Thursday Tea Time — Book Buying Bans

Posted January 9, 2020 by stuckint in Thursday Tea Time / 6 Comments

Hi all! Haley is embarking on a book buying ban until June, so we thought we would do an all-in-good-fun debate about book buying bans. Haley will take the Pro side and I’ll take the Con side. Then, we want to hear from you guys in the comments about which side YOU are on!!

Book Buying Bans are Necessary

Well you heard it here first. I am on a book buying ban, albeit a loose one since I am allowing myself two books a month (and that includes my Book of the Month picks). When I told Emily about my plan she laughed at me. Then she suggested we offer a point, counter point post about book buying bans so here we are!

The biggest positive to a book buying ban is obvious: money! My husband and I are moving in June and so we are trying to save up enough to have the beginnings of a down payment on a house. So yes, the biggest way I could see for me to contribute to our savings was to buy fewer books.

Another fantastic plus to a book buying ban is that it has made me stop and really think about why I want to own the physical copy of a book. Is it an author that I love? is it the next in a series? Am I just afraid of missing out on the hype (face it we’re all victims of FOMO!)?

Which brings me to my last book buying ban pro: libraries! Whenever I get the urge to go one-click a title on Amazon because it sounds so good and I just can’t wait to get my hands on it, I go online and put a hold on a physical copy at my local library. If you want a little help you can check out this extension that will show the availability of books you look up on Amazon or Goodreads at your local librarh. That way, I still get the anticipation of going out around release day, picking up a physical book, and getting to take it home and read it. If I really love it, I add it to my ongoing list of books to look for on Thriftbooks or Book Outlet later and the author still gets supported through my library’s purchase of the book.

*Oh and if you’re library doesn’t have a title you are looking for you can always request it. When the title comes in, you’ll be first on the list!

Book Buying Bans are No Good!

Ok, I get all of what Haley is saying, I really do. There are definitely fiscal reasons to put yourself on a book buying ban, and if you find yourself in a tough financial spot, you do what you have to do to get back on track. Plus, I really love the library and am definitely in favor of using it more often.

That being said, I personally am not a fan of the concept of a “book buying ban”. I generally find that for myself if I say I can’t do a thing at all, that is the fastest way to make sure that I break that resolution. Like, if I try not to eat chocolate for a month, I will be eating it the next day even though chocolate may not be my favorite thing. It’s just how my brain works, so I tend not to tell myself I’m banned from anything.

Second, a friend of mine once told me that buying books is just like someone who buys opera tickets or subscribes to the symphony — it’s being a supporter of the arts. And I totally buy this concept. I absolutely love reading and books in all forms — physical, audio, e-books, whatever. I know that authors work really hard and deserve to be paid for their work. Because of this, I like to buy books to show my support with my wallet. I want to support the publishing industry, or book box subscriptions I love, or whatever it may be. I don’t mind having piles of books I haven’t read yet, because I can look at them and they are a symbol of just how much I love to read and love books. If I go on a ban, then I feel a little guilty that I’m no longer supporting publishing as an industry. I’d rather give up fast food or something.

And finally, I really like Book Riot’s concept of mindful book buying. There are plenty of times I buy a book knowing full well I don’t feel like reading that book at that moment or that even if I love it, I likely will never reread it. Maybe, then, these are books that I should go to the library for instead of the store. But if there’s a book I know I love, or an author I can’t get enough of, or a series I am obsessed with, then I’m totally ok with buying that book and making room for it in my budget. So maybe what we need to “ban” is haul culture, where blogs and vloggers get attention for the GIANT piles of books they buy, and instead curate our own collections a bit more.

What Do You Think?

Did either of us convince you? Do you love a book buying ban, or do you prefer not to do that? What do you think? We can’t wait to talk to you about it in the comments!

6 responses to “Thursday Tea Time — Book Buying Bans

  1. Rachel

    I told myself I was going to buy fewer books and use the library more this year, but waiting on holds is already wearing on my patience lol. I love the concept of mindful book buying! I also try to swap the BOTM books that I know I’ll never read again.

  2. Beth Roberts

    I don’t do bans, but I also refuse to buy books full-price. I love in a small apartment and space is an issue. I have told myself I’m limiting purchases to items already existing on my WishList that have a major drop in price, for instance, Kindle books for $1.99 or like the other day at the library resale room, where I found a pristine copy of The Starless Sea for $4._It was just released, and seriously, who’s gonna walk away from a deal like that? So no, for me total bans are not going to happen unless completely necessary. BOTM isn’t helping with their choices the last few months. Three new books a month is a serious space issue. Am I going to stop? Nope.

  3. Colette

    I SO agree with you that a book buying ban is not for me. I like that buying books supports authors. I have borrowed digital books from the library but don’t like the time limits. I read only digital books because I love the convenience of always having a book with me, and the ergonomics of holding it in one hand work for me.

  4. I never put myself on a book buying ban because we are avid library users. But, I did put myself on a tea buying ban last year, and not only did I break my ban four months in, but when I finally made a tea purchase, I overindulged, which I probably could have prevented if I just practiced more mindful purchasing. So, unless there are fiscal reasons prohibiting the purchase of a book, I’m not in favor of bans.

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