I definitely failed.

In 2016 - I think this one is going to have to go on the list again just as is. I said last year when I wrote my discussion post that because I plan out my TBR with theme months it shouldn't be that hard to only buy what I plan on reading. That wasn't true I guess. And this year I'm deciding not to be so strict about the monthly TBR so I run the risk of just getting a book because I want to. But I'm also more likely to buy a book that I will read because it won't be on the TBR for forever. Although is that so bad? Yes... AH! See why I need this! The big thing too is that I need to not buy Kindle books just because they're on sale (more on this later).

3.) Stick With the Pre-Orders

In 2015 - I did well on this. I mean it's not a "don't do something" part of the ban so it's easier to
complete I think. But in general I would say of the physical books I bought this year all but three were pre-orders and I read every book I pre-ordered. I still think that it helps me prioritize the books that I really want to read. If I care enough to pre-order, I'm going to read it. This part of the ban really just exists to help me complete other parts of the ban.

In 2016 - Keep it up. Like I said, I did well with this one and I think it helps keep my general book buying down. I already have eight books pre-ordered for 2016 and that's only through March. Plus the thing I like about pre-orders is that usually they are like 20-30% cheaper if you get them in advance. That in and of itself makes me feel better about the spending. Even if I do have to wait a few extra days to get it (cough cough WHERE'S MY COPY OF PASSENGER cough). I'm actually considering making my book buying ban only allow preorders but that seems unrealistic so at this point I'll just keep it as a key component.

4.) Stay Off Book Outlet and Don't Use Coupons Just Because You Can

In 2015 - Surprisingly I did really well with this one as well. I used Book Outlet this year for
basically only gifts. I bought myself two books there the entire year. I didn't get anything during the Black Friday Sale or the Boxing Day Sale. Do I regret it? Maybe a little. NO! I don't regret it. I love Book Outlet, it's great but getting a stack of books I don't plan on reading I don't like.

In 2016 - Keep it up. I'm going to stay off Book Outlet again and not use coupons just because I have them. But I think the big addition to this part of the ban this year is that I won't buy a book just because it is on sale. Last year when I explained why I was including this as part of my ban I called Book Outlet a bunch of jerks but now I feel like it's Amazon for their Kindle deals. Like I said before, that adds up after awhile. If I have no plans to read it I'm not going to buy it. I need to avoid buying books just because they are on sale and be more responsible when it comes to these things.

5.) First Read the Books You Already Have

In 2015 - I said last year that this is easier said than done and I was right. This one is a hard one. I did the TBR Pile Challenge where I wanted to read backlist books that I already own. I ended up reading 21 books for this challenge which is pretty goof but only 17 of them were books I owned before. And considering that I read about 130 books in 2015 not counting rereads that's not even 15% of my total books read. That's not terrible but I'd like it to be better than that.

In 2016 - I need to be better. I am doing the Rock My TBR Challenge which I am hoping will help with this goal. What I like about this challenge is that it only counts books that you already own. The TBR Pile one was just backlist books so as the year went on I counted books that I was gifted or books that I got from the library. This year I can't do that. And you are supposed to make a list of books you are hoping to read which I think is cool. My goal is to read 25 books for that challenge which will be 20% of total reads not counting rereads. That I think is a better percentage. Plus I think not sticking super close to a reading schedule will help me be able to read more books that I own.

Once again, I need your help. Writing this post is helping to keep me honest. I need to be better about my book buying ban. Although if I'm being entirely honest I don't want to call it a ban. Bans are hardcore, bans make you think that it's all or nothing. So I think instead I'm going to call this a book buying diet. I'm just trying to cut back, be more responsible, get healthy. Who's with me? Who will help me make it happen?

Are you on a book buying ban? What does your ban entail. Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I’m also on a book buying ban until my TBR pile gets smaller. When the ban is over, I’m only going to buy books that I’m really excited about. Hopefully that will keep the pile from getting huge again.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I am completely terrible about buying more books when I already have TONS that I haven't read! I won't lie, Book Outlet is a problem, but I only buy during sales! Maybe one day I'll put myself on a ban... Maybe. Your new shelf is pretty though! :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  3. I can't even pretend to put myself on a book buying ban anymore. Lol! I am trying to read through books I already own though and only buy ones I REALLY have to have. Good luck!

  4. I am not on a book buying ban - I am however purging my shelves, getting rid of those I've already read or really am just not ever going to get around to. Happily that gives me more room for new ones.

  5. I really need to get better at this too. Preorders are fine, but I cannot go and buy 6 books full price one month because it is bad for my poor savings... I need to keep it down and depending on the preorders for my Kindle, I'll need to sort how many more books I can afford to purchase, maybe 1, maybe 2, maybe 3, but no more than that.

  6. Good plan! I try to put a ban on myself soooo many times and then I completely fail at it. I definitely should stick to reading books I own first... but I own hundreds I haven't read yet. And there are so many new books that I want. I just seem to never be able to control myself. I clearly have a huuuuuge problem.