Book Buying Habits

book buying habits

Lately I’ve been daydreaming a lot about all the books I want to buy when I have some money again to do so (the summer months are expensive, guys, phewee!). I actually have a notepad lying lying next to my computer with a list entitled “Books I Must Get My Hands On ASAP” and it features books from the likes of Crown of Midnight to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and the vague “something by Rainbow Rowell”.

That got me thinking, though, about my book buying habits. Part of the reason why I started blogging back in October 2013 was because I wanted to read more books. As a logical result of that, I now buy a lot more books than I did before I began my blog. However, I also realised that the way I buy books has changed a lot as well, which I thought was really interesting.

Before Blogging

Like I said, I didn’t buy many books, except when I had book vouchers to spend and then it still took me ages because I could never settle on which books I should buy. I used to just wander into a bookstore and look around for a while, riddled with doubt because there are so many books (I don’t do well with choices, can you tell?). In the end I’d just (exasperatedly, after several trips) pick a few that seemed cool. The same happened when my favourite Dutch web store had a sale for English paperbacks (which was quite often) – I’d browse and browse and browse until I’d found a couple of books that seemed cool.

And here’s the most important part: often I’d choose books I’d never heard of. I’d just like the cover and the blurb and think “sure, we’ll go with that, it sounds cool”. Sometimes I’d choose books by authors I liked and of course there were also times when I just really wanted to read a certain book, but that didn’t happen all that often.

After Blogging

Things have changed, man, they really have. I hardly ever buy books in bookstores anymore because they don’t have the books I want to read. Plus, here in the Netherlands books are so expensive! You can imagine my excitement when I discovered the Book Depository about a year ago. Cheap books and free shipping, what more could any bookworm want, besides bigger bookshelves?!

More importantly, though, where before blogging I never really used to know which books to buy, I now have a rather long list of books I desperately want to put on my shelves. Whenever I let myself buy some new books — which is still not that often because let’s face it, I’m not even close to being made of money — I still have a hard time picking out books, but this time it’s because there’s so many of them I want to buy!

Reading a lot of book blogs has made me aware of the existence so many amazing books and authors, and it turns out it’s very easy to influence me with a positive review. I’m much more aware of what’s going on in the Book World these days and which books are supposedly worth my money and which probably aren’t. In other words, my book buying habits are way more structured now.

This left me wondering, though, is this a good thing or a bad thing? I never buy books anymore because I just came across them and liked the looks of them. You could say the spontaneity is kind of gone, which sounds like a bad thing – this way I’ll never be surprised by a hidden gem of a book.

On the other hand, I now buy books I really, really want and I can still be surprised by them. Sure, I go in with certain (high) expectations but that doesn’t mean I know exactly what’s waiting for me within those pages and if I’m going to like it. All I know is that I’m really excited for this book (and have been for quite some time), and that’s worth something too, right?

What do you think? Is it more fun to spontaneously buy books you’ve never heard of, or do you prefer going with your wishlist? What are your book buying habits?

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Hi! I'm Anne and I love reading, baking and writing about both of those things. Welcome!

12 thoughts on “Book Buying Habits

  1. Now that I have started blogging, which I have been for barely a month, I think that finishing a reader’s wishlist is best done before picking some random novel. I know, I’m still a baby when it comes to blogging and stuff but I think finishing every single book you like to read before you started blogging gives you a point on where to draw the line between what you NEED to read (ARCs for example) and what you WANT to read.

    1. I always go by what I WANT to read, though, because I never accept ARCs (anymore) that I don’t want to read, if you catch my drift. I’m also much more following my wishlist now that I’m blogging, but I do think that’s partly because my wishlist is much longer than it was before I started blogging. In fact, I didn’t really have a real wishlist before, I think. It’s been a while, though, so I can’t really remember, haha. I hope you’re enjoying your blogging experience! 🙂

  2. For the second question, which I realized that I haven’t answered yet, I think I have many ways of having my books. One is what I call “The Hunger Games”. Funny, but true. When I want to buy a book, I don’t eat as much as I do. The money I allotted for food is divided into two. The other half goes to my savings and use it for books. 🙂 Another tactic is, asking my parents for money. 🙂 Well, I’m not rich. But if its my birthday or christmas day, I don’t think It would hurt to ask for books on those occations. Or is it? (Laughs). Anyways, it seems like I’m blabbering again. Sorry for taking up your time for my long comment but thank you for reading it. 🙂

    1. Haha, wow, that’s quite a drastic measure! I love food way too much to start eating less if I want to buy a book. I usually have a bit of money leftover each month, though, so if I REALLY want to buy a book, I’m usually able to. And birthdays are great for getting books, or money for books! I totally agree with you on that. Don’t apologise for leaving long comments! I love them. 🙂 Thank YOU for writing it!

  3. I feel the same way as you are. After blogging I’ve discovered so many great books, one of which I read recently after a fellow blogger gave recommendation, it was awesome and got me wanting to explore the realm of sci-fi books.

    As for book buying habits, I usually buy books during sales. I have a mental list of authors to look out for however I also love to browse and pick a book which appeals to me. That’s how I discover some great authors and books. So I’m a bit of both 🙂

    1. Blogging is great for discovering a love for new genres, isn’t it? This year I’ve started reading fantasy and sci-fi books I never would’ve found out about without the blogging world.

      That’s a great book buying strategy as well! They don’t have many real book sales here in the town where I live, but I guess that’s what the Book Depository is for. 😉 Thanks for your lovely comment!

  4. I agree, books in the Netherlands is scarily super expensive??? :/ I haven’t tried Book Depository though, but from browsing the books they seem affordable and free shipping price weee!!

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