Book Buying Habits

I think we can all agree that it’s lots of fun to buy things. More specifically, buying books is fun. Going to the store, perusing the aisles, running your hand on every single spine there is just so you know what the book feels like. All essential parts of shopping for books. But there are a few things that stop us from getting all the books we want. One big thing that blocks our way though, is… money. It’s a well-known fact that books are expensive. Nowadays, when books can be as much as $30, it’s hard to justify spending that much money on what might be a one time read.

There is a lot of debate about people’s book-buying habits, some are concerned with special editions or book boxes. Others wonder about the expense of running a blog or bookstagram. We’ve decided to discuss our own book-buying habits, and reflect on how they may have changed since we started blogging and bookstagramming. 

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-12 at 4.01.08 PM

Chana:

As ya’ll may know, we started blogging in July of 2018. From September 2017 till June 2018 I bought a total of 5 books. That’s 5 purchased books over the course of 10 months. Now let’s flashforward. Between January and now alone, I’ve bought about 20 books. That’s a 530% increase!! And the whole reason for this insane jump in the number of books purchased is obviously because I started blogging and bookstagramming.

That being said, nowadays I tend to buy a fair amount of books, with a current average of 3 books per month. But as I’ve mentioned before,  the majority of the books I end up reading aren’t actually books that I buy, thanks to the digital library. But I do love owning books, they’re just so pretty and fun to have in my bookshelf! I’m also a littttle bit of an impulsive buyer, and what with all the book boxes, special editions of books, and book-inspired merch floating around, the interweb is not a safe space for my weak-willed mind. 

Me @ me as I continue to buy books

Malka:

Neither of us are major book buyers, which is some common ground I honestly did not expect to find. But can I get a bit extreme when it comes to book buying. I am not impulsive in the SLIGHTEST. Since the beginning of 2019, I have only purchased 11 books. Quite a few of them I purchased at signings, and I might not have bought otherwise. I also have read all but two out of the eleven books already, which makes me happy to hear, since I don’t want to grow my TBR too much. There are some months that I did not purchase a single book! This doesn’t mean that I didn’t get new books as a gift, from NetGalley, or from a publisher, but it means that I had the self-control not to overspend whenever I step into a book store. 

There are many reasons I don’t tend to buy very many books. For one thing, as I touched upon earlier, I don’t like having too many unread books on my shelf. For another, I am SUPER stingy with my money, and only want to pay for books that I think I’ll enjoy. This usually means that I buy books from authors I’ve read before and I can’t wait to read their next book. This excitement is very helpful at my goal of not having too many unread books on my shelves at once. Almost all of my book purchases are premeditated. I very, very rarely spontaneously decide to buy a random book. Instead, I tend to deliberate for months about whether or not I should pre-order my most anticipated releases of the year or just get them from the library. But I do have a weakness, and that’s book events.

season 2 power GIF by BBC

Book events when they hear I’m coming

I love attending book events! It’s so much fun to meet an author and get your books signed. But it many times requires me to make a purchase, since I don’t already own most of these authors’ works because of the aforementioned stinginess. This weakness also holds true for events like BookCon where I tend to splurge and buy myself a book or two even though I’m getting other free books. (Although this year I impressed myself and didn’t make a single purchase). But except for these instances I rarely shell out money for books. I even have enough self-control to leave bookstores without buying anything, something I know Chana struggles with.

The funny thing is that if you’ve read my post about buying multiple editions, you’ll know I’m more likely to spend my money on a second or third edition than a new, unread book! There’s less uncertainty involved for me. But that’s one of my weird quirks, and still doesn’t make much of an impact on the overall amount of purchases I make a year.

Me whenever I see anything related to Fangirl or Carry On

Chana:

I would like to chime in to say that I don’t actually buy that many books in actual bookstores. More often than not I’ll go to a bookstore look around, not be able to decide upon anything because there are so many choices and I get incredibly overwhelmed by everything. I tend to buy most of my books online since A. They’re cheaper, and  B. One of the reasons I’d be buying the book instead of taking it out from the library is because the book is only available in the UK. Also, since most of my books are impulse buys it’s easier for me to do that online. When I’m in a bookstore I’m constantly debating the pros and cons of buying the book. Is it too expensive, how many unread books do I have at home etc. But when I’m online everything’s so easy! I just need to click one button and Bam! I get a book! It’s wonderful, I love the modern age.

