Book Obsession, do you have it? (And Book Buying Bans, can you do it?)

Okay, so if your a book lover you likely suffer from this malady.  This malady I’m talking about is book obsession.  And what I mean is this~  when you need to go to the grocery store instead of going to Winco (where they only sell mass market paperbacks among the foodstuffs) you go to Walmart (or Fred Meyer, in my case) and all you can think about the whole time your shopping is getting to the book section, just to look.   When the fever is particularly bad you may just accidentally wander by the books on the way to the grocery section and on the way back when your finished.  You know, in case they happened to stock while you were in the grocery department.  Sometimes you may decide to shop at Whole Foods because Borders is next door (in my case) and maybe just need to just look through the clearance just in case there’s something good, but then you can’t resist looking through the YA section, and well sci-fi (UF, paranormal, etc) is on the way, so maybe just a quick detour… and your few minutes before the grocery store has quickly turned into an hour…
The worst is when I go in with coupon.  I don’t know what the deal is but when I have a coupon I have the hardest time making a decision!  The thing is you have a lot to weigh in.  You can buy hardcovers on amazon for 40% off most of the time, so it doesn’t make sense wasting your coupon on a hardcover.  So you need to decide on paperback.  But THEN you see that you can buy a boxed set, and well 33-40% off is a good deal!  But can you really spend that much money?  So… it’s a hard decision!
I also have a problem of obsessing over particular books.  It seems like my brain latches onto a book that I have to have and I can’t stop thinking about that book until I actually get it!   I often put it in my amazon cart only to not purchase it (I mean I really don’t need any more books on my shelf TBR!) but I just obsess over it until I actually get my hands on it!    
My particular condition was getting out of hand so I put myself on a book buying ban (just in my head, I shared with very few people) and it’s been nearly 3 weeks of buying NO books!  Yes, I do believe congratulations are in order for me.  Thank you, thank you. *Bows*  Now my goal is to wait until February 22nd before I purchase anymore.  Now that is going on nearly 2 full months!  Can I do it?  Well, I’m not quite sure, but I did recently test myself.  I have still made my many detours to the book sections of stores and even went so far as to go to Borders.  And I didn’t buy anything!  Now how, you ask, did you manage that?!  Well, I managed it by picturing all the books on my bookshelf that I have to read.  I remember all those books I HAD to have and that I haven’t even been able to read yet!  So while I carried several books around the store, I bought nothing
I know I’m not alone so share your stories!  How bad do you have it?
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Comments

  1. I just tried my own book buying ban for the new year…and failed already. I didn’t want to buy anything in January, so I could buy some books at a signing, and I was doing so well. I hadn’t bought anything each time I walked past books I wanted, but then I caved and bought a bunch online. It was almost like I could say I didn’t buy any new books because I don’t actually have them yet.

    Two books were pre-orders, but the other three were not. I’m waiting on them now and once I get some books at the signing I’m going to I’m putting myself back on a book-buying diet.

  2. Ooh, you had the fever bad! :) I get it all the time. LOL. The only times I manage to follow through with my book buying bans, is when I have no more money to spend. Sad, but true. Good job on going three weeks! I need to try to go at least that long!

  3. Ohhhh, yes this is a very common problem among book bloggers – and I also noticed your target date of 02.22.2011 – could this happen to be because a certain book #5 of a certain series is being released?

  4. I know this problem very well. Particularly the bit about Amazon. I got that Amazon Prime free for a year and discovered I could have cheaper books at my door step within two days. That’s when it all went horribly wrong. I leave things in my cart too. Constantly taking them out and adding them back before I finally make a purchase. I’ve been buying a few books a week. It’s bad. I’ve got over 60 books I haven’t read. I admire your three weeks!

  5. I know what you mean and have to go thru that “ban” several times a year. I probably have a years worth of books to read on hand so I must finish them and pass on before buying more.

  6. I admit it my only weekness and I too tend to shop like that when I grocery shop or do those things with amazon.

    My to read pile is so big that I’m getting scared but like seeing all these books around my room/house.

    Do you hide books that you buy when you food shop ? Books of books from friends ?? thats another sign of a serious addiction. Book bans and me do okay.

  7. I do the same thing! But I am actually very good at not buying books when I am at the store….Amazon is a completely different story! I probably place an order once a week on Amazon! I really don’t even try to stop myself! I have zero self control when it comes to books!

