Usually, every 3 to 6 months, I will rearrange my entire book collection, mainly because the rate of my book intake makes for some highly messy shelves and I need to integrate the new ones in with the old ones.
As we come toward the end of 2016 my bookshelves are out of control. I’ve realized I must change how many books I allow myself to buy. I recently, for the better part of the year, started working in a bookstore. (I’ll just say it’s the best job I’ve ever had and I highly recommend any book lover to try working in a bookstore.) However, being around books all day, everyday has driven the urges to read books and buy books to an all-time high. My collection now stands 400+ strong and I have probably only read 1/3 of them.
At one point I was buying whatever book I wanted and then I found BookOutlet and I was uncontrollable there for awhile. That was mostly novels. When it came to wanting to read a book in a series, even without having yet read the first one, I would buy the entire series right away.
I then switched to only allowing myself to buy 3 or 4 books a month. Compared to my previous habit I considered my new policy quite an accomplishment and somehow my views on a series still hadn’t changed or counted toward my monthly limit. Then, of course, when I started working at the bookstore my book buying became once again out of control. And now there are books stacked everywhere. The shelves are overflowing and in dire need of rearrangement. Something has to change.
From now on I’ll allow myself 1 or 2 books a month and that will encompass everything. I will be pickier about what books I want to bring into the collection and when. (I have to be even more disciplined because I’m also trying to beef up my writing reference library as well.) When talking about books in a series, I am only allowing myself to buy the next one only when I have finished the previous and that buy will count towards the limit for the month.
I will continue to buy books from my store, Amazon, and BookOutlet, but only if those books are within my book buying guidelines. This month, September 2016, I have already bought “The Call” by Peadar O Guilin. I read an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) that I own and I shouldn’t have felt the need to buy an “official copy”, but I did. I’m torn between “Ninth City Burning“, which debuted on the 6th, “The Forgetting“, and “Stalking Jack the Ripper” which will all debut on the 20th, and the ARCs that I own that I haven’t yet read and will also debut on the 20th and will probably want to own as “official copies”. I’m going to stay strong though and try to be content with owning the ARC and choosing my books carefully.
I’m trying not to think about the fact that I can’t accurately judge what I would like to read next if I don’t have all the books in my possession to choose from. Sometimes I become overwhelmed by the reality of all the stories out there that I will never know exists or the ones I will never have time read.
With books being only one of my many expensive habits (ahem, video games) I have to do something. And I think this is the solution. How do you keep your book buying habits in check?