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.