Things I’ve Learned During A Book Buying Ban

Happy Monday Storytellers! I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve sat down and actually had a fun post with you gorgeous folks (not saying my other posts aren’t fun–because I’m a freaking hoot), and I’ve missed it terribly. So, because I’ve missed it, I thought it would be great to look back on the semi traumatic ordeal I put myself through for the last half of 2019. If you know–you know, and if you don’t…well I’m talking about the great book ban of 2019.

During the last half of 2019, I was on an intense book buying ban. Like super intense. From June 19th, 2019 till January 14th, 2020 I had pressed play on the great game of book buying bans and went on a quest of making my wallet happy (insert Jumanji drums here). I’ve learned a lot during these months of deprivation, and I thought it would be therapeutic and maybe giggle-snort inducer if I regailed to you storytellers everything I’ve learned during what I like to call “the dark months”.

So grab your popcorn…maybe your pillow too, and remove all drinks from the premises (cause snorting out soda is messy), and lets see what I’ve learned!

In the beginning–The Temptation is REAL

I feel like this is true for any period of extensive deprivation. Its like your mind and body know you aren’t allowed to have something anymore thus making you want it THAT much more. That book you had no intention of reading yesterday? need it! That historical fiction (a genre you don’t read) sale you saw on amazon where each book is .99 cents? Yup need them all.

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Accountability is the greatest thing out there

Friends don’t let friends buy shit without consequences.







Self Control? Who you?

She was weak but she was hella determined. This entire ban is just the universe wanting to strengthen my self control skills under the rouse of me saving money. Not a fan.

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Things get easier…sort of.

I’ll admit it was hard walking passed Half Price books and floating through amazon for links and NOT adding something to my cart, but after a while of seeing my bank account not negative and dying a slow death of malnutrition, it was so bad. Now I’m able to walk passed a bookstore and only cry three tears. #progress

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You begin to utilize resources

DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE A SHIT TON OF RESOURCES THAT GIVE AWAY FREEBIES?! I was literally shooketh at the amount. It was like floating on cloud nine as I got to scratch the book buying itch and my wallet didn’t even have to show its face.

I also started using my library more frequently than I did before. Free books are the best books–even if you have to give them back after a few weeks.

Resources I used:

My Local Library / Libby Kindle Unlimited Scribd

Places that freebies abound:

Audiobooks Unleashed Nose Stuck In a Book Author Newsletters Free Audiobook Codes

Free Trials are gifts of Ambrosia from the gods themselves

Especially if you have multiple email addresses.

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TBR took a well needed hit…in both directions

I actually read the books that I had previously binge bought solely because I couldn’t buy anything else. The ban forced me to read the shit that caused the ban–a paradox.

However, this decrease in my TBR quickly subsided when I stepped into my freebie stan ways. It’s fine. I’ve come to accept that my TBR will never be a sane size again.

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…and also got hella cleaned

Since I’m not spending time one-clicking anymore, I was able to unhaul alot of stories I just wasn’t interested in from both my physical and digital TBRs and organized my TBRs in a way that makes more sense. It was bliss.

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The Return of the Picky buyer

I can say once again, that I am super picky with the books I pick up and spend money on. No longer am I one-clicking for the thrill. Ya girl has rules…structure–I dare say…self control.

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But FOMO is real

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The synopsis doesn’t seem like something up your alley but everyone and their mom’s on twitter are screaming about it? A new release that everyone wants–no NEEDS people to read? Well too bad because the hype ain’t gonna stop just because you are on a ban. FOMO is real and it is strong.

I didn’t choose the Mantra–the Mantra chose me

“If it ain’t free, it ain’t for me. If it ain’t free, it ain’t for me. If it ain’t free, it ain’t for me. If it ain’t free, it ain’t for me.”

In the end though, your bank account cries the tears of a thousand thankful angels.

Have you ever been on a ban?


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  1. Jothany

    February 17, 2020 at 10:52 am

    I wonder if that will be my journey this year lol not on an official ban, but I’m cutting back to try and tackle all the series that I just had to buy all the books for 🤦🏽‍♀️

  2. Kristina

    February 17, 2020 at 11:40 am

    What a nice and funny post, Sam!

    Look how much you’ve grown!! 🥰 all good things learned, here. That tbr might never be a proper size again, but at least we ain’t in debts no more!! So proud of you xx

    I honestly never really needed buying bans, as I don’t really buy books online (only few exceptions) and I either spend my time working or without spoons to go physically buying them xD so that’s a « cure » like any other.. 🤷🏽‍♀️ Ahaha

  3. bookishluna

    February 17, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    I suspect your self control muscle is huge now! Sounds like you learned a lot during this time and really took advantages of the recourses you have.

    I don’t use a book buying ban, I do a read 5, buy 1 system where I can buy a book only if I read five. I do this on and off as I need to.

  4. mistysbookspace

    February 17, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I just put myself on my first ever book buying ban and I enlisted my husband to help keep me accountable because I have no will power when books are concerned.

  5. Jinjer

    February 17, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    So funny! You’re a good story teller. Congrats on doing so well with the ban! I hope you did get a cookie!

  6. Dedra @ A Book Wanderer

    February 17, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    I put myself on a requesting ban on Netgalley at the end of last year until I could get caught up. I’m happy to say it worked, and I’m only allowing myself to request one arc a month on Netgalley for now. My physical tbr is out of control and I have so many books I’ve been wanting to read for so long. This is finally allowing me to pick them up. Great job on your ban! 🙂

  7. Nicoline

    February 18, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Yes I have also been on a buying book ban before. And it actually went really well :)) The hardest part was the fomo. As you say all the new releases that you wanted. If there was a book I really wanted but couldn’t buy I added it to my Goodreads shelve and it helped. It also helped I guess that my mum bought me books 😉

  8. Nicoline Simone

    February 18, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Yes I have also been on a buying book ban before. And it actually went really well :)) The hardest part was the fomo. As you say all the new releases that you wanted. If there was a book I really wanted but couldn’t buy I added it to my Goodreads shelve and it helped. It also helped i guess that my mum bought me books 😉

  9. Isabelle @ Nine Tale Vixen

    February 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    THIS WHOLE POST IS A HECKIN MOOD. I was briefly on an ARC/book buying ban last year, but just as you said, as soon as I made it official I suddenly needed ALL the books … so now I’m just logging all the books I check out/request/buy and side-eyeing myself constantly 😅

    also yes, freebies are a blessing and a curse, and rather than a mountain I think TBRs are a hydra because they only grow. and grow. and grow. and grow.

    but but but. yay you for getting through it!!! 🎉

  10. Catarina @ Pages & Plots

    February 24, 2020 at 5:41 am

    As someone who is currently on a year-long book buying ban, I feel this so much! The only exceptions I made for myself are 1) I can buy sequels to series I already own the first book and 2) buy books that I loved but read on eBook format.

  11. TheCaffeinatedReader

    February 25, 2020 at 4:47 am

    I needed to read every part of this post, twice, because it is just one huge ass pearl of wisdom lol. I definitely went overboard lately, but, as my bank account cries, I’m realizing I need to make some major changes. I went YEARS without buying more than what I wanted out of a charity shop every now and then, I can live without buying every book that comes out lol

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