Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Buying Budget

I just bought another book.

I'm feeling both elated (Ooooh! New plucky protagonist! Shiny new cover! Squee!) and guilty (What about the library? Hmmmm? Haven't I spent enough money on books this year? Is this habit tax deductible yet?).

Sometimes I've borrowed from the local library, but I'm always worried about crumbing in them. The books, that is, not the library (I have a terrible habit of snacking and reading). Or not being able to borrow what I really want, when I want it.

Every time I get a new book, that same swirl of emotions surrounds me. Excitement. Guilt. Glee. Embarrassment.

True, most of the bad feeling disappears when I open up those crisp pages and inhale the new world at my fingertips.

So I'm curious. Do you have a book budget? Or do you blissfully ignore the bottom line when it comes to reading? Maybe something in between?

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Don't forget to drop by Laura Diamond's blog today where she answers this month's Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog question: Have you had any formal writing training? Ever thought about getting an MFA, or have one?

Also, don't forget to sign up for our Deja Vu Blogfest for December 16th! It's right around the corner!

55 comments:

Bryan Russell said...

My book-buying budget is as wide as the sea and as tall as the sky.

Oh, wait, that's my book debt...

Sarah said...

My family members all know that the only thing I want for birthdays and Christmas is gift certificates to support my reading habit. But over and above that ... I don't pay any attention. I buy what I want to read and tell myself I need the escape.

BECKY said...

Hi Lydia! Great post! And, no I don't have a book budget. I have such a stack of TBR (to be read) books, but I still can't help myself! Hey, I don't smoke or drink. I'm not a shoe or purse Diva, etc.etc. So, I should have pretty much an unlimited amount of $$ to spend, don't cha think?! :)

Laura Pauling said...

I don't have a book budget but I'm pretty good at not spending too much. I have found some terrific self published books. And I purchase only the trad. books that I really want to read. Some I can wait to see if my library buys them. And there are some at my library that I want to read and haven't.

mooderino said...

I got to a point where I had so many books that I had only read once and had no intention of reading again that I stopped buying books and used the library, only buying stuff hard to get hold of. And even then I would use abebooks or similar to buy secondhand versions. They're just too expensive and space-consuming.

Now i have a Kindle, though, I'm starting to rverse that trend.

mood

Em-Musing said...

Stephen King gave me permission to buy books...well, not literally. But when I saw his quote: "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write. So now I feel no guilt. A girl's gotta read!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't have a budget but I always ask for gift cards to buy books now and that's how I fund my purchasing. I do love the library and browsing the shelves for books I may not have heard about. I have less time for that now that I'm blogging and interviewing authors though.

Suz Korb said...

That is the best wishful book pie graph I have ever seen in my entire life.

Emy Shin said...

I agree with Suz!

I don't have a book buying budget -- mostly I feel much too guilty even thinking of having such thing. However, I tend to splurge on a few books I absolutely must have every few months, and try not to think of how much I'm spending.

Suze said...

Books are my life's greatest joy. For me, going into a bookshop and buying a book is about everything from the moment I decide to go to the moment I finish the book and contemplate writing a review. I don't watch TV, I don't surf the Internet, just Blogger and Amazon, and I don't have an enormous collection of shoes or whatever it is that other people spend inordinate amounts of money on.

Books are it for me. And I don't feel a shred of guilt about the process. I savor every picosecond of acquisition, reading, mulling over, discussing and growing.

Save guilt for true vice, my dear Lyd. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Yay, you're as bad as me, Lydia. I do borrow books from the library, but I've been buying more than borrowing, and justifying my habit by claiming I'm supporting new authors (which is true).

I don't have a book budget. My husband's mutual fund (which he manages) owns shares in Canada's major book chain, so when I buy books, I'm supporting his company (yep, I can justify anything). Fortunately I just had a birthday and ended up with $100 in gift cards, and I know more will be headed my way for Christmas. *does happy dance*

Anna said...

I went on a book diet because my TBR pile was becoming overwhelming. I buy a lot of my books used at Goodwill, Half Price, and library sales, so my concern is usually not the price, but having the time to read them all!

Connie Keller said...

For the last couple of years, I've been borrowing more than buying because of budgetary issues. But lately cheaper Kindle prices have me buying more.

Old Kitty said...

