Look at your bookshelf! How many unread books sit there patiently waiting for you to finally release them from the torment of being on a never-ending TBR? Maybe you should do an un-haul! I know for a fact that, that one has been sitting there for over a year now and you’ve not even bothered to take it off the shelf to look at it again, let alone read it!
But wait? What if the day finally comes when you want to read it? You surely wouldn’t want to go out and buy a new copy because that would just be silly, wouldn’t it? No…an un-haul isn’t the answer. And look at that spine anyway! Who cares if you ever read it? It’s far too pretty to not be on your shelf. It belongs there. Right? ….Right?
Hmm…I’ve been hearing about these mysterious people lately with so much willpower that they’ve willingly put themselves on something called a book buying ban. Maybe that’s the key. Set a date to release yourself from this perilous task ahead, and begin your quest. Go on. I dare you.
Okay, so maybe that’s a bit over dramatic (or not..), but this is essentially the conversation I had with myself at the beginning of the year! I received a fair few books for Christmas and immediately panicked about the new additions and when I was going to have the time to read them! Truth is, you’re a rarity if you live long enough to read every single book you want to read throughout your lifetime. Because I for one can tell you that I would have to pass away in thousands of years to even be close to completing my mental TBR. My physical TBR is another story. At least, for the time being. It’s manageable. Just about.
I think I’ve managed to get it down to under thirty books. And I started off the year with well over fifty. That might not single-handedly be down to putting myself on a ban as I did do a small un-haul a few months ago but it is the primary reason and I’m pretty proud of that.
So I gave myself six months of not buying books. My ban lifts in just under a week now, and I haven’t done badly at all. Sure, I’ve had a couple of slip ups and created some weird loop holes (‘I can buy sequels to books I already have’ or ‘It doesn’t count if they’re second hand’ anyone?), but all in all it has been a success.
Below is a list of books that I have bought within the last six months. I am not including books that have been bought for me as gifts, books I have received from publishers/authors or books I have received in subscription boxes. Only the books I have physically purchased myself.
List of books I slipped up for
- The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albetalli (£7.99, NEW)
- Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (£7.99, NEW)
- Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (£7.99, NEW)
- Legendary by Stephanie Garber (£12.99, NEW)
- The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon (£1.49 in a charity shop)
- How To Stop Time by Matt Haig (£0.50 in a charity shop)
- Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott (£0.50 in a charity shop)
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (£0.50 in a charity shop)
- Heidi by Johanna Spyri (£0.50 in a charity shop)
- The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne (£0.50 in a charity shop)
- The Girls by Emma Cline (£0.50 in a charity shop)
- Alice In Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (£19.99, NEW – Folio Society editions)
TOTAL SPENT – £61.44
Given that before this I typically spent around £50.00 every single month, I really am impressed with myself. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it but here we are. Six months down the line and I’m almost free!!!!
But what happens next? So many books have been released in the time that I’ve been banned and all I want to do is go and spend my money on the ones that I haven’t already bought. So, in reality, are book buying bans really that successful after all?
Am I going to go out and buy £250 worth of books next week just to make up for it?
I’m hoping that this has actually given me a wake-up call and I could easily sit here right now and say ‘yes, yes it has’, but let loose in a bookshop with money to spend? Only time will tell!
I’ll do an update post later on next week, and feel free to keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram accounts (@matildaslibary) for live updates throughout the week!
P.S – If you’re going on a book buying ban, libraries are your best friend! They trick you into thinking you have new books even when you don’t! Variety is the spice of life after all!