Going on a no buy is always something that sounds a little terrifying. People say they intend to buy no makeup products, no clothes, books or anything unless they completely run out and it is part of their routine. I could never take it to that level, at least not right now and especially with Christmas and a new pay cheque slowly creeping closer, but there are certain things that I am attempting to not purchase.
Back in September there was a tag on Instagram that focused on reading what you own instead of buying new books or leaning towards new releases. This came at a much needed moment for me as I had gathered quite a few new books during August and already had an extremely overwhelming to be read stack. After September ended though I decided to carry on going with it and, though I might ask for some new books for Christmas, hope to take it all the way through to the end of 2018. There are so many good and fascinating fiction and non-fiction books sitting on the shelves that they deserve to be pulled off and have the spines bent and the pages pawed through.
There is one book that I have already pre-ordered and will be arriving this month but, given I never get excited enough to pre-order things, I don’t want to take that bit of joy away. Browsing in a charity shop I also found the second installment of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Hollow City, and as it was already on my list to get at some point it seemed like a missed opportunity to grab it for £1.
If you want a bit of perspective I’m on track to read 1.5 books a week over the course of this year and I have more books on my to be read stack than I started the year with.
There are so many books in the flat that I haven’t read that I could probably go through to 2022 without needing to buy another book but that would be a rather sad thing to try and force myself to do but going forward I do hope to become a bit more aware of the books and number of books that are entering my collection. And before you look at the photos of the bookcases and think surely not, I’ll let you into a little secret; the short bookcase is double rowed and we have three huge boxes of books just sitting around equalling about 200 more books and then there are the books we don’t even have in the flat yet but in storage elsewhere… Not only will it give me a chance to work through my current collection and see if there are any books I am desperately trying to shy away from that it becomes so glaringly obvious that they need to be removed from my shelves but it will also give me a chance to save some money (all those £1 books add up quite quickly!) towards a holiday or something else that I enjoy as well (in fact I have a blog post about financial goals coming in the next couple of weeks and I hope that will help hold myself accountable for the amount that I spend on books in the short to medium term).
And I think this is something that is important for me to do now as I know I can get obsessed with things and have found myself gathering up a huge amount of books before, which is why I have so many still to read, and getting more into bookstagram there is a risk of falling into the habit of seeking things out for nothing more than a haul photo. I have enough books that I can do good looking stacks, such as colour piles, without having to buy more to feel part of the community. Besides bookstagram would not approve of me buying any more books until I can get another bookcase for them and unless I can purchase an actual library I don’t think that’s viable right now!
Despite having spent so much money, having loads of books unread and not always reading as frequently as I want to I’m not going to let any guilt creep in. I do not regret the books that I have purchased over the years, or this year more specifically, and I do not regret the time I have spent soaking specific books up or between books before diving into the next one. Books are something to go through at a personal pace so that you can absorb all the words, it isn’t a race, and this is why I don’t generally get involved with that many book challenges because whilst I find them fun they can also add to a little stress and prevent me from being fully able to take the contents of a book in. In fact I am looking forward to sharing books that aren’t spoken about that much in the book community over here in reviews, on instagram snaps and with my monthly roundups on instagram TV and I am pretty sure that should any guilt or bad feelings start to creep in reminding myself of this aim will snap me out of it!
Have you found yourself overwhelmed by the number of books you have? Do you have to stop yourself going into charity shops or you come out with ten books? Perhaps you give yourself a book budget and if so do you do it by financial amount or by number of books? I’d love to find out more about how you manage your collection in the comments below. If you want to find out what I’m reading right now you can also find me on Goodreads.