There's no such thing as book budget for me! LOL! then again maybe I ought to have one! LOL! Oh but it's Christmas!! Take care
x

Coleen Patrick said...

I try to get the bulk of my books at the library, but I still spend a lot of money on them. I think. I really don't keep track. But I stem the guilt by re-gifting some for birthdays and holidays--my sister and mom don't mind thankfully!! :)

Stephen Tremp said...

No book budget here. But I can always go to the library and get a few for free. Or occassionally at a garage sale. With the sale of Kindle's so much cheaper than real books, I don't need no stinkin' book budget.

E. Arroyo said...

I skip lunch for books. =)

B.E. Sanderson said...

I try to have a book budget. Really I do. This year I was really cutting back... and then I fell off the wagon and dropped a load during my last two trips into the city. Now my TBR pile is overflowing again and my book dollar account is empty. And two books released this week that I have to have.

Hi, my name is B.E. and I'm addicted to buying books.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No budget - I just buy what I want! Everything I purchase now is an eBook, so it's cheaper as well.

Slamdunk said...

Good topic Lydia. I use our library quite a bit and that helps.

I don't have a budget, but instead am hopeful that a gift card or two will be offered over the holiday season; and then I can make a dent in my want-list.

Jessica Bell said...

Hahaha! Buying books is the only thing I DON'T feel guilty about. It's a part of my job :o) But everything else I purchase make me feel like this ...

Giles Hash said...

I have a bit of a budget, but it's mostly my overall budget. I just don't have the time to read a ton of books. And since I still have several books on my shelf that I need to read, I can usually find something to read without having to buy a new book.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'd finally figured out how to balance my book budget with paper books. Now I have a Kindle Fire. And I have to start all over. I think I'll do basically the same thing - keep a list of the books I want and download once a week or whenever. The best thing is ebooks are cheaper so I can buy more :)

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Technically I have a book buying budget, but I can't remember the last time I stuck to it. I do take advantage of the library, but my favorite thing is to dig through my to-be-read pile and make a spontaneous reading choice. Fun blog topic!

Matthew MacNish said...

I buy whatever books I want, whenever I want them. But I probably shouldn't. Maybe that's why I'm so poor.

Lesann Berry said...

I don't drink or smoke, have no other expensive bad habits, so books are my indulgence. I don't even twitch anymore unless it breaks $40. For some reason that's the magic number.

But I figured out a workaround...

If it's over $35 most of the time it qualifies as a reference. That makes it educational. That's a go!
It's for the cause, it's about learning...and will all that potential data to consume, absorb and turn into knowledge. That's a damn bargain!

I haven't given up the cursing, it's free.

mshatch said...

I wish I didn't have a book buying budget but I do :(

worse yet, sometimes that doesn't stop me which means...ramen noodles here I come!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I don't have a book buying budget, but I do borrow books from the library too, just to ensure that the due date make me read them faster as the ones I buy just get piled up in my shelves.

Krispy said...

I SHOULD have a book buying budget, but I don't. If there's a book I really want, I usually just buy it. On the other hand, after I did my epic book clean-up/re-organization this summer, I realized the overwhelming amount of books I have (that I'm totally not prepared to part with). So I've become much more picky about what I buy. I've been going to the library a lot.

I definitely bought more books this year than usual because Borders went out of business, and I couldn't stop myself from taking advantage of the deals.

Little Ms. Fun said...

The librarys fine, but nothings quite like the feeling adding another book to your bookshelf. After all, isn't that what it's there for :P

Nancy Thompson said...

Before the economy crapped out, I'd go down to B&N and drop $100 every other week. Now, with little work adding a much needed financial boost to my sorry bank account, I pretty much borrow exclusively from the public library. If I really like a book, I'll buy it, like my last 2 books on craft: The Fire in Fiction and Writing the Breakout Novel, both by Donald Maass. They are worth a ding to my sad debit card.

Carrie Butler said...

I used to have a book budget. When I lost my job, I resorted to using the library more often and swapping books with friends. Of course, I also leave not-so-subtle hints for family members around holidays. *grins*

Karen Lange said...

I used to borrow more books from the library when I lived in NJ. For some reason, I never got back into the habit after we moved to KY. But between the companies I review for and winning books here and there on blogs, my TBR pile is usually pretty tall. :)

E Louise Bates said...

