BBA: Book Buyers Anonymous

Well, they say that the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem. Before my family stages an intervention (and the house becomes a fire hazard due to the overstocking of books), I guess I must make a public confession: I have a book buying addiction. More specifically, I can’t control myself when it comes to shopping for bargain books. I am not sure which provides the greatest ‘high’: purchasing the book itself, or marveling at how much money I saved in the purchase of the book. Here is the physical evidence:

Now, in order to rationalize this book pile, let me say that these have been purchased throughout the month of September – the vast majority were found in the clearance section of Half Priced Books (that means they were $3.00 or less) – AND many of them were purchased during the special 20% off sale. I mean – just think of all the money I saved!
And I simply cannot accept all the blame here. Nearly Every single one of these books came highly recommended from YOUR book blogs. Before I found this glorious blogosphere, I would venture into the bookstore about once a month and simply rely on the book flap summary to dictate my purchase decisions. Now I am bombarded each and every day with book reviews that end with “You simply must read this” or “I highly recommend this book” How can I ignore such forceful mandates — that would be rude, wouldn’t it?!

I must admit that when I enter a bookstore, my mind is immediately transformed. I become glassy-eyed and simply marvel at all the literary paper around me. My heartbeat slows down, my mind clears of the day’s drama, and I immediately start daydreaming of the day that I will have all the time in the world to read until my heart’s content (that day will come – right?) It is almost as if I enjoy the “thought” of someday reading these books as much as I actually enjoy reading the book. Is that normal?

Anyway, I figure that I have several options:
  1. I can stop going into bookstores until I have read all the books on the TBR shelves.
  2. I can stop reading book blogs so that I am not tempted to feed my addiction by your reviews.
  3. I can ignore the problem and be content that this is my greatest vice in life.

For now, I vote for option 3. I’ll let you know when the family intervention is scheduled.


  • Lezlie

    Absolutely Option #3! At least you have the good sense to shop for bargain books. I don't have that mitigating factor. I just have a very understanding hubby. πŸ™‚


  • Meghan

    I'm attempting to go with option 1 myself, actually. No space + no money = should not buy books. Of course, I fully plan to be back to my book buying ways when I find a job. It's adding some urgency to my applications already! πŸ˜‰

  • Diane

    I LOVED this post Molly, and am impressed you've recognized you have a problem. "I'm not there yet"..LOL

    I vote #3.

    Hey maybe we should have a 2010 challege to keep track of all the new books we buy or acquire in 2010??? Or, would that be too Frightening..LOL???

  • JoAnn

    LOL…I thought you were starting a new group or challenge or something!! I definitely vote for option number 3. I've imposed a semi- ban on myself these last couple of months. I don't buy a book unless I'm going to start reading it THAT DAY! Of course, this doesn't work for internet purchases, but it does help in B&N;.

  • Margot at Joyfully Retired

    I love this post. I know you are serious but it was just so humorous to read. Probably funny because we all share the same 'problem'. And to answer your question: yes, there will come a time in your life when you will have unlimited time to just sit and read. Keep on collecting for those days.

  • Veronica Magee

    I love the dialogue hereβ€”so good to hear that others are in the same position. My promise to myself, upon finishing university, is that I was henceforth going to β€œtreat” myself by mostly buying my books. It was often so sad to part with a good book that I had gotten out of the library back then. Now, I have amassed a wonderful library over the years that continues to grow. And it’s one that I share with like-minded book lovers around me, whenever they come into my home and look at my book shelves and ask to borrow something to read. I LOVE it! So here’s to going with #3 and all the pleasures being a bibliophile brings to ones life and the lives around us. I’m so pleased to say that my son is now a novice book collector and avid reader too! I’m such a proud mother! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica Kennedy

    Funny post!

    I would at the very least limit the number of times you visit said bookstore! πŸ™‚

    I don't go very often. I order on Amazon.com. There's less likely hood of me "browsing" and buying to save money! πŸ™‚

  • Florinda

    I haven't bought books for a few weeks, and I voluntarily passed up a bookstore trip this weekend. I'm really wondering if there's something wrong with me :-).

    I think I'm a bit overwhelmed by TBR right now, and don't have any "must-buy" books on my radar. I'm sure both conditions will pass.

    I loved this post!

  • Nicole

    I caved to option three a long time ago. I don't need lots of new clothes and shoes so this is how I spend the money that I would have spent doing those things, so I'm not spending extra on books. SO how is that for rationalizing & saving!

  • Iliana

    I'm going with Option 3 as well! πŸ™‚

    I love Half Price Books too. I don't feel so bad about buying a bag of books because just think of the savings! haha…

    Enjoy your books!

  • Kim

    Umm…#3 is working real well for me! πŸ˜‰

    I figure there are much worse things to be addicted to, right?
    We have just discovered 1/2 price books in the past year, and love it. My husband especially loves to find hardback books on the $1 rack.

    Thanks for the smile today–

  • The Tome Traveller

    Isn't it nice to know that you are not alone? I have this problem, too! Can't resist a bargain, no matter how big my piles are at home (yes, they are VERY big!) Around here, we have library book sales during the spring and summer..the books are seriously cheap and it is for a good cause, too! So my piles just grow and grow…ah well, there are worse things to be addicted to! πŸ™‚


  • Belle

    Oh, Molly, you are absolutely normal! Or it could be there are a lot of us abnormal ones ready to join you. I too love the thought of someday reading the books I buy as much as I enjoy sitting down and actually reading it. As far as I'm concerned, Option 3 isn't even an option. It just is. You know what I mean? πŸ™‚

  • Alyce

    Option number three is the only option! πŸ™‚ Your finds look great. When I go into a book store my heart actually speeds up a little bit from the excitement – I always feel exhilarated.

  • mel u

    Great post on book buying addiction-My wife recently went on a four day trip to visit her sister-I stayed home-I told her many wives might worry what will their husbands do while they are gone-will they go to a bar or worse! I told her all she has to worry about is me going to book stores-I try to buy books at a rate no faster than I read them-about 15 a month-

  • Madeleine

    Here's what I would do…

    I would limit myself to buying seven books a month or less, and write a vow to myself, stick it in my wallet so I won't miss it, and tell somebody who also wants me to stop buying a bunch (that way they'll hold you to it). I realize that was very poorly constructed sentence, but oh well.

    That would be my plan! Of your three choices, though, I would probably pick one (I have practically no money–I'm not old enough to have a job). If I had a decent job, I'd pick three. ( :

  • avisannschild

    Oh I can totally relate to this addiction! October is book fair month for me (there are two bookfairs in the same week that I like to go to) and I just recently had the thought that I'm not sure I've read ANY of the books I bought last year at those bookfairs. But that's not going to stop me from buying more this year!

  • Tammy

    With so many vices out there to choose from, I think ours is the best one to have. In fact, I don't really think it's a vice at all — we're broadening our minds, developing our community (even if it's only online) and supporting an industry. Where's the bad in that? πŸ™‚

    My family has been on me for some time now about my addiction. I'm up to over 900 books in my house and there's end of the grief they give me. But when my sister came looking for a book for her college class and I didn't have it, she fussed that my collection wasn't broad enough. Go figure!

  • Kim

    I've given in to my addiction, so I thought I would share some rationalizations:

    1. It's not like I'm addicted to jewelry/shoes/expensive clothes.

    2. Hour for hour it's a very cheap addiction.

    3. I don't lease a car for three years and then have to get another one (okay, this one is special for my husband).

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