No More Book Buying Until March the 24th…

Dear readers it has come to my attention that I have been book bingeing. I don’t mean the occasional binge of just happening to pass a lovely bookshop and going a bit crazy one weekend, I am talking throwing myself into bookshops (almost every other lunchtime) and ‘clicking and collecting’ online whilst at my work desk/walking home/in bed upon waking. I know we need to buy books to keep the book industry a float yet in the last month I have bought over 40 books, that is more than one a day which is verging on it being a sickness or just being a naughty greedy sausage. So I decided January the 31st was the last day for buying books, so I went on a binge yesterday of course, until March the 24th.

I present a piece of evidence below for you to help you understand, be warned this image contains serious book porn…


The column/tower of books on the left isn’t actually all the books I have bought, some have been read and some are being shipped from the US, but it is most of them. The rest are from lovely publishers, in most cases unsolicited bar five or six I actually asked for. When I am getting this many books it does beg the question (well the one The Beard has been asking, hands on hips) why do I need to buy so many more.

Part of it might be that I am buying my feelings in books. The last month has been a bit rocky in a few ways (and I am not just talking about joining the gym, ha) so I have been giving myself rewards as I get certain stuff done and tricky/awkward/tough objectives done, and nothing makes you feel better than buying some books does it. I also think it is partly a slight amount of guilt that I am getting all these free books, again most of which I don’t ask for but am so thrilled I receive, yet I know BUYING books is what means authors get paid and therefore more books can come – so I am buying.

The main reason is probably just the fact that I have wanted to and have been able to. I am currently lucky enough to have some spare cash to splash on books I am treating myself. This may not last, so I have embraced it for a bit. Now for a rest though, well until March the 24th(which just happens to be my birthday, I am no fool) and a chance to have some actual ‘reading rehab’ – mainly so I can catch up on some of the books I have bought, though I do think I am buying for the library of my future many, many, many years.

Do you ever have to bring your reading binges into line or get over buying guilt? Do any of you have rules that you set yourselves and/or limits in regard to buying books?



Filed under Random Savidgeness

61 responses to “No More Book Buying Until March the 24th…

  1. Given that my whole blog is my attempt to cure a lifetime of book buying, I can totally relate to your situation! A big pile of books does look lovely though 😉

  2. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Good luck! I spend a *lot* of time trying to stop myself buying books – and failing miserably….

  3. I know it can hard on the wallet, and even extravagant at times, but big piles of books sure look nice, don’t they? Have fun reading them!

  4. I should institute a book buying ban until much later than March to get my book binges in hand. I always have the hardest time actually going through with it though. I miss getting them too much. Sometimes I worry that I like acquiring books more than I like reading them. :-/

    • I think the library is brilliant. I had the urge today (yes, two days in, tragic) and so went to the library and borrowed three to get a mini fix – admittedly this doesn’t really bode too well. Ha!

  5. Good luck, Simon! That sure is a mighty amount of books. I think you’ll do it though, you’re being healthy and that motivation will lead into being determined not to buy more books.

    I’m one of those people that eats or buy away their sadness/anxiety/depression/happiness/any emotion I may feel, so I completely understand the spending. You’ll feel better for the restraint in the long run.

    I’m trying to do the healthy living/spend less money thing at the moment. It’s hard without having someone else challenge me so I can prove them wrong and win something. Sometimes the way my mind works scares me.

  6. The warning should be in bold! 😀 I missed it and I’m not the same anymore

  7. David

    Oh dear, I wish you hadn’t posted this, Simon – I thought I was being very good this year and not buying too much, but even so it looks like I bought 22 books during January. And at that the first couple of months of the year are when I find it easiest NOT to binge as very few really top notch new books come out at the start of the year (the odd debut novel and story collection maybe), but of course I “needed” to get all of Paul Scott’s non-Raj Quartet books that are in print. And some more Laurie Colwins. And Richard Bausch’s latest novel was a bargain price so it’d be rude not to. And I’ve loved both of the books I’ve read from Parthian’s Library of Wales series so it’d be nice to have a few more of those (and whilst I’m at it I haven’t really read much Welsh fiction so I’ll just get ‘Feet of Clay’ by Kate Roberts too which is supposed to be a classic). And I enjoyed Somerset Maugham’s ‘Up at the Villa’ so much I might as well have another couple of his on hand for when I feel in the mood… oh yes, this is how the rot sets in.

