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 Iâ€™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 weâ€™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 canâ€™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 libraryâ€™s purchase of the book.
*Oh and if youâ€™re library doesnâ€™t have a title you are looking for you can always request it. When the title comes in, youâ€™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 canâ€™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. Itâ€™s just how my brain works, so I tend not to tell myself Iâ€™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 — itâ€™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 donâ€™t mind having piles of books I havenâ€™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 Iâ€™m no longer supporting publishing as an industry. Iâ€™d rather give up fast food or something.
And finally, I really like Book Riotâ€™s concept of mindful book buying. There are plenty of times I buy a book knowing full well I donâ€™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 thereâ€™s a book I know I love, or an author I canâ€™t get enough of, or a series I am obsessed with, then Iâ€™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 canâ€™t wait to talk to you about it in the comments!