As you may know by now, I love books. I love the way a book feels in my hands, I love that new book smell, and I love flipping through pages as I read. I do have a problem though:
I have neither the space nor the finances for every book I want to read. If you haven’t seen my “to read” list, check it out here and you’ll see why it poses a problem.
I drastically reduced my book collection a couple of years ago from over 150 titles down to twenty or so, and have managed to keep from buying any more books since. I set a specific reading goal for this year and have been doing quite well in getting through the books on my list, and all without buying a single one so far. How? Well, my local libraries of course!
We used the library a lot when I was growing up because we couldn’t really afford to buy books, and I’ve always appreciated the access libraries provide (part of the reason I majored in Library/Information Studies in grad school). However, when I got to college, I picked up the habit of purchasing books because many of them could not be rented (I studied Literature in undergrad so you can imagine what kind of hoard that created). And I continued that habit for years, collecting quite a few books of many different genres. But this year I decided to return to regular library use for multiple reasons, the most important being 1) finances are too tight to buy every book I want to read, and 2) I don’t want to spend money on any books I may end up not liking.
So far I’ve read the first six books on my list in the first four months of the year (instead of the one book per month I’d planned on), and have gotten them all from my local library. If the branch closest to me didn’t have what I wanted, I’d put a hold on the title at a different branch and have it sent to the one closest to me for pick up, and it’s been working out great so far. I’ve also made use of my library’s Overdrive service, although I don’t love reading on my phone and they don’t have many of the titles I want anyway.
This is how I’ve managed to fight my undying desire to buy books. However, when looking for the next set of titles on my list, I’ve found that none of my local libraries have them. So what’s a girl to do? Well, I’ll let you know when I figure it out. But please, if you have the answer, share it with me.
I am still trying very hard to fight my tendency to be a book junky. And while one day I hope to have the space and the finances to buy and display every book I ever want to read, and give away the ones I don’t like without a second thought, today is not that day.
It takes hard work, dedication, and a strong will to not buy all the books, but we’ve got to take it one day at a time, and keep fighting the good fight!
Another good tip I’ve heard pertaining to shopping in general is the One In-One Out rule. If you buy a book, or item of clothing, or piece of furniture, then you have to get rid of one of the same item. Donate it, sell it, trash it, whatever, as long as it goes out. This way you will never have more than the set number of items you’ve committed to, and you also learn how to let things go when they no longer serve their purpose (I really need to apply this rule to clothes shopping, but haven’t the willpower to do that yet).
I hope this has helped in some way. I’ll let you know when I figure out how to access books my library does not provide without buying them. In the meantime, let me know what works for you.
How do you keep from amassing a dangerously high pile of books?
How do you keep from taking out a small business loan to support your reading habits?
Give us your secrets!!