    But I’ve tried the whole self-imposed embargo thing before and it never works. There are at least three new books I know I’ll buy in February and there’s no point pretending I won’t (for the record: the new books by Anne Tyler and Charles Baxter, both favourites, and I really fancy The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader). I’ll try to stop at those though. Honest.

    • Oh I know that ‘need’ feeling only too well! I had it for most of the month it seems, I had it in the library today so borrowed which gave me a small fix. I actually think January is normally quite a strong month, not for the newest books but for paperbacks, so that was where my problem lay, though actually I think this spring is pretty strong.

  8. WHOA – I get upset with myself and super guilty if I buy more than 4-5 in a month. I’d probably have a nervous breakdown if I bought/received books at these levels!

  9. I can relate to that – although it does appear you are slightly worse than me. At least this month. I’m sure I’ve had some excessive splurges before this. I’m also on an abstinence of book buying from January 1st until March 28th – which is the day I’m going to the Crime Festival in Lyon and suspect I may end up with many, many new, gleaming, shiny, signed books…

    • Hahaha I will allow you saying that I am slightly worse than you because it will make you feel better and in this instance I don’t mind being the bad person because its a good position to be the bad one haha.

      You’ve a good reward scheme there for your abstinence.

  10. I often book binge when I’m feeling low. There is something soothing about going into a bookshop and buying a new book. I often buy books that reflect my mood at the time. This is possibly in an attempt to find an answer to my life problems or just reassure myself that others have been through it as well.

    • That is exactly it, thank you Tim I thought if I mentioned the soothing nature of a bookshop people would think that I am a little whacky but you have said it so it confirms it is all true.

      I think we find a lot of answers in the fiction we escape in, that is why books are so brilliant.

  11. I don’t keep track, but don’t think I’m anywhere near your stacks (partly because I buy e-books as well as print, though?). Good luck on your reading-and-not-buying program over the next couple of months!

    • Aren’t e-books even more dangerous? I notice the space being eaten up by physical books, if its all on a device it must be a binge delight. Thank goodness I didn’t warm to my kindle.

  12. Haha, you are just like me!! I actually saw that I bought so many books without even paying attention to how much I was spending that I completely blew my actual living expenses budget, DOH! So, I have done the same as you. I cut myself off until April 1.

    I have PLENTY to read and the books on my wishlist will still be there in a few months. It is time to dig into the TBR and try to make a dent. I wish us both the best of luck in sticking to the book-buying-ban!

    • Hoorah for hoarders and bingers like us I say! April the 1st – is it an April Fools joke? I think a binge is actually good as it helps us realise which books we really, really want and which ones we don’t. I had a mini cull to fit all the above on my shelves and was shocked by some books I had bought in the last 6/12 months on a whim/urge.

  13. quinn

    oh dear….your book porn pix has made me want to run out and buy books…you’re such a bad boy….well gotta go 🙂

    (and i’m in the ‘if it feels good do it’ boat and want that for all my blogger buds also…so if it feels good to buy or it)

  14. Thank you so much for making me feel better about my own TBR stash. Yes, I have a problem too, but wow that is a lovely pile of books you have there!
    Hope you enjoy Wolf Winter. I just finished a preview copy and loved the book. I’ll be interested to read your Amy Poehler review – am umming and ahhing about getting Yes Please on audio – if I didn’t already have so many waiting to be heard!
    Happy readings 🙂

  15. Oh boy, I try to institute book bans all the time. I have weeks of binging then, guilt-ridden (not to mention flat-broke), I force myself to cease and desist. And, you know what? Sometimes it even works…for about a week. But, still, that’s a whole week with no buying – something to be proud of no?

    Anyway, I hope your will power is stronger than mine – good luck!!

    • I don’t think it is something to be proud of, in an ideal world I would buy whichever books I wanted when I wanted, I just cannot get away with, or justify, that really even if I can afford it. More moderation for Mr Savidge is needed.

  16. I don’t think I could stand the guilt !! Never have more than three unread purchases. Library books don;t count.

  17. Ann

    I love going to bookstores – the smells of books/old books especially and really I go to just look but end up buying. Since I have many books I have not read yet, I call buying more books – my addiction.

