Book Nerd Problems #1: Money

Posted February 3, 2013 by Debby in Uncategorized

This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.

#1. Money, Money, Money…

Welcome to my first attempt at a discussion feature! These will be posted randomly, and I have no idea how many there will be eventually. It would be pretty cool if I could get to 99, but who knows? If you have ideas for topics I could cover, those are always welcome! But without further delay, let’s start.

We all know the sad fact: books cost money. (Well you could promise sexual or other favors, but let’s assume you purchase your books in a more traditional way.) As bloggers, we are able to get our hands on some of those precious review copies, but even so, as true book nerds, finished hardcover copies of our favorites are a must have.

As a business student, in one of my courses we came across the term “mental budgeting“. Long story short: people tend to keep their income separated into different hypothetical jars. For example, you always set aside money for your rent, utilities, phone bill, and other standard expenses. Then you set aside a monthly clothing allowance. Then you have another jar for food and groceries, a jar for savings, and a jar for social outings. When you’re spending money, you keep track of how much you have left in your mental jar for each category.

When the book addiction hits… and gets serious… mental budgets start to shift. This new jar, “ERMAGHERD BOOKS”, starts borrowing money from all the other jars. So what do we forgo for those pretty pretties? Here are some possible sacrifices.

1. Clothes.

Who needs clothes? I mean, those jeans may be three years old, but they’ve stretched to fit your body shape perfectly! No, you don’t need new clothes this month. The colors may be fading, but why would you want to stand out anyway?
Literally substituting clothing with books may go a bit far, but.. you know.

2. Social outings.

So you could take those €20 and go out to eat or drink with friends and have one fun night, OR you could buy that pretty book over there which will be your treasure forever… Hmm, the choice seems pretty clear. Anyway… who needs friends?
These are my friends! Look how many!

3. Traveling.

So vacation time comes around and it’s time to pick where you want to go. But for the cost of a trip to an exotic country, you might as well buy 10 books and explore 10 different worlds!
Well said.

Let’s Talk!

So how do you account for your bookish addiction? Which expenditures do you forgo so that you can buy that highly anticipated new novel? Which sacrifices do you make? Andif it’s not too painful to think abouthow much do you spend on books per month? Let me know in the comments!

 The lack of money is the root of all evil. Mark Twain



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30 responses to “Book Nerd Problems #1: Money

  1. As I said earlier, there’s no need to go on holiday when you have a good book! The library is a good way to cut back on books and I’ve been lucky over the past few months with my birthday and Christmas but I know that the amount of money I spend on books will go up in the next few months. Lovely post! Some of it was very funny! 🙂

    • Haha, I dunno, I do love my vacations, so I don’t think I could really give them up. True, the library is a great option and Christmas and birthdays always help. I just am always baffled by some peoples’ book haul posts – they’re so huge!! Thank you 🙂

  2. I think of keeping my book budget down as character development and working on my self-control. It’s working pretty well so far; I managed to go into a bookstore with a friend yesterday and did not buy a single thing, which was quite an accomplishment. Whenever I’m really tempted to buy a book, I normally leave and decide if i’m still just itching for that book in two days, I can go back to the store and buy it.

    • I can totally relate – as a college student trying to keep the costs down wherever possible, I have to exert a lot of self-control as well. Luckily for me (sort of, I guess) the bookstores here don’t have a large selection of YA books in English, so I can usually resist. Online shopping is less impulsive, I suppose.

      I totally do that too, waiting to see if I really want the book. Glad I’m not the only one, haha!

  3. I think my partner and I have always used the excuse that we don’t go out as in “party!!” that much, and that we both don’t smoke and mostly never drink. If you count that “virtual money”, that’d be the money we spent on books and music. Of course, I’m not sure it really works that way, but it’s a good way to tell yourself that binging on books is alright every once in a while.

    • YES! I definitely do that too. I rarely if ever go out, and even then I don’t spend too much money. I constantly look at how much my peers are spending on that stuff, and that always makes me feel so much better about myself xD I also used to go out to eat a lot with my best friend, but since he moved away I don’t do that anymore. So that’s a LOT of money saved.

