The book-buying-ban update

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At the beginning of the year, I seemed to do a lot of moaning about my book-buying-ban. I was thinking about it again last week when I blog-slapped* Marie Kondo.

But in actual fact, I’m killing it. After the initial few weeks of hyperventilating every time I went near a book shop, I’ve calmed down and can now safely walk through the Readings New Releases section without needing to breathe into a paper bag.

Jenny and I ate cake together a month or so ago and she asked me how I was finding the ban. She’s set herself a similar reading challenge this year (but is not feeling the love in the same way I am…. at this stage, anyway). We talked about how reading from what we already own influences what we choose to read next. It was a good discussion because I hadn’t really thought about how my ban was playing out until our chat.

What I realised was this: I’ve tuned-out the noise. And publishers, book shops and social media are a very noisy lot. But because I’m not buying into it this year, I’ve stopped listening. And it’s quite refreshing.

All of that said, the rubber hasn’t truly hit the road yet (unlike Jenny who had a face-off with Rushdie) – I still have a few ARCs, enjoyed the Stella prize shortlist and have so many books in the TBR stack that I was busting to own that I don’t feel like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel.

My TBR stack is still stupidly high (372) and I need to make more of an effort to read the hard copies (they take up space) but it’s not growing… So, onwards and downwards with the book-buying-ban.

*I just made that up. Is it a thing?

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18 responses

  1. I cheated yesterday again. Bought Myf Jones’s Leap, cause it’s on the short-list for Miles, because I know her and because I can’t wait until next year… I intend to get back to my Reading India but I have realised a few things about setting myself challenges and while I’m struggling with it, it hasn’t put me off, in fact, I’m going to continue with yearly challenges. Haven’t decided next year’s yet but am excited already with some ideas. I WILL get back to India, but I have let myself off the hook of only reading to the theme, and am parallel reading with other books already held, as well as the two exceptions I allowed myself (one is out, one to come) and then Myf’s. So three new books bought in 2016. It’s not bad. And if I can manage to tick off say total of twenty Indian titles, then I’ll be happy. Have a way to go though. Congratulations to you though on doing so well. And let’s cake again soon.

    • I was a bit tempted to read the Miles shortlist (and could have begged and borrowed the books I haven’t read) but instead, I’m going to read a bit more on a whim over the next month or so – and wait for the winner announcement.

      Always available for cake-eating and bookish discussions 🙂

  2. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall for this chat. I would have loved being A Bad Influence!
    Seriously, we need to spend at least some money in our favourite bookshops or they won’t be there next year when we want them, eh?

  3. I was doing pretty well earlier in the year, but the Sydney Writer’s Festival is the worst thing that could have happened to my ban. Fingers crossed I can get through the next six months without making a purchase (hahahaha).

    • If I hear one more book publicist call something “brilliant”, I won’t be responsible for my actions. IS it brilliant? Does it SHINE in the night like an actual GLITTERING DIAMOND? If not, get that adjective off yer Twitter feed.

    • I was actually surprised at how quickly I could turn it off. The books that pop up on my radar now are the ones that multiple people are blogging (positively) about. Even then, I’m just adding them to a wish list and I plan to sort through the list at the end of the year and see which ones I’m still keen to read. At the moment there’s about 50 books on the list – if I’d impulse-bought all of them, the TBR stack would have grown another metre by now!

  4. A lot of my progress can be attributed to not accepting as many ARCs. The upside of that has also been that I don’t feel obliged to read certain books at a particular time.

    Of course, I’ll never say no to cake!

  5. I’m so impressed! My problem is not new books – I’d never be organised enough to get ARCs and then post a review on the publication date. My problem is an inability to walk past charity bookshops, wondering what gem I might unearth, and buying far too many because ‘it’s for a good cause’. I’m a lost cause 😦

    • Three months is good when you consider all that you may have bought during that time! Although I’ve thought that I may continue my ban next year, I think a more reasonable approach would be to set a target eg. when I get below 300 books in the TBR stack, I can buy some more. Whatever I do, I need to curb the impulse buys – my Sample Saturdays have remedied this somewhat, and I have continued to be disciplined about samples – the ones that I’ve said ‘yes’ to, I haven’t actually bought yet (I’ve got a list though!). I’ll revisit my yeses at the end of the year and see how many I still want.

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