By: Melanie | December 16, 2015 | (46) Comments

The Guide to Surviving a Book Buying Ban

Welcome, my fellow booknerds, to the guide you’ve all been looking for… THE GUIDE TO SURVIVING A BOOK BUYING BAN. Yup, we’ve all been there. The time when you ‘accidentally’ walked right into a bookstore or ‘accidentally’ clicked on that enticing email link that The Book Depository sent you… AND BOUGHT ALL THE BOOKS. It happens. You go book crazy… and then completely broke. *nods sagely*

Step 1

Set a goal for yourself. How long are you planning to be on this book buying ban? A week? 3 months? A year and a half? Choosing an actual time frame/number will help make your goal more realistic and will make you feel more inclined to achieve it, as opposed to just putting yourself on an indefinite ban, which is just too vague. So basically, instead of saying, “I will eat more fruit and veg” but actually saying, “I will eat 7 different fruit and veg each day” will make your goal more realistic and achievable.

Step 2

Go on a buying ban with a friend – book buying ban buddies! (Oh, would you look at that alliteration.) They can keep you motivated when you’re feeling weak, remind you of what you’re working towards and in general, a good source of reinforcement. If you can’t find a buddy, it still helps if you tell someone close about your goal. It is just simply important to vocalise your goal. Make it real. Make yourself accountable. If no one knows apart from yourself, then you’ll find it easier to give in, and we don’t want that!

Step 3

Avoid sites like Instagram. They are evil. EVILLLLL. Instagram has way too many pics of pretty books, which will make you want to buy them so you can admire them in person. When on a book buying ban, one must avoid all the beauteous photos. You’ll only end up 1) super sad because you haz no mulah to buy the pretties or 2) super annoyed that you broke your darn ban because of one pretty picture.

Step 4

Don’t be afraid to unsubscribe from all those emails. Particularly around holiday season, I find myself buying more and more books online. And it’s not just because it’s Christmas – it’s also because THERE ARE SO MANY SALES. (Not that I am complaining. Sales are great. But also EVIL.) Personally, I find out about huge book sales through email; so either unsubscribing or just completely avoiding opening those emails will make you feel less tempted to buy books.

Step 5

However, when you do feel the urge to buy a book, put it on your wishlist instead. Try it guys, it is actually a really satisfying feeling and may even make your want to buy books go away for a while.

Step 6

Libraries exist too. Need more books to read? Library. Want to go pet pretty books? Library. Books? Library. Library library library.

Step 7

Have something to work towards. Setting a goal and then actually having a reward at the completion of your goal will help motivate you. For instance, if you go on a 3 month ban, maybe you can let yourself buy 3 books, and if you go on a 4 month ban, you can let yourself buy 4 books etc.

And now that you have implemented all these steps, you should be good to go to conquer that book buying ban!

Let’s Talk Book Buying Bans

I’ve always sucked at sticking to book buying bans. No matter how hard I try to stick to a goal – be it a month, two months, I JUST CANNOT DO IT. Nope. Too hard. I always end up breaking it WEEKS before. I once set a buying ban and broke it just two days later. I KNOW, what is self-control?!?!? DOES IT EVEN EXIST??? In fact, I feel like putting myself on a book buying ban simply makes me want to buy even more books instead. What is this madness??? *waves fist frustratedly*

So what about you? Can you resist the book buying temptation? Or are you like me and do not know what self-control is? Lemme know in the comments as well as if you have any of your own book buying ban tips!

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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46 Responses to The Guide to Surviving a Book Buying Ban

  1. Aentee says:

    I overspent in October and had to set myself a very militant book budget for the rest of the year – thankfully the year is almost over. HOW AM I STILL BREATHING? At least I am getting through my pile of purchased books and ARCs now that I am forced to focus on them and read nothing else – so it’s not all bad. However, I am also being driven into the ever loving arms of netflix and television *sobs* My willpower, where art thou?
    Aentee recently posted…Japan Blog Series: 5 Books You Should Read Before Going To JapanMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Dude this is me. I didn’t read for the whole of October because I was addicted to watching ALL the TV shows. I still kinda am – just finished watching Brooklyn Nine Nine and am starting on That 70s Show omg save me

