How My Bullet Journal Curtailed My Book Hoarding

I buy too many books. Far more than I actually read. I have hundreds of dejected and unread books on my shelves. If you’ve read my previous posts on the subject, you’ll know I fail at willpower. However, this past month, I believe I have finally found a solution. Now, before you scoff at me in doubt, hear me out. Yes, I’m a book junkie. But I can be saved.

In early March I jumped on the trend of bullet journals. Mine is very crude and rudimentary. I’m not an artist and I only write nicely when I don’t intend to. So it looks like vomit. Yet none of that matters because it’s incredibly useful.

I’m the type of person who walks into a room and forgets why I’m there. That’s if I even manage to make it to the right room. If I don’t write things down, I forget them. My bullet journal helps me keep track of everything I need. Day to day tasks, upcoming events, shopping lists, wish lists, financial expenses, savings. Most importantly, I track my writing goals, who I’ve queried to and which agents I’ve received rejections from, what books I’ve read, and what books I’ve purchased.

I only allotted four pages for book purchases. I do not want to exceed those pages. If I do, I will hold myself in eternal shame. In January, I bought 22 books. In February, I bought 19. Before I started my journal, I didn’t really get a clear idea of how many I purchased until the end of the month when I took a picture of them and posted it here. It was always a goal to try and outdo the previous month by buying more books.

Now that I physically have to write each book down when I buy them, it really shows how quickly they add up. Also, it shows how ridiculous my book buying habits are when you compare it to the list of books I have read. So far, only 18 this year.

In March, as you can see, I only bought six books. SIX! I haven’t bought so few since I was a poor college student. Granted, four of those books were bought in a moment of weakness, but I think I did rather well. There was a moment when I finished a book in a series and almost ordered the next, but I said, “Nay! I will write it on my wish list and buy it in April.”

And guess what? It’s April and I haven’t bought it yet. I don’t even feel the urge to.

It helps that the next page is my savings tracker. I won’t post a photo because I drew little pictures and it’s exceedingly ugly. I’m trying to save for a down payment on a house, a safety net, and I’m also skimming the top of my checking account each week to put towards a publishing fund if the traditional path doesn’t pan out.

Seeing how much I’m spending on books I won’t read until years later really puts things into perspective.

I will still likely have my moments of weakness when Barnes and Noble has their “buy over $100, get 20% off” deals. I just hope it won’t be every month that I have these relapses.

For further reading, Book Riot recently posted an article on how one reader whittled down their TBR pile by using their bullet journal.

What do you think? Are you a fellow bullet journalist?
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  • My bullet journal is the exact same way! Purely utilitarian. And I love it! I’m the queen of distractions, so it helps me stay on task!

    • Oh, I didn’t realize you had a bullet journal! Most people think I’m crazy when I mention it. Do you keep track of your reading/writing in it?

      • Um, I do it sort of spastically. I do daily checklists when I’m busy. I tried to do a yearly calendar with writing goals, but I’ve blown that already. I do like it for tasks that have a million steps. Like I have that Bookbub and I need to make changes in a bunch of my ebooks and on my website and such. And it was feeling like too much to remember, so I made a page for it. I just love that I don’t feel like I have to put things in any specific order. It’s really the journal for the unorganized! 🙂

        • I use my habit tracker to keep track of how many times I write at least 500 words in a day. Only three days in April. 🙁 I’m going to redo my bullet journal (I bought too small of a notebook) and maybe I’ll put something in it that’ll motivate me to write more.