Girl look at that body,
Girl look at that body,
Girl look at that body,
We should probably call the police who knows how long it’s been in the river.
she wears short skirts i wear full body armour
she’s supergirl i’m batgirl and you’re about to regret all that crime you just committed
Over this past year my book habits have changed drastically. Not only have my tastes changed, but my thoughts behind buying and keeping books have changed as well. Ever since last summer, I’ve moved further and further away from YA books. I don’t know if this is because I’ve gotten tired of the cliches in the genre, if I can no longer relate to a teenage narrator, or if I just no longer have an interest in the stories. It’s probably a mixture of all three especially seeing as the genre I’ve been favoring lately is made up of satirical British novels from the first half of the twentieth century. (Disclaimer: This does not mean that you cannot enjoy YA! Read what you want and don’t let others make you feel bad about it! I do still occasionally read YA, I’ve just moved away from the genre as a whole due to my own personal tastes.)
I’ve also stopped frequently buying books because my entire mindset behind which books I want to own has changed. I used to have the mindset that I was building a library, that I was “collecting.” But this past summer, I stepped back and looked at my life and my family and I wasn’t pleased with what I saw. I saw too many of my father’s habits in my own. Growing up, my father’s family didn’t have a lot of money and they moved around often. As a result, they didn’t have many possessions. I think this affected my father’s ability to let things go, so he hoards things he no longer needs and things the rest of my family no longer wants (not anywhere close to TLC level hoarding, though). Over the years, I’ve seen how his inability to let go of things has affected my family, especially my mother. Suddenly, I realized I was doing the exact same thing as my father. I wasn’t collecting books, I was hoarding them. I became determined to change this about myself.
The first step to changing my habits was culling my library. Within the past year I have gone through two major “book purges” (what I call them). I looked through my entire collection and pulled out books that I was no longer interested in reading, never going to read, never going to reread, or just didn’t want anymore. I let friends take their pick of the ones I pulled and then donated the rest. I thought about selling them, but secondhand book stores only offer credit for books and that just perpetuates the cycle. Luckily, a local grocery store has a Better World Books bin. (This is a great charity that you can also buy books from. A link to their website can be found here.) These purges resulted in a drastic drop in the number of books that I own and I will most likely continue to get rid of books over the next few years. I hope to one day own only books that I have read, loved, and want to reread.
Now, getting rid of books is one thing, but keeping yourself from buying more is a completely different challenge. I often see people going on bookbuying bans and I do not recommend them. I think they ultimately end in failure that usually includes buying a large amount of books at one time. Instead, I opt for bookbuying restrictions. I’ve laid out several rules that I have to follow for if and when I buy books:
- If possible, I should borrow the book from the library first. If I absolutely love it and will want to reread it, then I can buy it. This mostly pertains to books by authors I have never read before or authors that I haven’t loved wholeheartedly.
- I may buy a book if I have read and loved another book by the same author.
- I may buy a book if it is the next book in a series which I have already read and enjoyed all of the prior books in that series.
- I may buy a book if I can absolutely not find it anywhere for free and I am extremely (and I mean extremely) interested in the plot/subject/etc.
- I should avoid library booksales and secondhand bookstores. Sometimes the deals make a book more appealing than it actually is.
- Remember, books are just things. I may want them, but I don’t need them. And I don’t need to own them to enjoy them. A library book has the exact same content and is 100% cheaper.
- I will never be able to read all of the books so I should stop trying. I need to be more selective about what I read for fun. That means no more mediocre books!
- I must keep in mind that I have neither the space nor the funds to excessively buy books.
These are just the rules I follow based on my personal book goals. If you would like to change something about your book habits and are thinking about setting restrictions for yourself, definitely tailor them to your own goals. I’ve often seen people who want to reduce their TBR pile, so they make a restriction that they have to read a certain number of books that they own before they can buy a new one.
I’m extremely happy about the changes I’ve made in my life, especially those I’ve made regarding books. It was my own personal decision to make these changes that I think were necessary for my life. Hopefully this is obvious, but I’m not trying to push this mindset on anyone else. I’m just documenting my own progress in making these changes in hopes that it can help someone else who is struggling with the same problems. If you are happy with your book habits, then you don’t need to change them.
I would love to know if anybody else has had a change in their book habits and what caused those changes! Also, let me know if you were ultimately successful in making the changes you wanted to.
Me in the party: Gosh golly! This beat is… Whoo! This beat is… DANDY!