When I look at my Amazon wishlists

Needless to say, I support buying books. If not for the wonderful luxury of owning a physical book, it’s for the simple act of supporting authors. These days with ebooks, there is so much pirating that goes on that takes away from sales tremendously. If I see a book that comes out from an author that I want to support, I’ll go right away and buy that book. 

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-12 at 4.01.08 PM

But the truth of the matter is that books are expensive, and we totally get why some people don’t buy that many of them. Some great ways to get your hands on some cheaper books are by shopping at websites like Book Outlet or Thrift Books as opposed to some more mainstream sellers like Barnes & Noble, who generally sell books for list price. Used bookstores are also a fantastic way to get some cheaper books, Chana, for example,  loves perusing the outdoor section of The Strand bookstore where she has found some fairly new release books for as cheap as $2. 

There’s also the obvious option of libraries, but many people out there don’t have access to the best (or any) libraries. So we feel like it’d be a little bit of a cop-out to say that the best way to save money on books was to go to the library. While we are also lucky enough to receive books from publishers, while writing this post it became apparent that the two of us just don’t like when our TBRs get out of hand! And the simplest way to keep those under control is to minimize the number of books we purchase!

Screenshot (25)

What are your book buying habits? Do you buy lots of books every month? Where do you purchase most of your books from? What was the most recent book you bought?

33 thoughts on “Book Buying Habits

  1. I barely ever buy books, but I do check out lots of books from the library because I’m very lucky to have a nice library near me. If I do buy books, it’s usually with a gift card (my family knows me well and I get some at Christmas, usually) or at a secondhand bookstore just because I can’t really justify spending upwards of 12 dollars on a book.😂

    I also usually only buy books I’ve already read, which I know is really weird, haha. It’s just that I want to make sure I’m spending money on something I love and want to reread! My usual routine for buying a book is that I’ll check out a book from the library, read it and love it, and if I see it at a bookstore later on and realize I want to own it, then I buy it.

    Great post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Having a good library is super important to me! I’ve used mine regularly for years! So much so that I’m friends with all the librarians! And gift cards are how I buy so many books. I get one pretty much every year, and then I ration it for all the books I’m most excited about!

      And I’m the same way! I’d much prefer to buy books I know I enjoyed and would read again than to take a chance on a book I might not like! I usually only make exceptions for works by authors I’ve already loved before! Otherwise the library is the route I go as well!

      Thank you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was actually the opposite! Before 2014 when I started blogging, I would uy books like crazy. And my ex would buy me tons of books (most of books before 2014 came from him). And when I started blogging, in the beginning, I would still buy, but not as much. And as I kept blogging, I stopped buying books because I would get so many ARCs, there wasn’t space to keep buying books lol plus I’d get the arcs of books I really wanted so there was no point, really. Now, I don’t buy, mostly because it’s expensive. I became a volunteer missionary so the money goes to buying necessities. I have friends with Kindle unlimited and all that, so I use their accounts to stay up to date with new books, and now being back in the blogging world, I’m receiving the books I want to read 🙂 if it’s a book I totally loved, I’ll save money to buy more copies of it lol or a signed copy or something special about it.
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, space is my biggest issue right now 😂 I’ve slowed down a lot buying wise the past few months, because my books no longer fit into my bookshelf, and I don’t have enough space in my room for another one. This means that there is just a huge pile of books next to my shelf looking superrr messy.

      It’s so nice that you’re able to borrow and share with friends! I know there are some people who don’t like lending out their books and accounts but I love sharing books with my friends.

      Like

  3. Oh wow! Olivia said almost verbatim what I wanted to say!! ❤️❤️❤️ I rarely buy books either. Honestly I don’t really have room where I live and would drop it in a box and what good is that? But I will buy books that I adore and want to re-read either from online (cause I agree cheaper and so easy) or from a used shop. I’m also blessed with the best libraries where I get manga series, and request the dickens out of any small publisher book that I may want to read. I’ve been know to wait 6-8 months for those books to come in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gaaah, why do books take up so much space?? I used to reread books a LOT, especially because I only used to buy 5-8 books a year. I would always have time to just sit back and reread my favorites. Now I try to buy things that I would reread, but since I’m always trying to keep up with all the new books I haven’t had any time to reread stuff 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I subscribe to Audible, Audible Escape and Kindle Unlimited. Other than that, I borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the library. It costs a lot of $$$ to buy brand new books all the time and while I want to support my favorite authors, I can’t buy all the books even if I want to! I splurge sometimes, though! I also wish that indie pubbed authors have mass market paperback books available because trade paperbacks are just too expensive! Some at almost $20 a pop! gahh!

