Feeling good

You know, when I made up my mind to read more of what I have already and buy less new books, I wasn’t sure I could. I felt all squirrely just thinking about it. I am so used to a ‘see it, buy it’ mentality. Having an e-reader doesn’t help. One click and it’s mine. No trips to the bookshop. I don’t even have to put my coat on. I love that feature but it’s been my downfall too. My book buying budget has probably tripled since I got my e-reader. And it wasn’t that small to begin with. I’m pretty sure it’s the same for a lot of readers out there. And book blogs have just made it 100 times worse. They are such enablers of my buying habit, it’s not even funny.

Here is how it usually goes…

I see a book on one site and it gets a good review. My ears prick up. I click over to the next blog and another review, and suddenly the smell of it is in my nose. Hands twitch. But I stop myself and I go on clicking and I distract myself. But the facts get squirreled away in the brain. Couple of days later, I see another review. This one maybe not so glowing as the other two, but it also gives me a different perspective. Now, it’s like I’ve got it in my sights. I click over to Goodreads. Check out the rating. I’ll have a look at what people have to say, specifically looking at the poor ratings and if I see nothing too upsetting, it’s a click away to my pusher/dealer. Usually my go-to guy is Fictionwise but occasionally he’s out, so I have to go further afield but eventually I’ll track it down and then it’s mine. I’ve chased it down. I then have that moment of buyer’s euphoria. Perfect.

After that, I have to upload it onto Rafael (my Sony e-reader) making sure all the metadata is correct (Title, author, series title and cover I like best. Sometimes the UK ones are nicer you know…) and then I usually get distracted by something and I forget all about it. Or I might have bought 10 books at once (which is a more common occurrence than I care to admit) and you can’t read them simultaneously so some get forgotten about. This is how the famed readers TBR pile comes into existence.

my TBR pile

I’ve blogged about mine before. It’s getting so big it’s starting to make me anxious. I feel guilty when I buy new books, because I already have so many. Who could possibly read this amount of books in one lifetime? Why do I need more? And yet I keep buying and not reading. It is a habit. A hard one to break.

But I think I may be getting there. So far this year I haven’t bought any new books. My resolution was that I had to read 5 of my TBR pile before I could buy 1 new book. I’ve read 10 books so far this month (silver lining of being unemployed.) Is it sad that I do feel better? I’m feeling less anxious. I feel happier about my book choices and I feel much less guilty about the amount of money I was spending on books. Pressure I didn’t even realize was there has lifted slightly. I feel like I am making inroads in this massive pile. I’m able to relax and maybe enjoy and savour my books a little more. I have read 650+ books  in 2008/2009. That ‘s an average of  325 books a year. Who does that? Is it normal? Part of that was I felt I had to keep reading to get the numbers down. I have discovered a new favourite author and series. Does it matter that I have my 2 book already picked out? No. I might even see if I can wait until the end of the month and do all my buying then.

We’ll see if this new resolution lasts. I make it every year. But right now, I’m feeling good about it.

    • Mariana
    • January 12th, 2010

    How funny… you’ve just explained what happens to me. Last year I decided that instead of buying the books, I’d just keep the Goodreads To-Read list as my TBR pile. This way, I’d only buy those that I really wanted, as I might lose interest in the book between the time it gets in my radar and I actually read it. So far it’s been working out for me.

    This year I’m using my Book Calendar to budget out how much money I’ll be spending (+X for last minute) and get myself a gift card just for books.
    What new books aren’t in the calendar for this year will be “negotiated” into the calendar for next year. I can then re-evaluate if I really want to continue with an author/series; keep what I like and drop what doesn’t work for me.

    I’m hoping to become a smarter shopper and still get what I want 🙂 We’ll see how that goes.

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