  8. You can do it, you’re strong, you’ve got willpower .. oh, look … books!!

    But seriously – I took a frugality vow for this year which basically means a stop to buying quite a lot of things, including books. Thing is, my TBR stacks are ginormous, so it’s no new books until A LOT have been read first. I’m a good girl and doing a lot of reading and not getting near any place where books are being sold helps too. If I did, I’d be in trouble!!

  9. I should be on a book buying ban as well. Maybe I will see if I can make it starting tomorrow until the end of the month (since I bought a book already today).

    Congrats!

  10. Wow, I almost wish I had that problem. I haven’t succumb to such a situation for a few reasons. The most important being that I hate cleaning and especially clutter. I tell myself that the book better be a five that demands to be reread at least once a year. This has kept my book purchasing to low few. That and my love for libraries, sadly it is getting harder. I keep moving to more and more remote places where the libraries can barely deserve the label.

  11. I have the book buying-fever big time, too! Bans have never worked, but the good (??) news is I can’t buy any books once I run out of money. So usually I go on a book-buying splurge the first two weeks of the month, and then the last bit of the month I finally get around to reading books for review and the ones on my shelves.

    Hey, there are far worse addictions to have. :)

  12. Cari, I know I could have worse addictions, heck, I HAVE had worse addictions, but the money part is definitely becoming an issue. I just can’t afford them!

    Nikki,
    I know booksignings are usually my exception. I mean, you can’t NOT buy books at a booksigning! Even if I already have books to be signed I always end up buying some for giveaways. This month I have no plans to go to a booksigning though :( I wanted to go to David Levithan’s tonight but don’t have a car :(

    Bibliophile,
    Oh yes, a certain #5 book is coming out, but there are others as well. Right now I know I want to buy Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead, This Side of the Grave (that’s the certain #5 your talking about, I assume?) and Pale Demon by Kim Harrison. There are others being released that day as well that I really want too. We’ll see how the money situation is…

    Julie,
    I do hide books. The ladies at Safeway (yes, I buy books at Safeway, shhh, don’t tell anyone!) have it down. They give me the book to put in my purse. Once the hubby goes to work I put it on my shelf. He sees so many books coming in the mail he doesn’t notice the ones I buy. He just thinks I get all my books for free for review or something.

    Kat,
    The not having money thing doesn’t work. It helps the urge a bit, but I paid off my CC last year so I figure that $10 or $25 (or more like $35) isn’t going to be so hard to pay on without being a big deal. I have given up a lot. I pretty much stopped buying clothes for myself, when I do I go to the cheapest place where I buy clothes by the lb ($1.29 a lb). My kids clothes are also purchased on a serious budget. I’ve given up my coffee (from coffee houses) for the most part and I very rarely go anywhere, which saves loads of money. So I think I feel I deserve these books, that it’s okay to buy them because I’ve made sacrifices. The thing is we need so many other things. Like some new furniture, a second vehicle, and loads of other things for our house.

  13. I’m in book ban right now. I’m going on a trip with my friends after Valentine so I can’t afford buying books right now and ended up can’t buy anything on my trip! It’s hard, I tell you, not to make a detour everytime I hit the mall but I keep telling myself it’ll be over soon. I’m just concern what will happened after I lift my ban, :D

  14. Phew I am not the only one who hides books and waits until hubby goes to work or bed to hide said books.

    I am suppose to be on a book buying ban but its so hard and in all honesty I shouldn’t be buying books because my TBR pile is huge.

    With that being said I agree we could have worse addictions.

  15. I tried a ban but then there were some great sales going on after X-mas so I didn’t do so well. I am going to seriously try to cut back though.

  16. You know what? I could be that person. And if my Dad hadn’t been so intent on teaching me to be a miser like him (and I mean that as lovingly as possible – my Dad is amazing, he just knows how to squeeze a dime for every penny!) I probably would be that person. I still have trouble not buying books when I go somewhere, and I, like you, tend to wander through the book shelves in the grocery store, or the clearance bins in Borders and whatnot. But, I made a promise to myself that I would only buy books that I already knew I would like and want to read again (i.e. I read it from the library) and that amazingly cut down on the amount of books I bought. I’ve been on this “program” shall we say, for approximately 3 years, and at this point I average buying 5-10 books a year. Unless there’s a sale. Or there’s one I just have to have. But, you know, way better than going crazy and buying every book in sight (which is actually quite possible…)

  17. I love books. I’m pretty good (ish) about moderating what and when I buy, but there are definitely those books that I think about and obsess over until I have them!

