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The Sunday Salon: Book Buying Hiatus Update

The Sunday Salon.comJust about a month ago I decided that I was going to go on a book buying hiatus for the summer. There were two small exceptions — if I visited a town with a bookstore, I could buy one book; if it was an independent bookstore, I could buy two books.

So far, I think I’ve been able to follow through with the spirit of the hiatus — not bringing more physical books into my house — if not exactly the law of my exceptions.

What does that mean?

The weekend of my birthday, the Boyfriend and I drove through a town with a Barnes & Noble on the way to my parents’ cabin. We stopped and I bought two books: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Secret History by Donna Tartt. By the rule, I should have just gotten one book… but it was my birthday! And, I finished both of them within a week of the purchase, so they weren’t part of the unread books count for long. Look at that justification!

I’ve also indulged in a few small ebook and audiobook purchases:

  • DC Comics: The New 52 Summer Sampler by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Doug Mahnke
  • See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson(ebook)
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (audiobook)

And, finally, I visit our local library’s annual sale and walked out with three books:

  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (it was just $1! And I think I’m going to like the audio enough to wish I had a physical copy)
  • House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (which I have already read, but wanted a copy for myself)
  • The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court (an impulse buy, but I think it looks pretty fascinating)

Despite slowing down my book buying (trust me, that really is slowing down) I don’t think there’s been a net decrease of unread books in my house. I’ve gotten (quite) a few review copies lately and started checking out tons of books from the library again. It’s like there’s a part of my brain that craves seeing new books in the house, regardless of how they get there. But at least the library books eventually go back.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had nearly as much time to read this weekend as I normally do. Our city’s annual festival, Prairie Pioneer Days, started on Friday, so I’ve spent most of the weekend taking photos at events. It’s been a lot of fun, but also totally exhausting. That said, I think I’ll get to take a work day off this week, and I plan to spend that entire day with a book in front of my face.

If I do get some time to read today — maybe after this afternoon’s parade — I’ll probably dive back into Eat the City by Robin Shulman, a look at the underground food scene in New York City. Or, I might grab one of my ever-so-tempting library books… Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead, perhaps?

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bermudaonion(Kathy) July 15, 2012, 9:55 am

    I’ve been trying to cut down on new books too but I’m not having much luck either.

    • Kim July 17, 2012, 7:36 am

      It’s hard! I feel like I’ve been doing really well though — I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve filled up a cart of books at an online bookseller, then closed out the window without making the purchase because I had the hiatus in the back of my mind!

  • Teresa July 15, 2012, 10:01 am

    I think going to the library really does help me curb my book buying. I get to “shop” for books and bring them home, but I don’t keep them. And I don’t actually feel an obligation to read them either because I can always check them out again. I figure checking out books I’m interested in keeps circulation numbers up on those kinds of books, too, which makes the library more likely to buy similar books and keep the ones they have.

    • Kim July 17, 2012, 7:38 am

      I feel the same way. Part of me hates to send books back unread, but I can always check them out again if I want to. And my library has a surprisingly good collection for being quite small, which I love.

  • Andi (@estellasrevenge) July 15, 2012, 11:02 am

    Love those justifications. Like you, I think I like to see a stream of new-to-me books in the house whether they be library books, physical copies, or e-books.

    • Kim July 17, 2012, 7:38 am

      I’m like an addict — I can always justify my behavior, even if it makes no sense 🙂

  • Aarti July 15, 2012, 12:25 pm

    That seems totally justified to me! Those don’t count at all 😉

    I got rid of SO MANY books when I moved back to Chicago, but really, that just helped clear up space on my bookshelves to bring in other books from my parents’ house, so it doesn’t LOOK like I got rid of that many. But I did! And I think I made a good amount of progress through my TBR before I, too, was sucked into the vortex of the library 😉

    • Kim July 17, 2012, 11:05 am

      I did a pretty good book purge when we moved from Madison last year, but I’ve done a lot of accumulating since then. We have to move again in September (fist shaking at the sky!), so I’ll have to do a good purge before then too.

