Do Book Buying Bans Work For You?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

Do book buying bans work for you? I am so curious to know because I have never put myself on a book buying ban. I have seen others do it with varied results and would love to know your experiences with them.

I am one of those people who gets overwhelmed when their physical TBR is over a certain number of books. Now, my Goodreads TBR is an entirely different story, but we won’t talk about that. Anyway, I used to keep my physical TBR under 20 books, but that number has definitely increased since I started blogging, as you would be able to tell simply by looking at my two book carts… That said, I don’t buy books every week and my book buying tends to happen in waves. There are weeks where I buy fives books and then many weeks where I don’t buy any. I am also lucky enough to receive ARCs, so they make up a decent percentage of my physical TBR. I feel like I am rambling here, but I have never felt like I needed to be on a book-buying ban, but I can see its merits.

I recently watched a booktuber speak about her goals for 2022, and something she was going to do was buy herself a book for every 10 books that she reads. I think that is an interesting strategy and a nice way to reward yourself! It seems like less of a punishment than a book-buying ban, and you can adjust that number to whatever works best for you. I think often what happens with bans is that we spend the entire time coveting books and hyping them in our minds because we can’t buy them, so that when the ban is over we overspend and it defeats the purpose of the ban in the first place. There has to be a better way!

I also think that audiobooks, ebooks, and using the library have helped me with this. I am getting to a point where I only want to buy books after I have read and loved them. I want my shelves to be full of my favourite books!

So, let me know if book buying bans work for you! How long do they last? What is your motivation for them? I would love to know!

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51 thoughts on “Do Book Buying Bans Work For You?

      1. But tbh I didn’t even realise that I haven’t bought books since a long time. I decided that I’ll keep a goal to finish the books that are unread on my shelf. So ig that helped!

  1. In theory, it would be great for me. In practice, I have no self control 😂 I think it’s because by buying them, it feels like I’m buying time because once I own them, it’s mine I can read it whenever I want

  2. They don’t work for me but I have learned over the last couple of years that it is about quality than just the quantity of books I own. I only keep or buy books that are 4 stars and above. The only exception is book boxes that have an anticipated release. If I end up not liking the book it’s not a huge loss as they usually sell. I also use my library very often!

  3. My tbr and arcs are out of control so I’m reducing my book buying habit. I’m only requesting books by authors I’ve read previously and making notes of others to add to my wish list. I’m also avoiding the 99p amazon deals and not buying any physical books. This year I’m giving myself £1 per book that I read or listen to and then I can go mad in the Christmas sales 😂

  4. So I used to use my library alot and would only buy books that I loved and wanted on my shelves. Then the pandemic hit and I began purchasing books for book clubs and it has been really hard going back. It’s my goal this year to only use the library for book club picks and have my BOTM subscription being my only book splurge.

  5. I’m trying to cut back this year. I did put myself on a ban originally but ot doesn’t work for me, I’m like a spoilt child who must have the book 😂😂

  6. I only say I’m going to put myself on a book buying ban if I buy a lot of books at one time. Like you, there are many weeks when I don’t buy any books and some where I buy more – sometimes I can go months *shocking I know* without buying a book!

  7. I buy a lot of free books on Amazon but since they don’t cost me anything, I don’t count them – great loophole lol! I don’t usually buy books with money though so I don’t have any concrete bans or goals I’m trying to follow with that

  8. So I put myself on a book buying ban in 2020 and 2021 and neither time was 100% successful. My goal was to just stop buying so many physical books because I’m literally out of room on my bookshelf. While the ban wasn’t 100% successful I will say it definitely helped me to cut back. More so in 2021 I think.

      1. I’m beyond that lol. I only have one bookshelf in my room and that has all of my TBR books on it. The books that I’ve read I had to put in storage for now.

  9. Banning myself from anything never works for me 🙂

    That being said I have tried that read X number of books before you can even consider buying anything and it actually did work for me! It’s like a little challenge in itself and I’d wind up reading more and going longer between buying. So you just have to find what works for you!

  10. I made 2021 (and this year) a book buying ban year. The only exception that I made for myself last year was I allowed myself to buy some books for my birthday, which I did. Otherwise, I didn’t really buy any books last year except for some impulse ebook purchases in December. I’m within walking distance to my local library, so I utilized that a lot, which helped.
    I’ve also just gotten picky about what books I want on my shelf. 🤷‍♀️

  11. Yes book buying bans usually work for me, especially when I began to see how much money I saved when borrowing from the library. But when I do buy books, I do my best consider books I’ve read & loved but didn’t own or make sure its ones I’ll actually read / are still interested in! 😂

  12. I have only tried putting myself on a book buying ban once and I had a similar strategy that I’d only allow myself a book if I read at least 4 books on my physical TBR but it didn’t pan out well though I’m doing it again this year

  13. Ooh that suggestion you saw of rewarding yourself after 10 books is a good one. I stopped myself from buying books for a while but I think it kind of makes you stressed about the ones you own as, even though you desperately wanted to read them, they’re suddenly holding you back from other books. I’m hoping to only buy really high priority reads whilst I try and catch up a bit and then read those mostly when I get them so that my physical tbr hopefully doesn’t grow. I’m also hoping to read a mix of my highest priority reads & the ones I’ve had the longest (generally ex library books which I got for 20p or less & kinda went overboard getting) later in the year.

  14. I’m rapidly running out of shelf space … So, my book buying ban is a definite necessity. If I went out and bought books on a whim, I’d nave zero room for the books that actually mattered to me.

    The easiest way for me to enforce is to avoid bookstores. I only visit when my pre-order is in. Otherwise, bad things happen.

  15. I’ve put myself on a book buying ban for the first six months of the year. And I’ve told myself that if I don’t buy a physical book in that time I can indulge a little around June as a reward. But I don’t see it as a punishment. I’m actively working on financial goals at the moment and not buying books will help me edge closer to my saving goal.

  16. I like that idea of buying a book for every ten read. Although that would have me buying one every few weeks. It would be a way to support bookshops, a great love of mine.

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