Book Nerd Problems #24: I Am A Book Buying Addict

Posted September 6, 2014 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.

#24. I Am A Book Buying Addict

Guys. I dunno if you know. And I dunno if maybe my book hauls of 10-17 books per month tipped you off. But I kind of have a bit of a book buying problem. I’m sure most of you can relate to this though. I mean, I’ll see you all at Book Buyers Anonymous next Tuesday, right? *cough* But joking aside, it really does seem like an addiction. I go through sort of withdrawal symptoms if I haven’t bought books in a while. I get antsy. TIME FOR BOOK SHOPPING.

The thing is, I really freaking love books. And being in the book blogging world, so many titles are constantly being added to my radar. So many covers completely take my breath away. Oh, did my book blogging BFF just 5 star RAVE about this book? I MUST HAVE IT IN MY HANDS NOW. And just simply walking through a bookstore, in the young adult section, among all the pretties, is freaking blissful heaven.


My Other Excuses:

  • Well, everyone has been raving about that one.
  • But he/she’s one of my auto-buy authors! I have to support them!
  • But if I get that one, I’ll have completed the series!
  • But I had a really bad day.
  • But I just accomplished something awesome, I deserve a reward!
  • But I’m a mood reader and I need more fluffy reads on hand JUST IN CASE.
  • That author’s coming for an event, so obviously I have to buy their entire oeuvre!
  • My book collection is still nothing compared to OTHER people’s.
  • It’s on sale though! When will that ever happen again?
  • [Person X] said I had to read this one though!!! OBVIOUSLY THAT MEANT RIGHT NOW.
  • They changed the covers! MAJOR TRAVESTY, MY BOOKS DON’T MATCH.
  • But I haven’t bought a book in like two whole weeks!
  • But I have like nothing to read right now.
It’s like that. But with books.

Time for a reality check.

  • You’re unemployed, Debby, you ain’t got money fo’ dis shiz.
  • And when you DO get a job, you’ll be moving. How are you going to carry/transport all these books?
  • Your bookshelves are completely full. COMPLETELY.
  • And if you didn’t buy any more books, just read the ones you have but haven’t read, you would be set for A YEAR.
  • Would you read that book right away? No? It’ll still be for sale a few months from now. SRSLY.
  • Srsly, don’t forget about books publishers send to you, because they’re also taking up your shelf space and your reading time. If you buy a book now – when would you finally have time to read it?
  • Waiting is not always an evil: you can read more reviews and see if you’ll actually like the book!

I’m striving to do better.

Ever since BEA, really, I’ve tried to cut back on book buying and, to an extent, it’s been working. I mean, all those reality checks up there? They’re pretty effective. I came back from BEA not only swamped with review copies, but also with so many finished copies I really wanted to read, and so it was easier to concentrate on the books that were already on my shelf. But I still have a problem. I still have shopping carts on Amazon just one click away from being sent to me. I spend so much time browsing for books, comparing prices, putting together shopping carts, debating, rethinking, and then not buying. I could read books from my TBR pile in that time, but I guess that’s besides the point. I just dunno how long my defenses will last.


Of course, there’s things you can do. Book buying bans, rules where you can only buy 1 book for every x read from your shelf, etc., and I guess I’m kind of doing that but not formally. Maybe making it a formal challenge would be more effective… but… that also just seems so cruel 🙁

Let’s Talk!

Do you have a book buying problem too? How many of these excuses have you used? Any others to add? Which harsh realities are keeping your problem under control? Or have you just completely given up and surrendered to the bookstore gods?

Let me know in the comments!

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19 responses to “Book Nerd Problems #24: I Am A Book Buying Addict

  1. I’m the worst. I buy way too many books and then don’t read them. I too have shopping carts all over the internet and it’s… sick. I have a sickness. I get those same antsy feelings if it’s been a while since my last book purchase. I wonder if there’s a program for this.

    Over the summer I tried buying books only if I knew I would read them right away. It hasn’t really worked. I did cut down for like three or four weeks but just the other day I went on a binge, so I don’t know how effective my strategy was.

    I think the hardest thing about being a collector of books is that there are always new releases coming out. You can never reach maximum capacity because next Tuesday there will be at least 5-10 books coming that you’ll want. It’s like laundry in that it never gets done. And all this is just for people who don’t get books from publishers. You add that to the mix and you’ll lose your mind.

    I don’t know what it is about books that makes them so enticing and compulsively buyable but it’s BAD.

    • Haha, maybe a branch of Shopaholics could center on book buying addictions? Wait, is shopaholics a real thing? I DON’T EVEN KNOW.

      Yeah, I think the hardest part is when you try to keep yourself in check for so long, but then you just feel like you deserve a reward for being so good and you BINGE. I’ve had the same feeling the past few weeks, but have still been managing it because: unemployed. It’s a pretty effective reality check, ngl. I fear for the fate of my first paycheck when I do get a job lol.

      OMG IT’S SO LIKE LAUNDRY. That is the best comparison ever.

