Buying Books Vs. The Library

and how it's changed my reading habits

Let me tell you a story. I used to be a library only kind of girl. I love books, but hate clutter, and I didn't have anywhere to store books, so I very rarely bought them. I only borrowed from the library, whether it be physical copies, ebooks, or audiobooks. I usually checked out 2-4 at a time and managed to read through them all within the allotted 3-week time frame, only having to renew every once in a while. I had a constant stream of them coming in and I was usually there either picking up or returning a book once or twice a week.

As you might remember from my March Recap, I recently bought some new bookshelves and kind of went crazy buying new books to fill them up… And now I feel I’m on this binge where I need to BUY ALL THE BOOKS but I don’t actually get a chance to sit down and read them. Once I have them, I know they’re safe on my shelf for when I’m good and ready to read them.

See my dilemma? Buying a book versus checking it out from the library has removed all sense of urgency from needing to read said book. A Gathering of Shadows was one of my top 3 most anticipated books of 2016 and I picked it up from Barnes & Noble a week after it was released on a whim - after I had put a hold on it from the library might I add – I actually had the library book in my hands and returned it because it was ready for pickup a day or two after I bought it. My point being that if I hadn’t bought it and stuck with the library book, I would have read it weeks ago instead of last week.

Does anyone else have this problem? Is it just me? I have more books on my shelves that are unread than read – woe is me, I know, right? – and I want to keep adding my collection, but finding the motivation without knowing I HAVE to give it back has proven tricky. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE owning these books and my little Life’s Library is one of my pride & joys, but it’s frustrating that I've lost that sense of urgency. Not to mention my new cross stitching hobby has taken a lot of time away from reading, so I don’t get through books as quickly as I did before, but that’s a whole different issue.

To help combat this, I’ve taken the following steps:

  1. I’m placing myself on a temporary book buying ban until I can semi-catch up on what I already own.
  2. I’ve made myself 2 ‘TBR Jars’
  3. Instagram
    1. Left: older books I’ve either had on my shelves for a while and didn’t get around to reading (see reasons above) or recently picked up from sales, etc. Right: newer releases that I’ve been dying to read such as Lady Midnight or The Wrath and The Dawn. 
    2. My hope is to go back and forth between the jars to space my reading evenly. Of course, I have trouble sticking to a tbr list, so hopefully pulling one title at a time from the jar will help with that too.
  4. Prioritize my books for review
  5. Organize my time between reading and stitching more evenly

Do you have any suggestions for me? Does anyone have any tricks they use to keep themselves on track to help my beloved books from simply collecting more dust? I’d love to hear them!



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