21 April 2014

I’m An Impulse Book Buyer

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Hi… my name is Becky and I’m… and impulse book buyer. Oh, the shame.

Now, I know it’s not actually all that serious, apart from being damaging to my bank balance, but it is a serious problem for me. I try and be reserved, to wait until I know I have time to read a book before buying, but more often than not, I don’t. It’s becoming a major problem because I have a shelf of books that are part of my TBR pile, along with pages of books TBR on my kindle. It’s getting to the stage where I am fully aware I should not buy anymore books until I have a handle on the ones I already own, but with so many new books coming out each week, how am I to restrain myself from indulging?
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I know some people are really restrained in their buying of books, waiting to read reviews to see what others think before buying, waiting to see if people have any good things to say or not before sacrificing money to a book they nothing more about than what the synopsis says about it. I used to, mostly, be one of those people. Back when I was at university I used to only buy books I knew I was going to enjoy, because I had so little money to spend on myself I had to restrain myself. Except when It came to market days as there were always a few stalls with an array of book for sale at around £2 a pop. Then I always went mental, buying more books than I could carry, so I had an array of books creating a bed side table for myself (this is a genuine thing I still do, I keep my phone on my glasses on there, it’s amazingly useful).
This impulse buying has become worse for two reasons I think. I am worse for it simply because I have a job, and therefore an income coming in. I have all this disposable income (which isn’t actually disposable because I am trying to save so I can move out of my parents house) and so I decide my disposable income should be spent on entertainment for myself. The other reason my impulse buying is getting out of control? I own a kindle. I am convinced it is my kindle that has caused this new found need to buy books. Ebooks are reasonably cheap, so I feel no guilt about buying a few, and there are normally quite a few decent books on offer, so I feel the need to buy them whilst they’re cheap, even though I have no time to read them.

I know I could go ahead and enforce a book buying ban upon myself, but I would hate that, I would feel so behind in all the new releases and I probably wouldn’t stick to it. My biggest issue is I have no self control.Or I have excellent self control until I become upset and feel the need to buy myself something to feel better, or until I see something and have set my mind upon owning it. I will then manage to rationalise buying it regardless of cost or how much money I have. Then I will feel guilty after buying it because I know I shouldn’t have and that I don’t actually need whatever I bought. It’s terrible, it’s my money to spend and often I feel guilty after sending it because I don’t need the things I buy. Middle class problems anyone?

I know another solution to my problem would be to simply go to the library. And I sued to, all the time. But my local library is just not that fantastic. It is a small one that is a part of our borough library system where they like share books and that, and there aren’t that many great books. They often don’t get new releases in all that often. It’s filled with romance and crime thrillers, but decent books are bit harder to come by (no offense to romance and crime thriller readers, I’m with you, I love them too, but when they are your only lending options it gets a bit dull). My library is just not up to date enough for my liking, also I feel a bit dodge entering the ‘teen section’ to borrow books, I’m 23 and whilst it’s perfectly acceptable for me to buy YA books from Waterstones, borrowing them from the library seems a bit squick, and I don’t know why.

So, there you all have it. I am an impulse book buyer. I will buy books simply for their synopsis, cool cover, or even just because they happen to be cheap at the time that I see them. I often go in completely blind when buying books. I don’t care to spend ages reading reviews when it comes to books because it can spoil things for you, so I tend to avoid until I own or have read the book, certainly I won’t go out of my way to read them. This is completely the opposite approach that I have to electronics, where I spend days and weeks reading reviews before committing to buy something. Currently I am spending my time reading tablet reviews as I contemplate replacing my Kindle Fire.

I have piles, and pages TBR and I am fully aware I may never read some of the books I buy. Do I feel bad about that? Of course I do. Am I going to try and change my ways? Maybe, I might try, but probably not.
What about you, do any of you have the same impulse buying problem? Or, do you prefer to know what you’re getting into before you buy. Anyone have any sage advice for me and my problem.


  1. *stands up* I am also an impulsive book buyer.

    Ergh, space is hard to come by in our house and me filling it up with books is NOT helping! It's hard to say no to some books though, especially when I can get them for 30p in a charity shop. I'm convinced that if I want to stop buying books I need to simply stop leaving the house. Sounds like a good plan right?

    Under The Mountain

    1. I feel your pain. My books have to fit in my room, and my room is big enough to fit a bed, a wardrobe, my bookshelf and a chest of drawers. One day my bed will be held up by stacks of books. And charity shops are another weakness of mine everything can be justified if it comes in at under a pound.

      I do often feel the need to become a recluse to avoid spending money, but then I just buy stuff online. It's a flawed plan. The only way to avoid spending money is to avoid leaving the house and to disconnect the internet, which would give me plenty of time to read the books I keep buying, I suppose.