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No Matter How Hard We Try… We All Stumble a Little

For as long as I can remember I have loved books and novels. When I was just two years old my mom used a series of Sesame Street flash cards to teach me to read. It’s strange, but to this day I can picture some of those images, like the picture of Grover holding a plate of spaghetti in front of an open door. The word ‘open’ written in large, black font beneath the image.

My mom took me to the library on Sunday afternoons and I remember walking through isles and isles of books so I could pick out the ones with the most colorful jackets. She’s always tell me to pick four or five to bring home, but I’d always ask to bring home at least six or seven.

In high school I read often and in college I took all of the literature courses that required extra reading. While my classmates sat through poetry seminars, I enrolled in the History of the Novel, a course which required me to read fourteen novels and write upteen papers in a semester.

I suppose I was a glutton for punishment, but really I just couldn’t resist the urge to read a good novel. Years after I graduated I would go to the University bookstore and find reading lists for literature courses that sounded interesting. I’d fill my arms with so many books I could barely carry them to the register.

I’ve donated a ton of books to the local library and sold a bunch through various cash back sites, but somehow I still find myself looking at stacks of non-fiction books and best-selling novels. I have a bunch of personal finance books I plan to read and review for One Frugal Girl and a whole stack of books I’d just like to read for pleasure.

Despite a stack of fifteen books stockpiled books on the corner table, I caught myself buying a used book earlier this week. A reader on a previous post suggested I read Bitter is the New Black and I couldn’t resist the cheap price on eBay.

When I mentioned this problem to a coworker of mine, she told me she has the exact same issue. She said she’s always carries a half-read book in her purse and constantly finds herself buying new novels.

I’m not sure why I can’t seem to break the habit. I know it’s not the worst habit to have and I know that I’ll eventually finish all the books on the shelf, but I wonder… what makes the purchase of a book so irresistible?

Anonymous

Wednesday 25th of March 2009

My fiance had tried to get me into downloaded books. Being an anti-clutter freak, I like the idea but there is something about a paperback that is infinitely more appealing. I do utilize the library, and recently I found a new trick. Half Price Books. I take a box full to 'sell' and then buy new ones with the money I made. Then it's less clutter and more books!

Juice

Tuesday 24th of March 2009

I love books and I really make use of my library. You can order online and they'll deliver to your branch of choice.

However, I do allow myself to buy books from our local used book store. It is walking distance from my house, dog-friendly and I like the idea of supporting local businesses.

My house is tiny with limited book room, so I do not purchase books intending to keep them. Good ones I pass along to friends. Average ones I sell back to the used bookstore. And my favorite trick of all is purchasing a used book and leaving it on the airplane when I've finished it. One less thing to carry and a unexpected gift for someone else. :)

One Frugal Girl

Sunday 22nd of March 2009

I'm glad to see that many of you are just as obsessed with books as I am. I do use bookins and paperbackswap as often as possible, but I really need to promise myself that I will not purchase another book until I get through at least three or four of the ones I already own.

high interest savings

Saturday 21st of March 2009

I can never seem to use up an entire bunch before it goes bad. Well, this week I’m making a dish that calls for cilantro so I had to buy some. It was on sale for $.50 a bunch at my grocery store, which was great, but what wasn’t great is that all the bunches were enormous.

Beth

Friday 20th of March 2009

A co-worker and I used to regularly ban ourselves from Barnes and Noble near where we worked. We both knew that when we walked in the door, we would walk out with at least one book that we didn't intend to purchase when we walked in the door.