  2. MJ

    Oh God yes. I’ve tried just preordering what I really want. So, that it’s spaced out. And I get the endorphins of buying something, but prolong the pain. It sort of works-though I know that this month and next month are going to kill me. It also doesn’t help that there’s a huge Barnes and Noble’s about ten minutes from where I work. So, if I have a god awful day I’ll just end up going there and buying something. And I guess it also helps that I have a storage unit and can sort of hide the evidence. The bad thing though is I have so many law books (which are ridiculously thick) I don’t have a lot of space for fun books on my actual shelves.

    • Yeah, I count myself so lucky that I have so many September and October ARCs, so there are only a couple new releases that I really have to buy (basically: Winterspell and The Blood of Olympus). Book retail therapy is so alluring.

      Oh man, I had a lot of my business textbooks, but I ended up stacking those on the floor and am planning on selling them to make room for more fun books. x_x It’s a serious problem (but well I don’t really need those books anyway).

  3. You know, I don’t really have a book buying problem. I mean, I own a lot of books, and a lot of those I haven’t read. But I will also go months without buying a book. I’m lucky that I live in a place with a pretty decent library, so I can really take advantage of that. I also use Netgalley/Edelweiss as much as I can.

    Again, I do buy books, though. I just don’t feel like I need to buy them all the time. Since I can get them from the library. This year, for the most part, all the physical copy of books I’ve bought were for signings or author events, I believe.

    I do have some ebooks that I buy though. But I almost never spend more than a couple dollars on those, and they aren’t books I buy often.

    I have more of a makeup addiction. I buy makeup way too much, and am currently on a makeup no buy until Christmas. So I do understand your pain. 🙂

  4. Omg, Debby. I’ve used every single on of you excuses and they seem to pull me in. Every single time. I’m going to have a reality check now because it’s a serious problem and I have no solution (I’m stepping on books in the dark because now they’re just scattered on the ground xD)

    This post is perfectly timed, in fact. I went to buy tissues today and somehow made my way over to the book department (it’s the pull, I sweaaaar) and found myself with the first and second books of Alice in Zombieland. I was telling myself that I need both because, you know, what if I read the first one, love it so much and then desperately need the second in my hands? I don’t want that wait in betttweeen D: But then I had to slap myself. “Jess, you’re not even planning on reading this immediately. What if you don’t even like it?” And so I reluctantly put the second book back and walked away with just the first book. It wasn’t a major step, but it’s a step forward, am I right? 😉


    Debby, I am laughing, LAUGHING, because I am having the same issue. I have books on the floor ON THE FLOOR and I go out and buy more for this reason: Because.

    I buy them when I am in a bad mood and when I hear that one is good. Or when I love the cover and when something catches my eye.

    I’ll go into therapy with you.

  6. Wow, this post is basically my life. I have serious book buying issues. Literally, the one gift when asked what I want for my birthday is books. I just…love books. I love buying books. My mom says that I love buying books more than I like reading them, and honestly, there is so much truth to that statement. Buying books is just such a thrill, and I love putting newly purchased books on my shelves… Ahh, the satisfaction.

    (Too bad my wallet doesn’t agree with this…problem…of mine.)

    • Oh that is such a good point. I’m much more inclined to buy the pretties than read them. I mean I only buy books that I WANT to read… EVENTUALLY. But it’s that short burst of instant gratification that makes buying so satisfying.

  7. I give up in spurts. I’m such a horrible skinflint that I won’t spend money for weeks and weeks, but all of the sudden I’ll get the urge to go to the thrift store, and then the floodgates open. Also, I have a bad habit of wanting to rescue sale books, especially when they’re sale books. (See: skinflint, urge to save money.) It’s bad, Debby. Really, really bad.

  8. My book buying problem has gone less since I got unemployed (I basically still sort of am, my own business doesn’t make enough money to live from let alone buy books). I set a budget for myself and if I am tempted to buy more I just guilt trip myself with depressing thoughts and worries about money and then I won’t buy anymore books. It works pretty effective and made me more selective about which books i really want to read and buy, I also started accepting more review requests to compensate for less book buying and still get the happy feeling of getting new books.

    Also considering the moving with books part, I did that a few years ago and yes it takes a lot of time to pack all thsoe books, but it’s not that hard, it just takes time. And unpacking them is a lot of fun!

    • It’s not the packing of books that worries me, it’s the fact that I could be moving across the ocean for all I know, and then it’s just expensive.

  9. I’m awful with e-books. I accumulate those things like crazy… especially since I’ve found so many really cheap books (like $2.99 or less). And freebies, too! Don’t get me started on the freebies…

    I’ve also recently discovered that the library has a lot of e-books that I want to read. So… that’s not good. I’m trying to cut back on buying and putting more freebies in my TBR pile. And I’ve told myself that I can only read one of those tempting library books if I also read something from my TBR pile. Otherwise, the pile will just keep growing and I’ll never get through it!

  10. So… Obviously you know about my book buying problem 😉 I don’t see the actual buying part so much as a problem as me not reading them and instead reading mostly egalleys. Which should be read, obviously, but I’m gonna try and focus more on the books on my shelves.
    But yes, Book Buyers Anonymous sounds like a plan to me!

    • Right – review copies are so exciting, especially because they’re free, but when you’re obligated to read those, the books on your shelves just stay there neglected. That’s…. sad. I really want to dramatically cut back on review copies. *sigh*