  4. Being only freshly 18 and about to start uni, I still live with my parents. And until I get a job, they’re going to pay for most of my clothes and I don’t have to worry about living expenses! And because I don’t have much of a social life, I really have a lot of money to spend on books. But that’s only because I got a tonne of money for christmas/y 18th last year and I’m trying my best (occassionally succeeding) to stretch it out as long as possible. Once that’s gone it will be back to begging my parents :/

    • Oh that definitely has got to help. I definitely miss my parents providing everything for me, but I do like being independent from them.

      lol, ditto on the social life thing. That seems to be a common trend among us bookworms.

  5. I feel sad because I don’t buy books. The library is my best friend. I’m a poor student and there was that one time I found the Scholastic warehouse and they had this massive sale on ‘destroyed’ (it wasn’t) books and I just went crazy and I didn’t have money to spend for like a month.

    • Yeah, being a student definitely makes it difficult to indulge in buying books, but just think of when we’re done! Those first few paychecks… It’s going to be magical. Nice on that sale! Wow, I’m pretty jealous.

  6. Love the discussion feature! And especially the 99 problems line haha! I don’t just have a problem with buying books, I have a problem with wanting to buy the best looking books I can find. Meaning: hardcovers. Meaning: I am willing to spend much more money just to make my shelves look pretty. I know this isn’t the smartest decision, but come on, those hardcovers look GORGEOUS! And I spend a lot of money on clothes, though not as much as when I used to work in a clothing store. But I save money on going out and stuff (I don’t like going to clubs and whatever, and I don’t drink at all.) And I think what helps me most is that I still live at home, since I have yet to find a room or an appartment or anything (and man, Amsterdam is EXPENSIVE!) So yeah… that’s pretty much it haha 😀

    • Thank you 😀

      YES. I totally relate. I hate paperback books. They just don’t do it for me. I have to have hardcovers. I also have this lovely series of leatherbound classic books, which I can’t wait to expand on. But this all does make me more picky on which ones I buy hard copies of. Typically I read a lot more on my ereader because of the nice deals on ebooks.

      And yeah, I rarely go out as well, and when I do I barely spend anything. HA I don’t envy you with Amsterdam. Rotterdam is much more reasonable, but all the same I guess it would be nice to still live at home. I do like my independence as well though. I guess it’s a relief the decision was made for me because my parents live in the states. 🙂

  7. You can go on a bookish holiday to BEA haha. I always rationalize buying books by saying at least I’m not spending it on my clothes or fast food. I don’t usually buy hard covers though because I can get two paperbacks for the price of one hard cover.

    • OH it has crossed my mind! Since I usually head stateside for my vacations anyway, I’m thinking if I keep blogging like this, next year I might as well combine it with BEA xD

      Yeah, I’m so picky about hardcover books. I just don’t like paperbacks 🙁 It makes sense though. And I’m definitely saving money on clothes and fast food lately. Can’t even think of the last time I really went shopping for clothes… Fast food is even longer ago.. Every little bit helps 🙂

  8. I’ve never been the sort of person who spends money on makeup or clothes. When I buy things for myself, it’s almost always a book. So they just take the place of other miscellaneous things I could buy. I try to buy them online to save myself as much money as possible, but that has never stopped me from walking out of B&N with $30 worth of books, lol.

    I’m terrible because I’ve never been able to borrow books from the library either. I need to own them, preferably in paperback. This is why I could never get on board with the whole ebook thing. It’s not just about reading them, its’ about the feeling of having them in your hand, the smell, the ability to disconnect from the internet or the world to enter the one in your hands.

    • Yeah, makes sense. That’s definitely kind of what my expenditures have looked like lately. And ditto on the online bit. When I was in the states, I went to a B&N a couple times but the amazon prices were in my head and I was just STUNNED at how much more expensive they were. So I do resist that urge at the least xD

      Yeah, I’m not a library person either. I really doubt anyway that my library here would have the kind of books I want to read. But I do use my ereader A LOT. I do miss the feel of a book in my hands but I never connect mine to wifi so I’m always disconnected when I use it. I dunno, for me an ereader is kind of a must because I barely have enough bookshelf space for the books I have now xD I really have to resist the urge to buy more books or I’ll have no place to put them.