    And, book buying bans are HORRIBLE for me! I find that when I tell myself I’m NOT allowed to buy them, I spend all this time thinking about these great books that I just want/NEED SOO bad! And, then I buy them. But, if I just think, well I probably shouldn’t get this yet/can’t afford right now, so maybe I’ll come back later- I do much better. :)

  18. Congratulations on your great streak! I don’t think I’ve ever lasted 3 weeks, but whenever I fall off the book buying ban-wagon, I just climb back on. Good luck!

  19. I have done everything you mentioned, If I know I am going to Walmart- I hurry and get what is on my list then make a mad dash to the books, there have been several times I walked away with nothing and times where I get 5 or 6 at a time. I think now that YA has attracted my attention I think I wlll be in more trouble.

    Amazon is bad for me as well though I have done good and just put a whole crap load in wishlists. I used to keep them in my cart then more them to the later spot.

    I live on a limited income so after bills and getting what I need and my son needs I have just so much left I try and keep it just two or three a month but some times more and weekly if I have extra.

    I have done better than when I was working I used to work at Walmart- yes that made it worse I was always coming home with stacks of books,movies extra- Walmart is a dangerous place to work lol for the pocket.

  20. Coupons are horrible! You’ve described exactly what I’m like when I have one. I don’t use them anymore since our Walden’s went out of business.

    I’m very good about not buying books. My weakness is in used book stores. I’ve come close to buying but I just visualize my bookcase at home and realize I don’t need anymore.

    I’m fortunate to have a great library. Getting there is a hassle but it’s worth it since I save a lot of money on books. We have a great collection so it feels like shopping in the bookstore almost.

  21. hello, I’m nymfaux and I’m a book…nymfaux?

    Books and movies have always been my addiction, so long ago, I made myself a promise that I would not guilt myself over said love–And for the most part, this keeps me happy.

    Within the first two weeks of getting my Nook, I had downloaded over 700 books–mostly free, I’ve slowed down so that I’m only around 1000 right now.

    And some days I still feel like I’m starving for books–I’ve been doing really well at rationing myself lately–but then last night I saw a blurb for a new book and I couldn’t wait–I HAD TO HAVE IT, and I totally caved on my tbr list.

    I think the thing that has done the best job of curbing my addiction is that I recently moved to the middle of nowhere and the closest book store is an 1 1/2 hours away—unless I can get it on my Nook…

    Although, my Nook has pretty much cured me of the coupon issue–I used to live in a big city, where I could hit 4 or 5 different book stores–and if they had a movie section, or starbucks, I could hit the same store three times in a visit, and I’d print as many coupons as needed. But I haven’t found any coupons that work on Nook or ebooks, so that and not being within physical proximity of books has been helping me stay clean.

    oh, and also my library is now doing ebooks—so I try and binge on the free whenever possible.

  22. I’m a major cheap skate, so I ground myself (on a regular basis) from buying anything that’s a best seller-I figure I can get those from the library.

    Instead, I save my budget for the books from the lesser knowns that need the book sales. That way I can justify my purchase because I’m helping out a fellow author.

  23. I am totally with you! Even if we aren’t all that close to Wal-Mart I will whine until my dad takes me so that I can check out books (cuz who really wants to buy them for full price at Chapters when I can buy them at Wal-Mart for 30% off) or I will think of a random item that “I must have and only Wal-Mart carries- oh and Wal-Mart carries books too, so I might as well make the most out of our trip and look at them for some good deals”… ;)

  24. Stopping by from the Saturday Situation!

    I definitely have book obsession pretty darn bad. I think they could do their own hoarders episode on me. No matter how many books I have, sitting unread, at home, I still buy more, and I end up stockpiling them into TBR mountains!

  25. Oh gosh, I know…it’s a problem. I just got two books yesterday. I figure I’m supporting the industry and authors so even if I don’t read a book I buy for a LONGGG time, at least I have it, yes? LOL

    -Lauren

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