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Are You Addicted to Buying Books?

Discussion: Are You Addicted to Buying Books?

Are you addicted to buying books?

Because I am! I talked a couple weeks ago about my problem with taking too many books out from the library, but really that was a reflection of a deeper problem. I just love to buy books, even though I won’t be reading them any time soon. There is something primally satisfying about catching the prey, I mean book >.>, and bringing it home to pet. I sound a little crazy right? So these are the purchased books that are sitting on my “read immediately or as soon as you can around all those other books you need to read, gah!” pile:

Addicted to buying books

This is of course only a small section of all the unread books that I actually have sitting on my shelves at home. This is the stack that are at the boyfriend’s house so that I can grab them when I finish a book…. These are all really excellent books that have come highly recommended and I know I simply must read them as soon as I can! I think that is my problem though. There are too many books in the world for me to read all of them, but if I own them, then maybe that counts as half way to reading them? There is something about buying a book that I really want to read that makes me feel better. When people say “Omg, you haven’t read that yet???” I can say “But I own it!” I also can’t pass up a deal, which is what led me to buying the first four Mortal Instruments books because they were like $4 each, craziness!

I think I might be in a bit of a recovery stage right now though. I can’t tell if it is a reading slump, or just a buying slump. When I go to the store (except for last week when there was a sale on used books, can’t resist that!) I look through the shelves and don’t feel the compulsive need to buy anything. I think this is progress, maybe? But it’s kind of a sad feeling, since it means that I’m not excited enough about any of these books to buy them. I like the rush of buying a book I really want, and I kind of miss it…. I am amused that I am writing this after I just bought five used books, but again, I had a 20% off coupon, so it was probably more the coupon’s fault than anything. That and my friend was just putting books in my hands and telling me I would love them ;-).

Do you find your book buying addiction goes in phases or are you solidly on one side or the other of buying books? Do you have a similar feeling of owning the book helps with not having the time to read it yet?

Check out the Let’s Discuss link-up for more discussions on bookish things :D

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2013 – 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    Mine tends to be in phases but I am HORRIBLE for buying books. I literally have over 130 books on my TBR list and keep adding to it. I can’t help it. I find books at yard sales and fleamarkets and bargain bins and they are jut priced in a way that I can’t NOT buy it. I mean, if I’m planning on reading it ever, might as well buy it one sale to save money. That being said, I am getting better at not buying so many books. Mostly because of my husband, who thinks I need to read some before I get

    • Me too! I haven’t been adding as many to my Goodreads TBR list (lies), since I just got too depressed trying to pick books from it, haha, and the ones on my shelf aren’t all on the virtual list, oops…. Exactly! If there is even a small chance of you wanting to read it, you get a bargain! I try to set the rule of reading one I own before buying one, but it’s hard… and review books don’t count do they?

  2. First of all, I love this post! You inspired me to take pics of all my unread book piles so I can maybe whip up my own post like this soon. YES, I am addicted to buying books! YES when I buy them it lessens my guilt of not having read said books yet! I buy the books I KNOW of MUST reads because I feel like it brings me one step closer to having actually read it :) My book-buying addiction does go through phases, but recently the phases have been mostly due to a self-imposed book-buying ban :S I’m hoping that in the next couple months I can remove my ban and get back to the best addiction I know of LOL

    • Hehe, so fun to get all the books together, though I couldn’t bring myself to grab all the older ARCs off the shelves, just too overwhelming!

      Whew, I’m glad I’m not the only one with the guilt-relief from buying, since it seems like I should also feel guilty for buying more books, but I just can’t ;-)

  3. I sometimes feel that I feel to books what Imelda Marcos felt for shoes–she ended up with thousands of pairs, more than one person could ever wear….my main downfall is that when I feel as though I don’t want to be at work, I go to the library website and place comforting holds. And my secondary downfall is library booksales….I am getting tired, though, of having too many books to read (I can’t believe I’m typing that) and am thinking longingly of the days when I was a re-reader….

    • I totally do that too! I also will browse Netgalley when I’m bored which is just not what I need to do… I’ve so far not been tempted by re-reading, but I have an overwhelming number of books I want to read already on my shelves :(

  4. I am totally addicted. I will full out admit it – I buy way too many books.

  5. Oh yes. Definitely addicted, but when the shelves start getting full, I slow down or stop. And the weight of books sitting around “to be read” also puts a damper on the impulse. But, it is a really good thing that we don’t have a good bookstore in town.

