Discussion: My Book Buying Habits


A few weeks ago, I saw this post on So Obsessed With about “admiring and acquiring” and other things to do with book buying. Now, the more I see of the book blogging community, the less surprising it is to see many people with huge stacks of books they’ve never read and are unsure if they ever will before giving them away. So, reading this post, it wasn’t that surprising to hear that plenty of people buy more books than they can handle, but it did get me thinking about my own book buying habits.

I love books (well, I guess that’s a bit obvious), but I really don’t buy them that much. Well, I suppose I buy a lot compared to the average non-reader, but I really only buy a book every few months at most. I’ll either use a gift card or coupon for Barnes and Noble, get cheaper books at Half Price Books, or randomly grab a book at Target or Kroger or something. I never go on personal book buying bans because I really don’t buy enough that it would make a big difference.

I think there are multiple reasons that I don’t buy as many books as the average book blogging.

For one, I’m a college student. I don’t currently have a part-time job, just jobs during the summer break, so I don’t really have money coming in regularly other than interest on money in the bank. I also do my best to save my money, sticking it in the bank right away so I’m not tempted to spend it while physically holding the money.

If I buy a book online (which I often do when I have a coupon), then I buy it through my parents’ credit card, since I don’t have one of my own, which means I then need to pay them back and they would also know just how much I’m spending on books. They love that I read, but if I bought every book I wanted to, I’m sure I would eventually get a small lecture about the best way to spend my money.

And, the third reason would probably be that I simply don’t want to buy all the books. I want books that I’ll reread over and over and over again. It’s kind of ironic, since I do seem to reread more books than most bloggers, but I tend to reread the same books again and again, merely adding a few more every year. I very rarely buy a book before I’ve already read it through the library, so I tend to only buy books that I give a 4, 4.5, or 5 stars. There are even some books with higher ratings that don’t end up on my shelves because I just can’t see myself rereading them a lot. I have a list of books I’d like to buy, but sometimes I’ll have a coupon and will look at the list and just really won’t feel like rereading any of the books listed, so I just don’t get anything.

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Now, these aren’t the only books I bought last year, but they are the only ones that I bought for full price, most online. The Distance Between Us was the only one I bought before reading without it being part of a series I already love, and that was very unusual. I also bought some books though Barnes and Noble Marketplace or whatever they call the part of the site that sells books secondhand, and the rest are from Hall Price Books and were never full-priced.

Is there a part of me that would rather than buy every book I love and pre-order every book I hope to love? Of course! Do I look at other people’s book hauls, full of elusive ARCs and plenty of books that they bought with their own money, and get really, really jealous? Um, yeah. I mean, I’m a huge book lover, and there’ll always be a part of me that wants to have my own personal library with wall-to-wall bookcases covered with books and books and books.

But I’m happy with my book buying habits. I’m proud of the fact that I’m not going overboard even though I don’t have to worry about paying the bills at the end of every month – I’m relieved that I shouldn’t have to make too much of an adjustment when I’m out on my own and do have to worry about that. And I’m not trying to show off or anything – everyone does their own thing, and I’m just happy that I’m happy with my own habits.


8 thoughts on “Discussion: My Book Buying Habits

  1. That’s great that you’re not going overboard! Wow, you have some really good self-control there 🙂 It’s really hard for me not to be buying books all of the time, but I think I’ve been doing okay about it recently. I didn’t make a resolution about it or anything, but ever since the new year I’ve only been buying a few every now and then. I’m really proud of myself so far 🙂

    On a kind of unrelated note…is there a reason that you don’t have a credit card of your own? I’m just curious. If money is too personal to talk about, that’s okay, I totally understand…but as a college student, I think that it’s really important for you to have your own credit card. If you don’t have a credit card, you can’t really be building credit up for yourself, which you’ll NEED after college. Companies you apply for will want your credit score, and you’ll need a good credit score to buy/lease a car or rent an apartment, etc. Even if you just have it and use it to buy coffee a few times a week (or whatever) and pay it off in full every month (which you should be doing anyway), it’ll still be building credit for you, which is really good and important in this stage of your life 🙂 Just some friendly advice…I hope you don’t think I’m being rude!

    1. It’s kind of weird, because I really don’t think I have that great of self control, and I certainly buy more books than my real life friends, but when I look around at the book blogging community, suddenly it does seem like I can control myself somewhat!

      And, no, that’s not too personal. I’ve just never been a fan of the idea of a credit card – I prefer using money I know I have, because I’m worried that it would be all too easy to get into a lot of debt otherwise. And, since I am in college and at one of the last points where not everyone my age has one, I prefer to keep it that way. I’d never thought about future credit, though – I guess that’s something I should consider, along with the advice of my parents and such. So, thanks for the advice – I definitely take it as friendly and not rude! 😀

  2. It’s great that your so in control of your book buying habits Genevieve. I have to say, I don’t get the chance to get lots of books either because I don’t have any money coming in, the only money is what the household has and I can only have books if the household fund allows it. I’m also trying to concentrate on reading the books I have and ARC’s because our funds might fall again, so buying books will be like finding a gold bar in the road. I’m hoping I can keep a wrap on book buyings a little, and I hope I can be as good as you 🙂

    1. Wow, thanks so much! I really don’t think I’m that great at it, I’m just picky and begin to overthink things and decide it’s much easier to just get books from the library most of the time. Like right now, I have a coupon, and I want to buy something because it’s been so long, but I know it’ll take at least half an hour of thinking and debating and such, and then there’s a chance I still won’t buy anything because it almost seems easier! And I just know that the minute I can’t buy books as easily due to funds and such, then I’ll have a bunch of books that I just HAVE to have. That’s just the way life seems to work, huh? I hope you’re able to get all the books you want in the future!

  3. I hardly buy ANY books. I too see all these books bloggers have and am always surprised! I get 98% of my annual books from the library. I stop by there every Monday and trade them out. I just don’t have the money or the space for all those books!!

    1. Yeah, I’d be worried to know what I would do with all those books even if I had the money for them. I like to organize things, like books in their proper places on bookcases, and I don’t know what I would do if I had too many books to fit neatly on my bookcase! As is, I have to constantly reorganize my bookcase, moving some things that aren’t books from it to make room for actual books.

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