The book community is full of consumerism. People want to not just read their favorite books, but own them as well. Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand. How do you control your spending/buying books you don’t have time to read? Does setting a book buying ban work for you? How long do you usually ban yourself for?
I generally don’t have much of a problem with buying too many books. The library has been a wonderful resource and as I can find nearly any book I want to read there, for many years now, I tend to only buy those books I’ve read and absolutely loved. Shelf space is a constraint for me, so I prefer to have them full of my favourite books that I know I’ll return to repeatedly.
Another reason I don’t buy books often is that they become rather fragile with time. The copies of the first few books of the Harry Potter series that I own are nearly 20 years old, and the wear and tear is beginning to show on the pages no matter how much care I’ve always taken with them. It’s a good reminder for me that buying books and having shelf space for them aside, it’s also important to consider the effort it takes to maintain said books, especially if they’re cherished copies of childhood favourites or perhaps a special edition.
I don’t use book buying bans as such to control the number of books I buy, rather I allow myself a few specific times of year to buy books, namely mid-May (when the highly anticipated summer titles are usually available), my birthday, Black Friday and Christmas. Due to the aforementioned reasons, I rarely pick up more than one or two books on each of these occasions, and sometimes none at all, so this system continues to work pretty well for me.
Do you set book buying bans for yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments below!