    • Aw, the only good reason not to have a bookstore right? I would be so sad without somewhere to splurge, haha

  6. I am completely addicted to buying books. It can’t be helped — though I try. It’s really bad with ebooks and just the general ease of buying books online. I read a good review and then I might buy it… or I go to a grocery store (which also has a book section) and I generally don’t walk out without buying a book too. The other day I was at Marshal’s, a clothes store, and it had a small book section. I didn’t buy any clothes, just a book. But I do go through lulls, I’m in one right now. It’s good to my savings account when I go into lulls. They don’t happen often.

    • Just one little button clicked and suddenly more books show up, haha. I’m so relieved my grocery store has horrible selection in the books I enjoy, much easier to not buy anything! Lulls are definitely good for the savings, but I need to resist the splurges after I’ve been good for so long, apparently I just save up my addiction, haha

  7. I think being on a tight budget really helps with this. The most I’ve ordered is six books at a time, and yes, it felt absolutely amazing. The thing I can’t control however is the books I request online from Netgalley or Edelweiss. It’s crazy!

    • Haha, yes the online eARCs are dangerous as well. I just requested a third book in a series that I haven’t started yet, doh! At least Edelweiss makes you think through why you want the book to help you resist ;-)

  8. Megan K. says:

    Me, addicted? Never! At least, that’s what I told myself about a year ago. Now, though, I’d happily confess that I’m a book addict. Ha, maybe the fact that you’re in a “buying slump” (or whatever slump it is) is a good thing – it’ll help you save money. ;) The urges to buy books only pop up when I’m on Goodreads. Or TBD. Or in a bookstore. Which is pretty often, I guess, but now I’ve gotten better at controlling myself, so I’m able to walk out of the shop empty handed, and with money still left in my pocket. UNFORTUNATELY, whenever a sale pops up, I just ditch my self control and go on a buying spree, buying books I wasn’t even THAT interested in until I saw the price. So, I guess I am addicted to buying books.

    My wallet is weeping blood.

    Great topic!

    • Yes, buying slumps are probably a good thing, haha! But sales are like the best time to buy books right? What if you didn’t get it and then wanted to read it in the future, you would so regret not buying that book on sale! ;-)

  9. Yesssssssssss. Seriously. Yes. My main thing is if it’s a deal, I’m there. Otherwise, I’m pretty self-disciplined.

  10. I’m Tanya…and I think I have a book collecting problem. I can’t go to the library without coming home with a big stack, many of which I don’t get to. Let’s not even go with the books I have won or bought and haven’t read or with the Kindle cause they’re just a little to easy to hide and store. I don’t buy too many paper books yet but I already realize the problem I have and no space to store these masterpieces!

    • Hi Tanya, welcome :D I completely understand about the library stack, I felt rather sheepish returning ~10 unread books once D: I definitely got multiple extra bookcases once I started book blogging, I blame it all on blogging! ;-)

  11. Yes, I know the feeling. This is why I avoid going into bookstores, lol. But I also don’t have a lot of money for book buying so that helps. But yes, I basically keep two large stacks of books around my house at all times, so I will be inclined to read THOSE next, and so I always have another book to pick up when I finish one. (Also, again, it really helps that I can basically go book shopping at my sister’s house, lol.)

    • The lack of money only helps if that keeps you from buying them, I sometimes realize that I spent food money on books… D: So jealous about this free bookstore you call your sister’s house ;-)

  12. gettyhesse1 says:

    I go in two phases: I buy books with reckless abandon, then I feel guilty about having so many books but am too weak to stop buying books with reckless abandon. Just now I discovered giveaways (I just entered the blogosphere and got an account on goodreads), so I am entering endless numbers of giveaways, both on goodreads and on blogs, and I don’t even feel the guilt that comes with buying tons of books because I’m not spending any money!

  13. I go through phases, too. I’ve been pretty good about buying books lately, but I also have, literally, about 50 books checked out from the library right now and my obsession with NetGalley is reaching epic proportions. What’s funny is that I’m sometimes less likely to read a book if I own it. I guess I imagine I will end up in the country someday where I won’t have access to a good library or bookstore, but at least I will have my hundreds of unread books with me to keep me company. Which is freaking crazy because I live in a city. I’m with you, there is truly just something about the high I get when I own a new book. When I can look at its pretty cover and pet it to my heart’s content. Luckily there are some seriously awesome used bookstores around me, that have even more awesome clearance sections, so I rarely spend more than $2 for a book.
    Great post!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books

    • Wow, 50?? That’s awesome and scary at the same time ;-). I definitely find myself prioritizing library books over owned books so it’s almost better for me to borrow something from the library if I really want to read it, haha. Oo $2?? Nice! My used book section has hardcovers for $5 usually and paperbacks from $1-3.50 depending on how new they are, so I end up spending a bit in used sections too. But those hardcovers that are $5 are also in amazing condition, so that just makes them more tempting!

