Welcome, thee folks to my first ever experience of a Book Buying Ban! In this post, you’ll find out the whats, the whys, and the hows of going through a BBB. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
What is a Book Buying Ban?
Book Buying Ban restricts you from buying any books for a long period of time (ranging from one month to one year to as long as one wants). It is especially applicable for people who are impulsive book buyers and book hoarders and want to curb their expense on books for some XYZ reason(s). The ban is either self-imposed or by a guardian if that guardian is responsible for buying your books.
Why did I decide to impose one such ban on myself?
- I’m an impulsive book buyer.
- I was turning into a brainless book hoarder.
- I owned and still own more unread books than read books.
- I was/am broke.
- I was short on space to keep my books.
- I was deviating from the books that I actually wanted to read.
Also read this: Ram Chandra Series by Amish Tripathi – Book Review
How did I manage to keep my ban intact?
The guilt of buying too many books and then not reading them was too much. It’s not like I wasn’t reading books at all. Buying I was reading too less and buying much more. I’m listing down the number of books that I bought in 2019 and from where. So, you might get an idea of what I was feeling.
- Amazon Kindle Store: 12
- Amazon (Physical Copies): 6
- Flipkart: 4
- BookLoot Sale: 5
- Book Exchange: 4
- Load The Box Sale: 35
- Gifts: 2
- Blossoms Book House: 2
Yes, that’s true. I had acquired 70 new books in 2019 but I ended up reading only 4 out of those.
At the beginning of 2020, I was planning out my year. Like, the major parts of it. These other priorities included starting up my own blog (again), moving out of my hometown (and start living independently), and a bit of this and a bit of that. As the year progressed, I realized that I can’t continue to live on the meager income of a newbie freelancer as new and exciting things were coming up and I was unable to provide the mental and financial support that my parents needed. And obviously, that affected my own mental health.
Read my review of Irrationally Passionate by Jason Kothari
The Thought of Moving Out
It’s true that I can take my books wherever I move to. But no, not all of them. And not right away.
I was about to move out in March 2020 but we all know how that played out. Anyways, I was expecting to move out soon (as soon as the pandemic settles) and that thought was a constant reminder to why I should read as many physical books on my shelves as possible (without buying any new ones).
You all know that with the onset of the Covid-19 lockdown phase, shopping and online deliveries were affected and even essential items were available only after a few days. For days, one couldn’t order books online even when they wanted to. So, this lockdown helped me a LOT in keeping my ban intact. And after the shopping guidelines were eased up, I deleted shopping apps from my phone so that I don’t even go browsing for books and thus, to stay clear of temptations.
Since I was revving up my blog again, I decided to focus on books and reading (because apparently, I wasn’t reading enough) and share my experience and reviews on the blog. Also, I started taking Bookstagram seriously only in 2020. Before that, I was just having a leisurely time.
Being an active member of such a massive online reading community and also a member of a Book Club can be intimidating while on a Book Buying Ban. This means that I’d be getting exposed to new, old, and undiscovered books all the time. As a result, I’d be wanting to buy the books everyone’s reading and raving about. So, I took up some challenges and decided to stick to it and hoped that it might help me read books that I already own. And those challenges are:
- A to Z Reading Challenge
- Read Book Series That I Own
- Read physical copies mostly
Every time I felt the itch to buy a book(s), or every time I remembered about the book(s) which I’ve wanted to buy (for ages) but haven’t, I would add it to the list and then keep it aside. The list got edited a few times and then I kept adding or removing books from it. Maintaining that list helped me focus on the books that I actually want to buy when I finally broke the ban because of a sale. And yes, I had to break the ban because there were books from my list that were ON SALE!!!
What did I learn from this Book Buying Ban 2020?
- For a lot of us folks, it is simply not possible to own every book that we want to own. Neither can we afford them all nor can we store them properly. So, this ban made me conscious of what books I want to buy in physical forms, kindle format or audio-books, etc.. Or if I want to buy certain books at all. The ban simply helped me gather clarity of my book-buying habits.
Ever came across a book that you’ve read and really liked as well but don’t want to keep a copy for yourself? Yup, that one.
- Secondly, I also got much more clarity on my reading habits. I’m immensely grateful to Bookstagram for introducing me to a huge spectrum of books and I realized I need to read from every theme or genre. So, while I was on the ban, I took special note of the books that I might want to read or buy later on. Plus, it even made me remove some books from my TBR. Phew!
- Lastly, it made me feel that I’m spending my money on books more efficiently than before.
If you stop hoarding books, what about your dream of building a personal library?
When we say that we want to build a personal library, what exactly do we mean? Do we just want to own a colossal room that can hold all the books in the world?
However magical and fantastical it seems, we all know that it’s neither possible nor practical for most of us. But what we can do is, curate the books that are actually ours. We can carefully pick and own the books that are special to us and that you would want to read again (and again) in the future. What we can do it build a library that’s personal.
I haven’t stopped adding books to my TBR or buying books. But now, whatever I add to my TBR and cart, goes through an internal Q & A before it lands there.
Also read this: The Fault in Our Stars – My Reading Experience
Have you ever been on a similar ban? Or do you plan to (now that you’ve read how it helped me)?