  • sawcat July 15, 2012, 2:13 pm

    I’ve been trying to cut back on print book buying too. I made a list of the ones coming out this summer that I have to have, and have been trying to stick with it. I still have my audible as normal, but I’m getting through audio faster. The library certainly does hijack plans of getting through currently owned books.

    • Kim July 17, 2012, 11:05 am

      I should have made a list of exceptions coming out this summer. I’ve almost bought Tiny Beautiful Things three times, I think.

  • Trisha July 15, 2012, 7:10 pm

    I finally found a way to cut down on new acquisitions – have a baby. I never get to the bookstore, I don’t have time to shop online, and really what’s the point when I have absolutely no time to read. 🙂 I think I may be due for a grandma day (one in which baby goes to grandma’s and mommy does nothing productive at home, just reads).

    • Kim July 17, 2012, 11:07 am

      This might be my favorite comment on this post, Trisha! I should propose this to the boyfriend — Want fewer books? Let’s have a baby! I bet he would be totally fine with more books if that was the proposition 🙂

  • Vasilly July 15, 2012, 7:54 pm

    I know what you mean about the book-buying ban. I’m on one too and it’s hard! I told myself that I can’t check any more books out from the library either. I’ve failed (just slightly) but still. I hope you’re able to put a dent into your tbr stacks.

    • Kim July 21, 2012, 12:45 pm

      I should probably do some sort of cutbacks with the library, but I have a hard time resisting books when I go in to pick up something I’ve had on hold for awhile.

  • Nikki Steele July 16, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Would a ban be worth it if you didn’t get to buy The Night Circus or The Secret History? I think not! Those were two of my favorites from last year. Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

    • Kim July 21, 2012, 12:45 pm

      You are totally right — both were awesome, and I’m glad I read them. Part of the fun was reading them both right after I bought them, which I don’t always get to do with new books.

  • Stephanie July 16, 2012, 3:19 pm

    It sounds to me like you’re showing remarkable restraint, in keeping with the spirit of your book buying ban. I am very much a “spirit of the rule” kind of person. 🙂

    • Kim July 21, 2012, 12:45 pm

      I am too, especially for things like this 🙂

  • Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick July 16, 2012, 3:45 pm

    I like the rules you’ve made; I’ve been pretty good with print books, but it’s the audiobooks that I tend to spend my cash in lately. I have placed a hold at the library for The Secret History, so I am ready for that one! The House of Mirth is one of my favorites, so glad you enjoy it as well 🙂

    • Kim July 21, 2012, 12:47 pm

      I’ve been pretty restrained with audiobooks, I think, trying to stuck with my single credit a month plan. Kitchen Confidential was extra because I used my credit for Medium Raw, then belatedly decided I wanted to listen to KC first and needed to get it 🙂

  • susan July 17, 2012, 7:29 am

    You made good exceptions; if you’re on a road trip & visit a bookstore elsewhere, it seems okay to splurge a little, see recently at http://www.thecuecard.com/ . The Secret History is a good fast read!

    • Kim July 21, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Exactly — road trip splurges are a must!

  • Meg July 17, 2012, 8:46 am

    I think your rules are very reasonable, and a book-buying ban is something I could probably benefit from myself! It’s just so appealing to see new volumes on the shelves — totally agree with you. I’ve gotten to the point that I donate 25 books to my local library for their used book sales and walk out with five more, which is really bad . . . the most recent donation saw me walk out empty-handed, and that felt like a major victory.

    • Kim July 21, 2012, 12:48 pm

      I think as long as you leave with fewer books than you went in with, that’s a win 🙂

  • Lu July 21, 2012, 12:10 pm

    I’m trying not to buy books much more either, at least not until the books I have in my apartment get read. Then I can work on the books in my parents house!

    • Kim July 21, 2012, 12:48 pm

      Oh, yes, the books at my parents’ house! There are a couple of boxes of those too that I have to work on finishing up…