Becoming a book budgeter

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As part of my quest to be a more mindful person, I find I need to constantly check up on myself and assess how my thoughts and actions are playing out. Two months ago I made a pact with myself to stop spending money on books and focus on the books I already had. I feel so guilty to admit to not living up to the expectations and I have not been sticking to my mindfulness pledge to be smarter about buying books. In fact, since writing my blog post two months ago, I seem to have gone the opposite way and slipped into a book buying frenzy

I realised that I had let this problem of compulsive book buying go on for too long when I was gazing upon a collection of ‘The works of William Shakespeare’ on book depository. I added it to my cart when all of a sudden, a flicker of colour caught my eye. Sitting neatly on my bookshelf were six beautiful copies of Shakespeare’s work I already owned (pictured above) There was no way I needed to buy myself anymore.

Two months ago I embarked on a ‘book cleansing’ to rid my room of any books that had transformed into clutter. These were novels I didn’t enjoy, double copies and any reads I wouldn’t recommend a friend were all tossed. Because if the book wasn’t worth me talking about, then it didn’t deserve a place in my precious collection. I am happy to report that I have given no though t to any of the books I threw out. They just weren’t meant to be in life anymore.

As with any book rule there is always an exception and I have one for owning multiple copies of a book. I own three beautiful copies of my favourite book ‘The Great Gatsby.’ These bad boys aren’t going anywhere.

Exception to the double book rule-my three dazzling copies of 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald...

Exception to the double book rule-my three dazzling copies of ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald…

As pretty as books are, they are notorious for taking up space- and fast! Books of all shapes and sizes are precious to me, but there comes a point in every book collectors life where they need to let some of them go.  Now these ‘clutter books’ of mine were not thrown in the trash, they were donated to my local charity. Passed on to a savvy book purchaser to enjoy. Or, they will live a life with new book friends in the op shop in a very long time in a Toy story like fashion… Do you dear reader ever imagine the books in stores talking to each other, or I that just me? I can just picture ‘Wuthering Heights’ having a discussion with ‘Jane Eyre.’ “No, I’m more gothic than you!” they would bicker. Wow, way to go off topic with weirdness…

When I did this book cleanse, I felt so much lighter! I vowed that I would no longer feel the need to buy more book. I discovered so many literary gems I had purchased over the years that had remained untouched. Books I hadn’t even opened who had only served the sole purpose of a retail therapy rush… Oh what a unrealistic dream that was!

It isn’t the worst thing in the world that I broke my non-buying book pact, but I want to get back on track and have a second attempt at becoming a ‘book budgeter.’ I have to accept the fact that books are my favourite thing in the world and I will always want to read what everyone is talking about. But, I need to become more strategic with catering for my bookish needs. These are some of the steps I am going to take to become more mindful with my book purchases-

🍵 Hit up the local library:

Seriously, the library has got it going on. All these books and all for free. (Bank account rejoices!) I have a membership to all the regional libraries in my area and am planning on scheduling “library visits” so I can stock up on all my latest reading needs. Also, I’m a teacher so am going to raid my school’s library (and make use of the Young Adult section.) Embarrassingly I was scared off from the library for a few years because in my stressful first year of university, I had an outstanding library fee of over $100. It was extremely traumatic. The lovely librarian halved it for me, but it serves as a warning dear reader don’t forget about your due dates!

🍵Make best friends with your best friends books

What else are best friends for?! I am so lucky to have a best friends who loves books as much as me. When we go book shopping we never buy the same copy of a book. It’s a waste, because we can just share! Exceptions go of course for favourites of course as some books you just need to have in your collection (Yes, Harry Potter I am talking to you). Book swapping not only saves you money and space, but you get to share your experience of reading with your book bestie!

Books I borrowed from my best friend that I've been wanting to read!

Books I borrowed from my best friend that I’ve been wanting to read!

🍵Op shop books

Someone’s once loved books can be just the one you were searching for. Just recently I went op shop book shopping and picked up a copy of Hannah Kent’s ‘Burial Rites.’ (Coincidentally, it was a book I borrowed from my best friend!) I loved the book so much that I had to buy myself the op shop copy. It still had the ticketed price of $20.00 from the book shop it was purchased from! Savvy little me only forked out $3.00 for it! If you are willing to sift through the shelves, you will be able to pick up some literary gems and save yourself a lot of dollars!

🍵E-books

I am a new kid on the e-book block. I really do love reading e-books now and as an extreme positive they don’t take up much space at all meaning no more clutter! My recent e-book read was Paula Hawkin’s ‘The Girl on the Train.’ The book only took me four days to read, I just devoured it. I would have been extremely disappointed if I had of paid over $20 for it.

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🍵Penguin’s Little Black Classics

To celebrate Penguin’s 80th birthday of ‘Little Penguins,’ they have released 80 short stories. They are adorable. And even better for a book budgeter, one of these will only cost you $1.99! A sneaky purchase of one of these gems won’t be breaking the bank account anytime soon (Unless all 80 of them are ‘accidentally purchased, then we have a huge problem!)

The last and most important point that I need to emphasise is reading the books that you already own! You will be surprised how many books you find that you completely forgot you had! I will be monitoring my book spending very closely for the next few weeks in my attempts to become a stronger book budgeter. I believe if I am more mindful of the book purchases I make, I will not only be eliminating potential clutter in my room but also saving lots of money in the process!

What are some things you do to save money on book purchasing?

Happy reading,

Miss Book Dependent xo

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5 thoughts on “Becoming a book budgeter

  1. I love second hand book shops. Some of my prettiest books come from there. I actually posted last week about the three main reasons for going to a second hand shop, and of course, the first one was money! I love books, but they sure are expensive.
    I keep telling myself as well that I should first read the books I already own… after which I go out (or online) and buy more books. XD

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  2. Oh I didn’t even think of second hand book shops! I completely agree, I always vow to stop buying more and end up going on reckless book purchasing sprees!! 📚 Book buying addictions are a serious problem fot your bank account! Sometimes second hand book shops are really hard to resist because of the unique editions! 😍 Ah books, gotta love em 📚💖

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  3. I can totally relate to this post! I’ve attempted to stop buying books recently and failed miserably which isn’t good considering I’m travelling around and living out of a suitcase. There is only so many books one can carry. I’ve found book exchanges in public places, hotels etc to be useful as that means I can carry one book then trade in as and when I need a new one (the reality of this isn’t quite as simple as it sounds, especially if there are more than 1 good book on offer!) also for my sins, my kindle has been a good way to cut down on the cost and space that books take up! 🙂

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    • Aww thank you for your beautiful comment! There are so many books out there, but sadly not enough room to own all of them! Ooh, I agree about the Kindle paving the way for more book buying whilst eliminating clutter! How awesome that you’re living out of a suitcase! That must be an incredible adventure! 🙂 🙂

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