2017 Book Buying Resolutions

Posted December 30, 2016 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features / 21 Comments

One thing that that’s been undeniably noticeable since I started blogging is how many books I’ve acquired. I’ve been an avid lifelong reader so I’ve always had a lot of books, but I also tended to reread a majority of the time so I wasn’t constantly adding to my shelves. Blogging, however, has made me VERY aware of new books and most bloggers know the struggle of constantly trying to keep up and stay relevant by prioritizing reading and reviewing new releases. Sure, the library is an option but for a coveted new release it can be weeks or months before you get your hands on a title.

While I did a good job in 2016 reading books from my shelves (44 out of 55 books I read I owned) I didn’t really feel like I was making a dent in my physical TBR because I kept adding to it. For a while I was keeping track of the books I was buying but I honestly lost count around 30. The past year and a half has also brought about a great loss of shelf space, as when I moved out of my family’s home my parents kept our bookshelves (which were solely filled with my books, so now they’re pretty much sitting nearly empty with a few coffee table books and potted plants in them…) and I’ve only managed to buy and build one shelf for my apartment (there’s another shelf waiting to be built, but it’s such a project Max and I haven’t gotten around to it yet). Keeping all of these factors in mind, I am hoping to set some parameters around the books that I buy in 2017.

  1. Only buy a total of 24 new releases | I’d like to average 2 new releases per month (or less). I’ll try to focus on my most anticipated 2017 reads.
  2. Limit backlist book buying to 1 title per month | There are definitely some series I’ve recently started that are older and that I will definitely need to purchase as I continue reading them, so I want to leave SOME room for purchasing backlist titles.
  3. Buying books for author signings | Over the past 2 years I’ve started going to author signings and bookish events a lot more, and one of the main points of going is to be able to meet the author and have your book signed. I’m making an exception for buying books for author signings and events. Hopefully these will fall into my 2 new releases per month category, but it’s OK if they don’t.
  4. Leveraging my Kindle for Overdrive library reads | I just got a kindle for Christmas (I know, super late to the party) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I also find I read e-books faster. Now that I’m reading them on my Kindle and not just on my phone screen, I’m hoping it will help satisfy the urge to buy a book when I can check it out pretty conveniently instead (and it’s a great way to try out a book, because if I love it then I will purchase it).
  5. Don’t impulse buy | I find this is much more of a problem in person than it is for me online. I’ll tend to leave books in my shopping cart online and then not buy them after I’ve thought it over, whereas in person I’m more prone to throwing a book in my physical cart, especially if it’s on sale (those Costco prices though) or a popular title that I’m waiting forever to get from the library.
  6. Be More Proactive About Pre-Orders | Pre-ordering books can be a great way to find good prices, and it also helps prevent the feeling of being in a “book buying drought” because if I know I have books being delivered to look forward to, I’ll be more likely to abstain from buying random books in store.
  7. Take Reviews to Heart | While it’s a good idea to form your own opinion about books, sometimes I find myself turning a blind eye to negative reviews by bloggers who have similar tastes to me because I am just so excited about a book. There have definitely been times where I’ve loved a book that others have disliked, but going forward I should really evaluate if a book that’s fallen flat for a lot of other people is worth the investment for me.

Do you have any goals set for your 2017 book buying? Did you buy too many or too few books in 2016? Do you keep track of the number of books you buy? How do you determine which books you buy vs. borrow? How often do you check in with yourself about how many books you’ve bought so far? I’m hoping to do quarterly check ins/haul posts! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!




21 responses to “2017 Book Buying Resolutions

  1. These are some good resolutions 🙂 For me its about spending less time in waterstones and trying to find more books to read in my local charity shops. I’m also trying really hard to be pickier about the books that I request for review!

  2. I read 90% of my eBooks from my library–it was the whole reason I got my Kobo in the first place (in Canada Kindle files aren’t available for our libraries but I also have a Kindle now too). It’s just so easy! So I hope you enjoy your Kindle. It’s one of those things you don’t appreciate until you have it for a couple of days.

    I did great this year reading all the books I had purchased for my Kobo over the years but I feel like I added just as many books as I read. So my only resolution is to not buy any book unless they are on a ridiculous sale.

    • I am literally OBSESSED with my Kindle. I think like you I will probably end up using it for mostly library reads, because if I’m going to spend money I usually prefer spending it on physical books. I totally understand what you mean about not feeling THAT accomplished with all of the books you own and read because it feels like it cancels out when you think about all of the NEW books you’ve bought to replace them. I’m hoping to cull quite a few books this year!

