LTB: Book Buying Bans

This week’s topic comes to us from JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY who asks:

Prompts: The book community is full of consumerism. People want to not just read their favorite books, but own them as well. Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand. How do you control your spending/buying books you don’t have time to read? Does setting a book buying ban work for you? How long do you usually ban yourself for?

I’ve talked about this a little bit before, but as a disabled person on a very fixed income, I had to make a decision years ago that I am just someone who does not buy books anymore. I have been very successful at not buying them, because I literally do not any longer have $1000 a year to support a book habit.

Do I miss it? Not really. I have always loved to read more than I have loved books, and my shelves are quite full from my younger days—full of books I will never read again, most likely. I do pay for Kindle Unlimited, and one out of state library card, which puts a cap on my annual book spending at about $122(I always buy KU when it’s on sale). Are there times when a book needs to go back to the library and I wish I didn’t have to let it go? Yeah, there are. But honestly, if it become a *thing*, I will just take it out again.

I will say that I was called out on Facebook this week by an indie author who told me that she understood that I don’t have any money, but what I didn’t realize was how unfair I was being to authors, who need my money to survive. Gotta say, y’all, that she is spectacularly tone-deaf, as I also need my money to, you know, survive.

What about y’all? Do boy bans work for you? Or do you make it a week and then break?

The Let’s Talk Bookish meme is hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion.

10 thoughts on “LTB: Book Buying Bans

  1. Yikes, so sorry you got called out like that. I don’t ban myself from buying books, but I don’t spend much on books. And I think reading a book for free and then writing and posting a review is far more valuable to an author than the few dollars you would spend on the book!


  2. Sorry to hear that you received that comment. I have never done a book buying ban, but I also don’t buy books that often. As a college student, I tend to be heavily reliant on my library, and I’m grateful that it’s nearby as a resource for me to fulfill my reading interests, at least for now 🙂

    claire @ clairefy


  3. I agree that this indie-author was tone deaf. If she wanted a review, she should know that good reviews get people to buy their books, so it is worth it to send an ARC to a respected reviewer because she is increasing her potential sales. That’s just how it works!


  4. Buying books was never my addiction, reading them was. Grew up with my parents taking me to the library seemingly at least a few times a month and returning with stacks of books (plus all their books around the house I could dive into); then as I got older I could bike and later drive myself to the library. So new books were associated with library rather than bookstore for me.

    (And even once I could have managed to pay for all the books I was reading I would have quickly run out of placed to store them!)

    And then libraries got even easier to use; they gained websites showing their catalog; their new book orders, and I could put holds on things from the comfort of my home. And then they started carrying ebooks and I could even check out and read their books from the comfort of my home!


  5. As someone who usually DOES thankfully have enough money to buy books, I always try to purchase a “proper” e-book version of any arcs I’ve enjoyed. However other than that I now only buy a book if I will read it immediately, impulse buying is how I now own over 300 unread e-books (not to mention 1000’s of free ones).

    I could understand the author having at someone who acquires books through pirate websites.
    Giving that response to someone using KU and a library has left me speechless, as most authors I know always say if you can’t afford to buy their book get it from the library!


  6. Maybe that rude indie author should thing about getting writing as a secondary job and get another one. Jeez!

    I made a rule for myself that I can’t buy a book unless I’ve read it, and loved it, and actually want to own it. Otherwise, I use my library because it is amazing, and I love supporting my library.


  7. I’ve never put myself on a book buying ban, but I do try to keep it under control, and in general, will only splurge for hard copies of books when they’re by a favorite author or part of a series I’m involved in. Doesn’t always work that way, but I do try. I also frequent used book stores and tend to pick up books that way, and always keep an eye out for Kindle price drops.

    In terms of that indie author, she’s out of line. There are so many ways to support authors, including blogging about their books, posting reviews, sharing on social media, as well as borrowing from the library!


  8. Yikes, that’s pretty uncool of the indie author to call you out for borrowing books from the library or using Kindle Unlimited? That kind of attitude would immediately turn me off reading that author forever and I’m sorry you had to experience that! 😔 I’m very lucky to have the means to indulge in buying the books that I want, especially because we don’t have libraries here. I’m very thankful for Kindle Unlimited, especially since I started reading a lot of romances and they have a great selection on there!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t but then I don’t buy many to be honest. ARCs feed my habit and before I started getting those, the library provided me with my fill. Occasionally, I purchase a book, but I always have a running tally in my head, and I know when I need to say no to a purchase. And that indie author really rankled me. How short-sighted! 🙁


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