Do You Have A Strange Monetary Habit?

My love of books goes back as far as I remember. My mom taught me to read a couple of words by the time I was two years old and by age three I was reading on my own. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve our weekly trips to the library. I can still picture the way the books were lined up in the children’s section and vividly remember the smell of old paper.

I hope my son shares my passion for books. I started reading to him long before he was born and on his first night in the hospital we pulled out a book and ready him a story.

Despite the fact that electronic books are readily available I tend to avoid them. I read a bit here and there online, but nothing feels as good to me as turning the pages of a paper novel. I love looking ahead and to see how many pages are left in a chapter. Can I finish it before my son wakes up from his nap? Can I finish before turning out the light and going to bed?

Over the years I’ve drastically cut down on the number of books I keep in my house. Although it was initially hard to give them up I now donate or sell them without hesitation. These days I don’t spend much money on books either. I cut back on them in my budget and only buy used copies.

But I still have a terrible habit. I buy books and never read them. It’s something that actually drives me quite crazy. A friend or family member will recommend a book and I’ll search for the lowest price and buy it.

It makes it’s way into the house, then moves from the upstairs bookshelf to the one downstairs and somehow or another I never seem to read it. These books taunt me. I pass them every time I feed the cat or wash the laundry. Yet fully knowing that they are waiting for me on the shelf I go out and purchase others.

Every so often I start to declutter and declare war on those books. I pull out boxes and ship them off to book buyers or donation centers. I can’t tell you how many times I box up a book that I bought but never read. Every time I do it I’m infuriated with myself, but somehow or another I find myself doing it over and over.

I’m not sure how to break the habit. Maybe I should get rid of all of my books and start completely over. Maybe I should institute a rule, like I can’t buy a new book until the last book has been read. I need to find a solution of some type because my own behavior is driving me batty.

Do you have a strange monetary habit? Do you buy books. clothing or other items that you never use or wear?

7 thoughts on “Do You Have A Strange Monetary Habit?”

  1. Why not just keep a list of books that friends have suggested? Or join Good Reads? Then when you are eager to read a book, take the list to the library and see if they have it first, before buying?

    I waste a lot of money on food that I don’t eat. Once in a while somehow I get it in my head (usually after a really great meal at a restaurant) that I want to try something new. I go all out and buy the ingredients, then don’t have the energy to cook it. It usually goes bad before I can make use of the new ingredient. I am horrible about it, and I feel really guilty every time. The problem is a) I hate cooking–mostly because I am bad at it (I never like the things I cook!), b) I don’t usually like new things out of my routine, and c) I am single and cooking only for myself. I’d like to hear some solutions, because I have tried everything I can think of.

    • Ahhh, yes. Food waste used to be high on my list too. I’d buy some ingredient, like vanilla beans and find them a year later shoved into the back of the pantry. Now I’m better about experimenting with foods that don’t require ingredients I probably won’t use in other dishes. Have you ever tried to take a cooking class? I used to hate cooking before I took one. After that I bought new pots and pans and knives and now I really do enjoy it.

      • I’d love to take a cooking class! I have looked, but can only find ones that specialize in a certain kind of cooking that sounds way too advanced for me (‘Cook Like the French! Coq Au Vin For Everyone with 5 Spare Hours to Cook Each Day’). Ha. (obviously a joke title, but that’s what it always sounds like to me!)

        I’d love a basic, start from scratch class. ‘How to Boil Water’ would be more my speed. Also, some sort of class where they combine science with cooking. I’m a scientist, so I’d remember more if they taught it in that sort of fashion, like this flavor goes with this because of X and this needs to be mixed in first because of Y.

        I’ve thought a LOT about this, as you can see!

  2. I used to buy SO many books! Then it was purses. Now, I just don’t buy a lot of anything. I almost always get my books from the library. It’s much much much cheaper. And I don’t feel as guilty for having a shelf full of books I’ve bought and never read.

    • Ugh I wish our library was nice. Unfortunately it’s unbelievably worn down and the book selection is absolutely abysmal!

  3. I use for all my books. I post the books that I’m no longer reading and swap them for books I’m wanting to read. And when I feel that my bookshelf has been overwhelmed with books that I need to get caught up on, I put the recommendations in a “reminder” list on paperbackswap. Then I don’t forget the books but I don’t have to have them in had right now! Plus I’m only paying to mail the books I have out and that’s around $3, so I’m not spending much on the books.
    To pay for my books I am participating in paid surveys. They pay me $3 per survey. Paperbackswap also has two sister sites Swapadvd and one for CD’s.
    The only downside is that sometimes there are books that I really want now! And with paperbackswap you’re on a waiting list for some books so you have to be patient. For books I have to have now I check I have also used these sites for Christmas shopping since most of my gift recipients want books or DVDs and don’t mind used.
    Now anytime I see a book or DVD or CD in the store that I want, I stop myself and think “I’d better check paperbackswap first, I bet I can get it there.” And usually I can.

    • Thanks for the suggestions. For now I’m trying to cut back on things cold turkey, but since I doubt that will work I’ll take a look at the sites you suggested.


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