  3. I generally don’t buy many books for myself, because the library is so convenient. But I know I’ve spent way too much of my personal budget on my classroom library over the past few years. I need to work out how to keep it fresh and responsive to student needs without sacrificing what is really the entire family’s discretionary funds.

    • I have several friends who are teachers and I’ve definitely seen them have to invest their own money into their classroom libraries as well! My aunt is a teacher and sometimes she’s been able to go wholesale booksales that she gets access to as an educator so she can at least get more affordable books in bulk for her classroom sets. Do you find that your students often request certain new books for your classroom collection?

      • Some books students request, and others I bring in because I know there’s a need or interest they will meet. I have gone to one of the warehouse sales, and while there were some screaming deals, like any clearance sale, there’s often a reason why those particular items weren’t sold earlier.

  4. These are such great goals. I might have to borrow a few of your ideas to tame my own shelves!
    Most of the books I read are borrowed from my local library or from a friend, so thankfully my physical shelves aren’t too crowded. But I have had my Kindle for two years now, and it probably has five years worth of books on it. I really need to stop falling for the ebook deals or else my poor Kindle might drown in words.
    Good luck with your resolutions!

    • Thank you, Tessa! I can see how having a Kindle would enable you to compile more and more books that you mean too, what with the deals and because you don’t have the guilt of seeing your overflowing shelves everyday (out of sight, out of mind, right?)

  5. These are great goals! I need to have clear perimeters like this for my book buying resolution. I set myself an ambitious book budget of $100 in 2016, and probably ended up spending double that amount. XD I usually force myself to only buy books that I’m certain I will love, like sequels or books from my auto-buy authors. I include my ‘hauls’ (usually there are only three books at most) in my monthly recap posts, which has helped keep me aware of my new books. That’s been working for me, so I think I’ll keep going with it. Good luck with your resolutions!

    • I will admit I’ve already broken quite a few of the rules I’ve set for myself this year because of all of the good new releases this January! I’m probably going to average more like 4 new releases per month at this rate *sigh*. I think a monthly haul post is a good idea, it keeps you honest with what you’ve bought!

  6. I’m so happy you love your Kindle! I love mine too. It’s really nice to have something portable with essentially unlimited reading options, but there’s still no better feeling than reading a physical book. Balancing both is the best thing. I read ebooks faster too!

    I’m pretty good with book buying lately. I acquire more books from Secret Sister packages than I actually buy for myself! I’m trying to be better about waiting to curate a library until I have more space.

    • MY KINDLE IS NOW MY LIFE. It’s literally the BEST thing ever for traveling. I am never bringing a physical book with me on vacation again if I can help it. I held out on getting one for so long because I didn’t LOVE reading e-books on my iPad but it feels really different. But yes I have no idea WHY but I read faster on my kindle/phone that I do physical books, it’s really bizarre.

  7. I loved seeing your guidelines for your book buying this 2017! As we have done in the past two years, Hannah (of So Obsessed With) and I are holding fast to our Picky Pledge. We’ve tweaked our goals and guidelines a wee bit for it, but the aim is still to bring down the number of books we acquire (for review or for our shelves). Here’s to hoping we both manage to stick fast to our personal guidelines! 😉

    Also, yay for a new Kindle! I really love mine, and the fact that it’s just a portable way for me to carry a ton of books around 😉

    • I love your Picky Pledge posts! I think it’s so important to keep accountable for how many books one buys, especially if one isn’t reading those books and keeping up with their TBR (which I can definitely be guilty of!) And YES I am using my Kindle on it’s maiden voyage vacation right now and I am OBSESSED with it!

  8. Rebecca

    Good luck with your bookish resolutions for 2017! I don’t buy many books at all and I think that’s because I’m so dedicated to lowering my TBR. After I started blogging, I acquired a lot of books and personally, I prefer a smaller TBR. I can’t count the number of books I was so exited for, but they still lie unread on my shelf! So yeah, I just find a huge unread TBR overwhelming, so I only tend to buy occasionally. I treat myself with a few pre-orders and buy a few for events, ect.

    As for choosing which I buy vs borrow, I focus on the ones I’m really anticipated and want to read the year they release, and favourite authors. Which releases am I going to prioritise? Even if they sound great…which are probably going to collect dust before I get to them? Sometimes I like to buy a book and make it my next read. A great way to make sure you get to it and it doesn’t add to my TBR.

    • I wish I was as disciplined as you are! My “shelf of shame” (unread, physical TBR) is ever-growing but I find that I usually just skim the newest books off of the top rather than reading the backlist titles, so it never really gets reduced 🙁

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