Thursday, July 13, 2017

Discussion Post: How Do You Decide What Books to Buy?

I think a few months ago I promised I would do a discussion about why I'm no longer on a book buying ban. That post never happened. I never even got close to writing it either. Because honestly the real reason is because I really wasn't on one in the first. I have never not bought books.

It's one of the unfortunate (read fortunate) side effects of being a book blogger. You are hyper aware of all the upcoming releases. Whether that is because you need to have your pulse on what is coming next from publishers for reviews or because you are just entrenched in the world and seeing them in your Twitter feed, Bloglovin list, or on Goodreads those upcoming releases are in your face. Before I started blogging I would made learn about a few exciting books a year and now I know about a dozen a week. This is great because I learn about all kinds of amazing books I want to read but it's also really bad on the wallet.

I don't know about you but I don't have much of an expendable income. I can spend some money on books but not as much as I would like to, especially with the fact that I know so many books that are coming out and want to read so many of them. This means I need to prioritize the books that I do buy. So instead of talking about my lack of book buying ban I decided to talk about that as my discussion post this month. So here is how I decide which books to buy.

1.) I Only Buy Books I Know I Am Going to Read

Now, I know that this is not going to be something that everyone can do. Many of you and many people out there in the world are mood readers and therefore they will read whatever they feel like at any given moment. It's hard to plan out your books if you are a mood reader. I'm not a mood reader. I will sometimes want to read something different but for the most part I am a hardcore planner. Most of you know I do theme months here so I plan out what I'm going to read. Because of that I can definitely say that I can and will read a book that month and therefore feel okay buying it.

This also helps me prioritize the books I buy because usually the ones that I know I am going to read are the highly anticipated releases I can't wait to read because they are the ones that I have already been waiting on. Often times these are sequels or new releases from favorite authors. They are the standards and favorites that I want to read really badly and therefore I can buy them knowing that I will read.

Well the main reason I only buy books that I know I'm going to read is so that I don't have a massive TBR and bookshelf full of books I have not read. It's so easy to do that as a book blogger and I really try to avoid that. I already have enough of that. The other reason that I do this is because I make sure I don't waste my money. Not that buying any book is a waste of money. But I think you get more bang for you buck if you are ensuring that you read the books you buy. But easier said than don, amiright?

2.) I Prioritize Preorders

This I think helps me do the first one on this list, which is buying books I know I am going to read. Because if I care enough about a book to order it before it is even released then I know that I really want to read it. Plus if you are ordering them early you can often get deals from places like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and many authors do fun preorder rewards so you can get fun things like bookmarks or buttons. It's a nice bonus.

This is of course harder in months where a ton of really anticipated releases comes out. I kind of have to prioritize this even more (I'll give you some of my tips for that later). In those months, like the upcoming September and October which are full of books I really want to read, I have to be even more thoughtful about the books I want to preorder. I try to only get one book a week and because of that I need to think much more about what I know I will read.

The other real benefit to this is that it prevents impulse buys. I mean this in two ways. One, it keeps me from just going on line and buying a book just because it's one sale. And two, it prevents me from seeing something I didn't know that I needed when going into a bookstore. I used to (and sometimes still do) buy books all the time just going into Borders (may it rest in peace) and just pick up whatever. Or

3.) I Don't Buy Books if I Already Have an ARC

Okay so this one kind of makes me feel like a little bit of a jerk. I know there is no benefit to the author or the publisher if you don't buy the book. Publishing is business and if you want to support them the only way to do that is to actually buy the book. So why am I advocating not doing that? Well, if you are on a budget and don't want to buy too many books buying one you already have a copy of is the way to do that.

For me this is especially the case if I have a physically ARC of the book. I prefer paperbacks anyway so having a physical ARC is like having a paperback to me. Yes, sometimes they're not as pretty because the cover is not final or they don't have the embossing, the shininess, or the cool dyed edges but still. To me having a copy of the book already

I also try to prioritize reading my ARCs. Besides those preorders and highly anticipated reads I Now I also try to limit the amount of e-books that I buy by prioritizing my e-ARCs that I have. I would say I read the same amount of physical books as e-books each month so by prioritizing my e-ARCs I am keeping myself from reading e-books and therefor keeping myself from buying e-books  because they are not books that I know I am going to read.

4.) I Pick a Format and Just Buy That One.

I know there are some people out there who are collectors, they want all the books in all the formats and that is totally fine. If you can get a book in hardcover, paperback, foreign edition, audiobook, cover redesign and you want to do that more power to you. You do you. But if you are trying to limit the amount books you buy then maybe don't spend money buying a book that you already have.

But this is also the case when it comes to upcoming releases that you are super excited about. As book bloggers and bookish people we read books in any number of formats. You can buy a physical book, an e-book, or even the audio for a book. It's sometimes hard not to get carried away and buythe book in all the formats, especially if it's a highly anticipated book and you want to read ASAP. Maybe you need that e-book so you can start at midnight or the audiobook so that you can listen at work. But again if you need to reduce your spending, limit that as much as possible.

The hardest for me is audiobooks. I really love audiobooks and I want to have a physical copy of the book and then listen to the audio. In these cases I try to decide which I would rather have. Do I love the cover and want to look at how pretty it is? Then I'll get a physical copy? Do I love the narrator and would rather listen to them tell me the story? Then I will get the audio. But I am very weak to it for favorite series. But I'm getting better. Plus I'm trying to spend my one free audiobook wisely now that I have just that and I would rather spend it on a book I can't read.

There you have it, the way I decide which books I am going to buy a month and some tips for deciding which books not to buy. I hope if you are on a book buying ban or you just want to spend your book budget wisely they help you. I know they have really helped me. Despite a few months where I bought more than usual, I've been only buying a few books every month.

How do you decide which books to buy or which not to buy? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I don't buy books if I have an ARC either. I am not a re-reader, so why would I need another copy? I have been on a book buying ban for a while, where I can only buy books from series I have already started reading or a deeply discounted books from my TBR. I have a ton of unread books and I have no problem using the library. I read a lot, and would be totally book poor if I bought every book I read (I have read 186 books already this year)

  2. I *try* to only buy books I know I'm going to read. The thing is, sometimes they end up sitting on my shelf for too long and then my book taste changes so I end up getting rid of them. *sigh*

    I also don't usually buy a copy if I already have the ARC, unless I absolutely loved it.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. I rarely ever buy books. Almost all of my books are trades from the used bookstore. The majority of the books that come into my house end up getting traded for other books. I’ll only buy a new book if it’s cheap and I’m fairly sure I’ll like it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!