My husband and I keep trying to give ourselves a budget, because our books are starting to take over our house, and we move often enough that packing them all up (AND the bookcases) and then unpacking them is becoming challenging. But it's just so hard. There are so many good ones out there, and like you say, the library doesn't carry all of them, and sometimes you don't want to have to give one back. What is one supposed to do?

Janet Johnson said...

This will sound funny, but I have won/been given so many books lately, that I've held myself back from buying any (at least for me. Gifts don't count!).

Liza said...

These days, I'm on a budget, so I stalk the library and used book sales. I bought 5 books for $6.00 this weekend, with all the proceeds going to charity. That sounded like the right price.

Carol Riggs said...

I don't have a book budget. I'm a library gal! but often I buy used books too. I did buy my very first ebook recently, but that was only $3.99 (thank you Susan Kaye Quinn for making OPEN MINDS affordable!--and it's a great book too).

Linda Gray said...

Oh, my. Methinks you might be singing to the choir here, and from where I sit it is a beautiful song. Just walking into a bookstore and experiencing the look and smell of real books fills me with peace, joy, and anticipation. Who can think 'budget' under such circs??

julie fedderson said...

I've tried the library, but I find since I'm fickle, sometimes I never get around to reading what I picked out. And if I really like the book, I want to have it in my possession so I can love it and pet it and kiss it and call it George. If it's something I really want, we will eat more ramen that week.

I have found that 1/2 price books and garage sales/church sales are awesome places to get books.

DL Hammons said...

If I see a book I want to read...it will be mine! I might have to forgo a haircut or two...but I will have it! :)

msmariah said...

I love that new book smell. I could just sleep with it under my pillow. I prefer to buy books b/c I'm terrible about returning them to the library.

Nancy said...

I don't have a book budget but do have a family budget, in it I have some funds that I can do with as I will. As I will usually translates to books. Unless, I walk into a bookstore and then I go on a bender blowing the entire budget so that I have to figure it out all over again. We still eat and Mama is happy so it all evens out.

Meredith said...

I try my best to only buy books I know I'll want to re-read, which has cut my book-buying down dramatically!

Leslie Rose said...

I indulge in the trinity of Barnes & Noble, Kindle, and Audio books. I avert my eyes at the prices.

Sarah Pearson said...

Buying books is sadly one of the things that has had to disappear this year, although I occasionally sneak in a 99p ebook. Thank God for Kindle on pc :-)

Miranda Hardy said...

I'll buy a book if I'm really wanting to read it and can't wait for the library to get it in. Lol No budget though.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I don't, but I should create one! Lately I've been borrowing books from my YA-lit loving friends. It's good to have friends who read a lot to borrow from! I want to buy more books to support writers so maybe I'll start doing 1-2 a month. :)

catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com said...

I have a new system especially since I discovered that I can order online from Chapters and join a club with discounts. On top of that the local shops that sell books are always discounted but not always the books I want to read. My new system is to buy some online at Chapters and then try out new author friend's books on my husband's e-reader and order the rest from the library. I have discovered our library gets all the best books in, they have all three 2012 Writer's market books which is awesome. I am looking forward to this system for the whole of 2012 and part of my budget (since I don't work right now) is cutting my own hair.

lbdiamond said...

No budget. I just buy 'em!

Olga said...

Guilty as charged. I try my best not to buy books all the time. It will be my resolution for the next year.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Books is the one thing I don't budget for, that I absolutely should be budgeting for, because I buy way too many.

But I don't feel guilty about it. Not like I do when I buy too many pairs of boots (like I did this year).

Maurice Mitchell said...

I strictly go library unless its something I need to reference. that said, I've often had to keep renewing a book because I'll re-read it. After the third time I feel bad...

Cold As Heaven said...

My biggest budget item is skiing; skis, lift tickets, travel, ... and books is second >:)

Cold As Heaven

Rain Laaman said...

Sigh. When I was a kid and didn't understand how money worked, I would just buy books and never use the library. Now it's completely reversed. I only buy books when Gail Carson Levine comes out with a new novel or something. This Christmas, however, I've decided that I am going to SPLURGE ON BOOKS.

P.S. The Fountain sounds really interesting. I haven't heard of too many books like that coming out. =)

Chippy said...

I've never really thought about having a book buying budget - I don't really feel guilty when it comes to buying books - I just buy the ones I want. Now shoes that is another matter...

 
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