  2. Wait . . . wait, are you saying that it is, in fact, possible to survive a book buying ban!? I always give up after a week or so, haha. But you’re right: Istagram is EVIL. It’s like someone waving a book in your face and saying, “HA HA. LOOK AT THIS EPIC BOOK YOU CAN’T BUY.” But in saying that, I’m proud to announce I’ve only bought one book this month (the hardback of ACOTAR.) Great post 😀
    Kara @Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…YA BOOKS I READ & LOVED IN 2015My Profile

  3. Hannah says:

    I’m normally quite good on book buying bans – I tend to just avoid the book sections in shops!
    Hannah recently posted…The Nightmare Before Christmas | BOOK TAGMy Profile

  4. I’ve never done a book buying ban, but then I’m pretty good at NOT buying books. Plus, I work at a public library so I’m always finding new books and checking them out there. Definitely use your library, folks! Way cheaper for you – plus, what if you buy a book and end up HATING it? At a library, you can just bring it back and volia, bad book is gone!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Career of Evil by Robert GalbraithMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Ooh that is an awesome job – being surrounded by books all day. I used to use my library alllllll the time but not so much anymore because I still have so many bought unread books <.<

  5. I so need to go on a book buyingban after the holidays. I have been sucked into so many sales it is embarrasing. Good tips 🙂
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted…Review ~ The OpportunistMy Profile

  6. I actually don’t buy a lot of books (I get most of my books from the library, and I only buy them if I absolutely love them), so I’ve never really had to go into a book buying ban. But if I ever do, these are definitely some great tips I’ll make sure to remember. Thanks for sharing Mel and, as always, fabulous post! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…WinterMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Zoe! I admire your self-control. I do love using the library but I also love owning my own copies of books, which is why most of the book buying happens ._.

  7. Priscilla says:

    I’m doing this right now. It’s the reason why I’m visiting the library more often now 🙂
    Priscilla recently posted…Scott & Witty Wikky: A Young Inventor’s QuestMy Profile

  8. I need a LIBRARY ban sometimes. ? My goal, usually, is to only borrow 2 books each week but GAH I CAME BACK WITH 8 LAST WEEK SO YEAH. Slowly getting through those plus ARCs and books I’ve bought and….*collapses under a pile of books* XD I do think putting a limit on it is a good idea! And even if you don’t want to “ban” yourself permanently, saying like “I’m only buying 1 book a week” can be good because then you buy like 4 a month and that’s not outrageous and you can break it occasionally.? That’s basically me = the library. Mostly it’s 2 a week BUT THEN SOMETIMES I GO CRAZY and that’s okay too. hehe.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer // Real or not real? With a side-dish of screaming.My Profile

    • Wendy says:

      Hahaha, same here on needing a library ban! A library about 45 minutes away from me is really good at buying books that I request (and if it’s Children’s or YA, they get it and reserve it for me for free – yay!) So I sometimes go on a book-requesting binge and a few weeks later find myself piled up with books that have been reserved for me right in the middle of exams, or which I can’t finish in time to return them to the library… xD xD

    • Melanie says:

      Omg Cait, haha! ? You totally need a library ban but I’m sure you’d break it in a matter of days.

  9. I don’t actually buy books very often. Seriously, it probably only one book every three months or so, so I’ve never had to go on a ban before. My biggest problem is trying to keep my library borrowing piles under control! I go once a week and days where they put out all the newest books I go a little crazy. Great post though!
    Rachel Lightwood recently posted…{Bieke Reviews} The Blood Guard by Carter RoyMy Profile

  10. Lexa Cain says:

    You crack me up, Mel! Yes, I have totally spent way too much on books and had to cut corners elsewhere in my budget. I went to libraries when I lived in NYC, but there aren’t any in Egypt. Guess I’ll just have to keep buying… lol
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Home Cooking & Giveaways!My Profile

  11. I was on a year long book buying ban this year. It was torture. But I more or less stuck to it because I had no spare money whatsoever to put toward books. I’m proud I only broke it two or three times (blame Lifeline’s bookfest and Booktopia’s Booktoberfest giveaway)
    Bec @ Readers in Wonderland recently posted…5 Things about Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

  12. Yeah, I cannot do book buying bans. I think I try to rebel against myself? I don’t understand why. But I just try to be VERY conscious of what I am buying. I have been pretty good lately- though those emails ARE the devil’s work, I am certain. In fact, I have really only overspent on gift books (secret sister, secret Santa, etc) and not on myself. I have only bought about one book per month since BEA, which is NOT bad. I think the wishlist thing is a great idea too. I do that all the time. It doesn’t always stop me, but it DOES make me pause. And then, if I somehow stumble onto an extra $10, I can choose a book from my list- and sometimes I don’t even get one, but I (gasp) WAIT. So I guess that is one tip that definitely works! But I swear, if I stumble upon $20, I am buying the UK hardcover of Uprooted ASAP 😀
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Books I’m Never Reviewing: Part SevenMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Lol yes, that is well put. I rebel against myself as well – IT’S JUST IN MY NATURE, OKAY??? And wow, one book per month is seriously amazing! I bought like 18 hardcovers about a fortnight ago so I am trying SO HARD to restrain myself unti BookOutlet does their boxing day sale again, heh.

