Friday, October 19, 2007

I will not buy any more books ... for a while at least

I read Nan's post at Letters from a Hill Farm with complete empathy this morning. She has resolved not to buy any more books for a long, long time.

I can't understand why I keep buying books and borrowing yet more from the library and other people when I have so many unread books. It’s become an obsession and I keep meaning to stop, but then I’ll go shopping and think I’ll just have a look and I come home with yet more books. I do the same at the library – I think I’ll only return books and not take out any more, but it never happens.

Here are just a few of my unread books and these are just the tip of the iceberg. It's all getting out of hand and it's got to stop.




So, I'm joining Nan in resolving not to buy any more books for a while - at least until after Christmas. Having so many unread books around makes me feel hassled - and it's all self-imposed and unnecessary and getting expensive too. I have stopped adding to my wishlist (well nearly stopped, because I added one this morning, before I read Nan’s blog). I also intend not to borrow any more books until I’ve read the ones I got out now.

I’ve done very well so far. I went shopping this morning at the supermarket and only looked at the books. There were a couple I could have bought but I resisted. Then when I paid at the checkout I was given a voucher for 100 extra points if I buy a book from the supermarket’s recommended reads before 4 November. Oh dear, it would be a shame to waste it. Maybe I could buy one as a present for someone else?

Wish me luck, please!

13 comments:

Ann Darnton said...

This was a resolution I made some time back, mainly because there simply wasn't any more room for books around the house without risking life and limb and I knew that there were going to be fourteen shelves-ful to come back from my office at College when I left. I have to say, probably because of a really good library service, it hasn't been too difficult to keep to. No, my problem is CDs. I'm afraid I order them by the dozen. So if you can find a way to succeed where books are concerned, do please pass along your secrets.

Susan said...

LOL - I could have written this post. I'm also completely addicted to buying and borrowing books. A couple of months ago, I vowed not to buy anymore books until I had read all of those already on my shelves. Needless to say, my resolve didn't last very long (it never does). Good luck with your resolution!

BooksPlease said...

Ann, the lack of room is another reason for calling a halt to book buying. Our library service is good, but I've got to return The Verneys as someone else has reserved it and there's no way I can finish it by Tuesday - I'm wishing I'd bought it!

Susan, welcome. I've worked out that it'll probably take me about 2 years to read all the books I've got and there's no way I'm going to hold out that long without buying a book!

jenclair said...

I've made this resolution a couple of times in the last year. Usually, I manage to do pretty well, but there seems to be a cycle, and for every period of restraint, comes another buying spree. If I felt content with the idea of having "spare" books to read, the situation wouldn't be so bad. Like you, however, the unread books cause me to feel stressed, harassed, under siege. Also, as you say,the obsession is unnecessary and expensive.

David F said...

Oh Yeah

danielle said...

Like Ann I am just about out of room when it comes to books. I no longer have shelf space, and everything gets stuck in piles now. I have actually been very good for the last few months about not buying new books. I have even gone into the bookstore a few times in the last month and either bought nothing or just bought exactly what I planned to buy (and nothing MORE!). I don't feel quite as guilty about library books. I know I take too many back unread, but I figure it gives me that feeling of having a new book in my hand, but not having spent any money and not having to find a permament home for it. I also mooch occasionally--another freebie option. I will buy Viragos as I am trying to collect them, but I don't usually have a burning desire to buy much else. My main motivation is trying to pay off my credit card (ugh!). Good luck on your resolve!!

danielle said...

Oh, and it's a shame to let that voucher go to waste! :)

Kay said...

I am going to join you and Nan with this resolve. I do not plan to stop checking out books from the library. However, I don't have very many checked out right now and, for some reason, I have managed to curb my excesses there.

I just have way too many books and I need to read quite a few before I add any others.

Dorothy W. said...

My pile of unread books is growing and growing too. The thing is, I'm not buy that many, at least not at full price -- I've been collecting them through Book Mooch and through library sales, where I get them for a dollar or two. It's so hard to resist free or almost free books!

GeraniumCat said...

The only check on my book buying is that I can't always beat my husband to pick up the post so he knows how many parcels arrive. It doesn't help that many of the books I want to read are out of print, or that our local library is hopeless.But books are mostly two deep on my shelves so I have to remember where everything is. I only escape Ann's CD problem because my eldest son's CD-buying addiction is as serious as my book one. So good luck!

Nan - said...

I was smiling as I read your post. From the comments both you and I received, it is clearly not just us. I think the problem is that when I buy a book, I have it in my head that I'll sit right down the minute I get the book and start reading. That very rarely happens. Somehow my mind hasn't yet realized that it takes me longer to read a book than to buy it. :<) I think I'm going to do a followup post on this.

BooksPlease said...

Jenclair, unfortunately my buying sprees have been too frequent.

David, I'm really trying!

Danielle, that's the beauty of libraries - you can take a book back unread and know that it's not cost anything.

Kay, I can't even begin to curb my borrowing from the library.

Dorothy, I'm the same about Book Crossing books.

GeraniumCat - my books are two deep too, but I have the fiction A-Z by author so I have some idea where they are.

Nan, oh yes, I always intend to read a book straight away and mostly it just doesn't happen that way.

Tara said...

Me too. I enjoying browsing for books and looking for books just as much as I enjoy reading them - it is truely an obsession. I do appreciate that I can get my fix from the library, and have often found after looking over a book that I don't need to actually own it.