    I also shop used bookstores! I love browsing and finding oldies and old school romances in their OG covers! I find that hunting for books part is my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I must admit that I am unable to buy books impulsively since I just overthink it too much!
    I need to read reviews, or if it is a favourite author, make sure I own the other books in the series or even just need the latest standalone.

    My library is pretty good, but the second anything is added to the catalog, there is a huge waiting list, especially since all the books don’t stay at one library, they travel across the city.

    I will cave in and buy books if I am super tired though (eg Aurora Rising and Broken Throne) because I just can’t talk myself out of it when I am tired. Want book? Buy book. Who cares?

    Amazing post!
    -Emma 🙂

    Like

    1. Hahaha, same! My library has supperrrr long waitlists sometimes a few hundred people. So if it’s a book I’ve seen lots of good reviews of, and I just can’t wait any longer, I’ll usually just cave and buy it. And I’ve also found that I make the most irresponsible book purchases right when I wake up? Probably because I can’t think straight. One time I woke up, ordered a special candle set, went back to sleep, and woke up again unsure if I had actually ordered them or if it was a dream 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a fun post! I only buy books I know I’ll love. I also tend to purchase more general (adult) fantasies. Part of the reason is that these tend to be longer, and I want to take my time reading them. Another is that I love a good epic fantasy. I rarely buy YA books, which I can get more easily from my library or for review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to do the same thing! When I was younger and my parents took me to a bookstore I would look for the longest book possible, which generally turned out to be fantasy, just so that I knew I would have something to keep me occupied for a while.

      Like

  7. I rarely buy books because I get anxious about spending money. But I will usually only buy books I’ve already read or books I know I’ll enjoy. (I bought both of paperfury’s books without reading either of them which was a giant leap of faith for me)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cait’s books were actually some of the first I bought without extensive research! I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on them through the library in the US so I knew that if I wanted to read them I had to buy them, so I just went for it. It was a good thing because I ended up absolutely loving them!

      Like

  8. I’m like Malka. A bit stingy with my money I only buy books that I’m very sure I will enjoy. And I buy just three books per month. But there are times when I take the risk and buy books that I’m hesitant about. Anyway I have book buying ban months where I don’t buy any books for the whole month. It’s not that hard for me maybe because I’m not really an impulsive buyer but still it helps a lot with my self control and my physical TBR! Great discussion by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That definitely sounds like me! Although there are some months where I don’t buy any books! I have occasionally taken risks, but they don’t always work out and so I don’t do it very often!

      I’ve never actually been on an actual ban, mostly because I don’t tend to need one. But there are times where I try not to borrow books from the library or request on NetGalley, and it works a lot like a book buying ban!

      Thank you! 💕

      Like

  9. I don’t actually buy that many books in the grand scheme of things. I have a ton of books at my house that I have yet to read, but those are just over the years – some were gifted, some were bought. I try and use the library as much as I can, because I AM lucky to have one!

    -lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am a library and NetGalley user myself! I hardly ever buy new books, nor do I really buy books I haven’t yet read (those come from library book sales or LFL if I really want to own a copy). However, I DID go to Barnes & Noble last week and drop $70 on full-price hardcovers… mostly because I loved them and wanted to support the author. (But that is *so* out of character!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omggg, my eyes lit up at the mention of a Barnes and Noble hardcover run 😂 Netgalley is my favorite thing ever, and I’ve been using the library a lot more recently. I love that there are good non-expensive alternatives to getting books nowadays.

      Like

  11. I totally get it. Living in NYC, it’s hard not to want to stop into a random independent book store. I try to avoid Union Square as much as possible because as soon as I even think the words, The Strand, it’s over for me lol. However, I did invest in an e-reader and since then, I’ve been borrowing my books off Overdrive, which I’m very happy about. Although I did have to spend the money on that, I at least save now on a ton of books, especially if I end up not loving the book enough to want it physically. Lovely post, can’t wait to hear more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, same! If I’m anywhere near lower Manhattan, I automatically think, huh. Maybe I should stop by The Strand. Overdrive is the best! I use Libby, so I can take out books from a few libraries at once, but still keep track of my holds and loans.

      Like

  12. I buy a fair number of books on a regular basis, but I don’t usually buy new releases. I try to wait until they’ve been out for a while and the prices go down. Sites like BookOutlet are my favorite for that reason because they’re so cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny because I’m generally the opposite! I tend to buy new releases because I want to continue series I already own, or books by authors I love that have a new book! I do use Book Outlet and such to find older books for a good price, although I haven’t in a while!

      Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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