Do Book Buying Bans Work?

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I’m going to be honest right now, I suck when it comes to money.  I mean, I know everyone says that, but I have really bad impulse control when it comes to spending, especially on books.  I went into the used bookstore the other day to sell 6 books and I walked out of there with 5!  Now, technically, I didn’t really pay for them because I had $45 in store credit for selling books, but STILL.

So I’m going on a Book Buying Ban.   I’m a bit iffy if I will be able to control myself, but so far so good (it’s officially been 2 days).

I want to try the ban for 6 months.  Obviously I’m bound to mess  up at some point, but I won’t let that stop me. I even have more store credit and $100 amazon gift card that I will NOT use until July.

This ban is for 2 reasons, and one of them is definitely the spending issue I have.  I am also trying to go 31 days with spending $0, except on food and necessities as they arise).  Again, it’s been 2 days, but so far so good!

The 2nd reason is that I simply own so many books that I haven’t read yet.  I got tired of counting after I reached 75 and I was basically on the 4th shelf.

Has anyone ever done one?  Has it worked? Have any advice??

18 thoughts on “Do Book Buying Bans Work?

  1. Don’t go to bookstores so you won’t be tempted. I kept thinking that I have this project coming and unread books on my shelf. I don’t bring large amount of money with me every time I go to bookstores. 🙂


  2. I’ve put myself under many book buying bans and they’ve all worked for me. It’s definitely a matter of willpower, but my impulse control is also ridiculously terrible. The best advice I can give you is to simply not give up. Even if you break your ban, it’s okay. Just start again immediately. Whatever you do, don’t think “well, I’ve broken it now so I might as well give up.” It gets easier 🙂

    I’m terrible when it comes to Amazon, and the only thing you can do is just do your very best to avoid it unless absolutely necessary. It will be difficult 6 months, but YOU GOT DIS. Just think about all the money and space you’ll save 😀

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  3. Pingback: A Charmed Week |

  4. I never go on these bans because I rarely ever buy books in the first place. I only buy books after thinking and considering it for a good amount of time, and only when I have actually ran out of books to read. Even then I would go to the library first. But ever since I started book blogging I have been buying more books and I feel like I have to restrain myself 😔


  5. Yes, it works! 🙂 In fact, I help create an entire challenge around the idea of sticking to a book budget and reading books I already owned. It was quite successful last year and it just kicked off for year two.

    And bookishwanderlust has the right idea. For the first several months I avoid places that sold books like the plague. While I didn’t NOT buy book last year (stress is a trigger for me and I was under A LOT of stress), I did cut back on my buying significantly.

    You are welcome to join our challenge if you are looking for some outside motivation.


  6. I would agree with the others to avoid the booksellers altogether–which can include just blocking amazon as a website so you CAN’T go there. In terms of spending money overall, I find it useful to just not have money on me when I’m out and about, or to put my money in a really inconvenient place when I’m at home (and don’t let the browser save your debit card info, for example).

    In general, though, I would usually advise starting small, and then increasing the goal as you feel empowered by what you have accomplished. So it feels like you succeeded at six different 1-month bans, rather than one 6-month ban.


  7. I’m on a book ban too! I’m running out of space for books and also will have less money to spend this year, so I need to rein in my bookish spending. My book ban is that I won’t spend more than $100 on books for the entire year. I don’t even dare to look at bookstores’ displays haha, or even look at emails from Book Depository. So far it is working for me, though January isn’t over yet so we shall see if I can keep it up 😀 Good luck with your ban – you can do it!


    • I just saw this comment for some reason! Did you survive January? I did! Only books that I had already paid for before January came and only 2 of them at that! And Yeah I haven’t opened a single email about books from amazon or the book depository!


  8. Personally: no. The need to buy all the books just builds up and then suddenly explodes, which ends with buying WAY TOO MANY BOOKS, because I want all the pretties. For me, it’s best to have a strict amount of books I can buy every month. Limiting myself works better than having a ban 🙂


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