  13. I LOVE THIS POST! I generally suck at book buying bans, but what I’ve found helps is to just not go into a bookstore at all because I know that if I do, I will buy all the books because I honestly have no idea what self-control is, clearly! ;D I go to the library a lot but sometimes too much, so I might need a ban on that as well! However, even if I am on a book buying ban and I go into a charity shop and there’s a book that I really, REALLY want for a good price, I will buy it, because that chance may not come around for awhile, right?? (Well, at least that’s what I tell myself haha!)
    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #84 – I raided the library and it was awesome.My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Aw thanks, Kyra! I swear I’m mangetically attracted to the bookstore because whenever we go to the shops I always find myself there! And I can’t blame you – who can resist a good bargain?

  14. The longest I’ve ever stuck to my book buying ban was 6 weeks. I consider that an achievement haha. I usually impose a ban when I notice that my pile of owned unread books has significantly increased so my target is usually to finish that pile before buying the next book.
    I’ve also tried having my friends talk me out of buying books but they were awful at their jobs and instead of telling me not to but they would say that I deserve a treat, which defeats the purpose of the task haha.
    Lois @ My Midnight Musing recently posted…Mini Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      6 weeks is a pretty good achievement! I’d be hella proud! I think my best was 4 months but that only ever happened once and I still don’t know how I did it, lol!

  15. Step 1. I set a goal and it was indeed much easier to keep myself in check. Sometimes I did cheat a little, but hey, who cares, haha.
    Step 3. Noooo, I love Instagram too much. I just have to force myself to be strong.
    Step 7. This definitely works for me 🙂 I should use this more often in the new year.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Annual end of the year survey | 2015.My Profile

  16. Olivia says:

    This is extremely helpful! Somehow mine never seem to last for a particularly long time – I’m the worst at sticking to self-imposed book buying bans.

  17. I’ve only bought one book in the last month, and it was only $2. I’ve been accumulating lots of freebies, though. It’s nice to get more books… and even nicer if you don’t have to pay for them! (The quality of those freebies, however… We shall see.)

    I also check the library regularly. Lots of the books on my wish list have turned up there, so sometimes I get to read a book I’ve been really excited about without paying a cent!
    La Coccinelle @ The Ladybug Reads… recently posted…2015 End of Year Book SurveyMy Profile

  18. Elspeth says:

    Libraries are my SAVING GRACE, honestly. I’ve got into the habit of searching their catalogue for a book before I even think about buying something, especially during book bans it helps keep my spending under control.

    You’ve given some great advice here! I’m going to have to try and be more firm about my time frames when I next go on a ban.

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  20. Yarravy says:

    Haha I love this but no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop wanting to buy more and more books – giving myself the excuse that I don’t have enough books XD I try to resist awfully hard and I think I’m successful until those pile of books come to my door or I walk out the doors of bookstore with something in my hands…

  21. Olivia Roach says:

    I seriously need to go on a book buying ban. I’ve started to limit myself to one book a month – you should see me at the end of the month, desperately trying to choose which of the books I want MOST. My aim is to read at least half of my TBR pile this year as well, so it really is something for me to work towards DD:
    Olivia Roach recently posted…Crafty and Cooking Messes: Top 10 Crafty Items!My Profile

  22. I really needed this guide! I have resolved to buy only 1 book a month, at the end of the month. It is already so hard but I also know I have 50 books I haven’t read! I need a book buying ban buddy! You have a lovely blog, can’t wait to read more.

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  24. I’ve been saving my book money up for this major second hand book sale that my library has twice a year…….and then for some new releases that I NEED RIGHT NOW. I don’t really need to implement a book buying ban, though, because I hardly ever get to go to the book store………which is probably a good thing, seeing as I usually want to buy the whole YA section.
    Mironiel Blokzyl recently posted…The Food Book Tag | ORIGINALMy Profile

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