  18. If this is all your unread books you’re not anywhere near as bad as me! Although it does sound as though it’s been a heavy month for you – and there are worse addictions to have! (Btw, is that TWO copies of A God In Ruins?? Jealous, me, much?!)

    • It is two copies, this happens quite a lot here, one is now off to the home of my friend Victoria who I befriended when we were judging the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize back in 2013 and when we chose Life After Life 😉

      Oh and that is one month’s arrivals of books. I have shelves and shelves and shelves of them!

  19. I’m always trying to refrain from book buying. My TBR is out of control, so I’m focusing all my attention on the “read/purge” task right now.

  20. I too have instituted a “no book buying ban” on myself after I had a bookshelf collapse on me yesterday. I now have piles all over our home office. Thankfully, the husband doesn’t mind them so much. My book buying ban, however, will be much longer than March as I’ve told myself I’m either reading or getting rid of an entire pile before I can buy another book.

  21. Kristen M.

    It’s the weirdest thing but my buying always slows down after holidays when I get gift cards because I get much more picky about what I’m willing to spend those on. When they’re gone, then I binge because, well, then it’s just my own money. That doesn’t make sense at all, does it? It doesn’t to me either but it’s how I think. Right now I have credit sitting there and I’m agonizing over what to buy. We need to find your situation like this so that you become blocked. 😉

  22. The fewer rules the better. I don’t get into making myself feel guilty. If I have money and I want to buy I do. If I don’t have the money I don’t.

  23. Linda E.

    Good luck with that. Remember making a similar goal. Boyfriend bet a dinner and movie that I couldn’t last a week. Well. An hour later….I stood at the register buying a handful of books at The Strand, while he was laughing and making reservations.

  24. I also banned myself to buy books (for myself) last December 2014-January 2015. Amazingly, I did it and I haven’t bought any book even after I lifted the ban. (It has been only four days though. Hehe!) I hope you could stick with your plan.

  25. Coleen Nieto

    Great minds think alike!

    I put myself on a book buying hiatus as of February 1 too! My birthday is March 12th so I won’t have to wait quite so long as you for a new book, but I did it for the very same reasons! I have been on a book buying binge – just last week I walked into a store because I was 15 minutes early for an appointment and walked out with 6 books. In less than 15 minutes! I have double stacked all of my book shelves and have made a nightstand out of books that don’t fit on my bookshelves and still I can’t stop. Not to mention that I have to hide the books I’m bingeing on from my husband as he does not understand buying a book if you haven’t read the ones you’ve got. I feel as thought I spend more time thinking about books than actually reading them lately!

    Simon – you’re the best- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the podcast heard you say something I’ve thought myself, people must think I’m crazy, nodding and talking to myself. You’ve made me realize that it’s ok to have a subject you don’t care to read about (i.e., horses, boats, aliens, etc) and validated my need for multiple versions of the same book. Thank you!

    Good luck to you on your book buying struggle. I hope you get great books for your birthday!

  26. Rob


    We all have pain that we need help with to get “through”. Luckily, we have picked books as “medicine”. We could have picked alcohol, drugs, gambling, stealing, murdering and a lot of other things. Knowing this we just have to “manage” our book addiction as well as we possible can………sounds like you are doing the managing pretty well. Years of therapy have allowed me to remember that I am human, that I still experience emotional pain, and that I have a “decent” way to work through it. And most importantly, our books will live on after us and nurture others…………be gentle with yourself, you are a GREAT guy!!!!!

    All the best,


  27. Rhian

    There are worse things to binge on than books. I am trying to stop buying for a while – economics and space (I have stopped counting, but my TBR is into 3 figures, and aiming for 4) – but the only way I can stick to it is by not entering bookshops at all. Or charity shops, as I tell myself that it is a good thing to buy books there. So I have been binging on craft magazines instead – at least 5 or 6 a month.

  28. What a great problem to have! My book buying sneaks up on my kindle… I think I have one there for a rainy day and before I know it there are 10 or more… the advent of the wish list is like a waiting room – with the promise that if I’m good and read all the ones on my list, I can have a special treat from the list!
    There are much worse ways to spend your hard earned $
    Happy reading x

  29. Good luck with that! And I feel a bit better now about the 17 books I’ve gained in the last two weeks…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s