  14. I go through phases, but the main restriction on my book buying is my budget. Which is why the advent of free and rock-bottom bargain ebooks is so dangerous for me — I end up getting books I don’t really need and don’t have time to read. I’m starting to make more effort to rein in that tendency, and I’m also going to start weeding out stuff I’m not going to read. One saving grace is the library; if I know they have it, and it’s not an author I’m collecting, I can just borrow it from there — and they can store it until I get around to reading it!

    • I need to pay way more attention to my book-buying budget since there are months that I look back and go oooooohhh crap! It is so nice that libraries take back the books after you finish so you don’t have to worry about shelf space :D

      • Shelf space is definitely a consideration, even with extra bookcases in the basement. I need to stop keeping books I won’t reread — although there are a fair number of those, to be sure!

        Just today I started picking out books to give to the library booksale. Some are books I got from past sales, but have decided I’m not going to read. Oh, well, at least they weren’t expensive, and this way, the library gets twice the money for them!

        • Haha, exactly. I have the strange problem of knowing I will never re-read most of my books because I re-read extremely rarely (so many new books!), so most of my bookcases are filled with to-read books. If I hold on to a book, it’s because I might want to lend it out, or the cover is just too pretty :D

  15. Asti (A Bookish Heart) says:

    Mine haven’t gone in phases yet, it’s always just there lurking in the background. I swear, it’s hard not to get addicted to it either because I never feel happier than when I’m walking out of a bookstore with a bag of new books. I get a high off of it! My ex used to make fun of me but it’s just so exciting knowing that all these little pe – books will be going home with you for you to love and hold… Awww.

    • So true! Books: my anti-drug ;-) I just like the look of new books and organizing them on the shelf and adding them to goodreads :D

  16. I’m in phases. Usually if I survive the holidays, I reward myself in late Dec. or early Jan with brand new books. Then thru out the year, I will go in phases about buying used. I receive many books through contests/giveaways and then there are the ‘for review’ books. So, overall, there is a pretty steady stream of books coming in my house…..and only occasionally leaving.

    • Yes, the post-holiday reward is excellent! That’s one of my problems since I’m so addicted to book therapy, so any sort of challenge gets rewarded with books >.> used books are definitely the way to go though, I always peek into the used book section to see if there are any I want or even recognize since then if I decide I want to read it in the future, I got it for cheap :D

  17. I used to be far worse with my book-buying addiction than I am now. Before I started blogging (and shortly into my blogging career), I would buy any novel that looked like I may find it interesting some day, so long as the price was good. Which meant that I had plenty of reading material, most of it second-hand, and I rarely ever actually read books bought during those binges. I ended up with too many books, few of which I had to admit I was going to get around to. It was a mess.

    These days I’m still addicted to buying books, but I’m a lot more careful with what I buy, and don’t just go on binges because the book’s a good price. Much easier to manage, especially with my Kindle around! Even if I do end up buying a cheap book that maybe I’ll read and maybe I won’t, at least it’s not taking up physical space!

    • Interesting! I am the exact opposite because I was always so worried I wouldn’t like a book and so would never buy anything except series I was already reading (I don’t know how I found new series, I honestly can’t remember!). Whereas now, the blogosphere is constantly telling me how amazing all these books are, so if I recognize a book at the bookstore, I instantly think it’s better because someone sometime mentioned it in a post, haha.

  18. Mine will go in phases, where I will stay away from the bookstore and online venues for weeks and then I will have weeks where I buy and buy and….BUY! These last few weeks have been buying ones with new releases by Gaiman, James S.A. Corey, Will McIntosh (Love Minus Eighty) and others. Now I just need to settle in and read.

    • Hehe, I have been purposefully keeping myself from bookstores and deleting all the online promo material as soon as it hits my inbox just to try to resist. As soon as I walk into a bookstore, I’m already doomed ;-). I keep away for that exact feeling though, I just want to hole up with the books I have instead of adding more to the pile, haha


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