  9. I always LOVE discussion posts <3 Book nerd problems, love the titel too. I don't have to buy clothes and stuff like that. I'm living with my parents and they pay for that. All the money I have can be spent anyway I like, so that means books (or dvd's)

    Other Nerd problems:
    -Space! Where do you put all your pretty books when you run out of space? :p
    -What do you do when they decide to change the covers?
    -Trying to explain to other people why reading rules when all they think is “boring”

    • Aww thanks 😀 Ugh, I’m so jealous of all these people still living at home and saving money that way!! It’s tough being on your own… *sigh*

      Oh thank you!! Those are definitely great suggestions. I’m compiling a list already. Changing the covers is a GREAT one, I forgot about that. 🙂

    • Yes, but on the other hand: you can do whatever you like! 😀 I can’t wait to get my own place, so I can make my own rules (and I need space, my shelves are filled).

      -Books to movies, yes or no?
      -Book hypes.
      -Reading slump.
      -Book hangovers.
      -Stand-alone or series?
      -E-books or paperbacks or hardcovers.
      -Getting overwhelmed by ARC’s; no time to read your own books.
      -Dealing with saying goodbye to your favorite characters and world.

    • Yeah, that’s true. Given my family’s drama and everything, I definitely prefer living on my own. But right now I have just one room, so I do miss a lot of space too. Need more bookshelf space.

      Thank you for all these suggestions! I’ll definitely note them all down 🙂 Saying goodbye to series is a good one 🙂

  10. I get by on low rent since I still live with my parents, but I do have to pay for my own…everything else. Which is why I have hundreds of books and like the bare essentials when it comes to everything else, and a diet heavy in ramen noodles and TV dinners. It’s rare when there’s not at least one book on its way to me from Amazon at any given time.

    I would rather have books than pretty much anything else, so I don’t look at it as a problem so much as a treasure-haul.

    I pretty much agree with everything Samantha May said in her comment, too. I can’t use libraries, because I can’t give books back. Even the bad ones. When I read a book, it becomes mine and giving it back is unthinkable.

    • Haha, I considered posting an example involving ramen noodles for food xD Didn’t expect someone to actually do that, but cool! Rent sucks man, I’m so jealous of all of youuuu.

      Ha, about the libraries. Yeah, I guess it is painful to give books back. All the same, I kind of like reading on my e-reader because I’m so OCD I wouldn’t be able to stand it if I have one book of a series, but then I didn’t like it so I didn’t buy the rest. I’m a completist. If I love the series on my e-reader, then I usually buy them in hardcover. There are of course exceptions, when I know I love a series so much after just reading the first book, so then I break my habit (i.e. Stormdancer, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Shatter Me).

  11. I try to win lots of amazon gift cards and then use those to fund my obsession! But, as my husband can attest to, I still have a hard time leaving a book store (or really any store that even carries books) without a book in my hand. Luckily I am generally a very frugal person: I don’t buy new clothes unless I absolutely have to. I bring my lunch to work every day, so that saves money. And I don’t spend frivolously on things like Starbucks and bubblegum. When I grocery shop I only buy stuff on sale and use coupons, so that frees up some money. I don’t know exactly how much I spend a month on books because it varies based on what is being released and other factors, but I can easily buy a book a week. I wish I had a library closer to me because I would definitely check out books. My library even checks out ebooks, but I always forget to link my library card to the system when I am at the library so I cannot do that yet.

    • That makes sense. I don’t enter a lot of giveaways, so I guess I’m missing out on some opportunities there. But like you, for the rest I’m pretty frugal, especially on unnecessary purchases like Starbucks. I wish the library here would carry more of the books I want to read – that’s a problem for me. Oh well. Thanks for your input!

    • Hahaha, I can definitely relate on that. Though lately I’ve been having a good go of clothes shopping. Books are always #1 though.