Will I Ever Stop Buying Books?

Some of you might be surprised to learn that I was in the UK two weeks ago and that, contrary to everyone’s expectations, I returned home with zero books.

Of course, I did spent all 5 days there in conference rooms, only coming out to find a place to eat and return to the hotel for some sleep, so it isn’t that my self-restraint has suddenly.. I wanted to say.. grown, but I guess I meant appeared altogether.

So yay for me for not buying any books!

That is, I did not buy any two weeks ago. I made up for that this weekend.

This weekend saw another edition of the lovely Boekenfestijn (you might remember some of my previous splurges). What made it extra lovely was the fact that I got to meet some of the Dutch YA bloggers (do check out their blogs) that I have met online in the past year.

So yes.. I came home with *some* books.

First up is the selection of YA titles I returned home with. This was a fun surprise for me, since I think I might not have picked up most of these on my own – simply because I know very little compared to these other bloggers about YA published during the past two years. Seeing them very enthusiastic about title after title (and I admit I followed them around a bit to see what they would pick up), I was of course curious and decided to buy some of them as well (there’s always room for discovering new books at 2 euros a piece, right?):

YA boekenfestijn books

YA boekenfestijn books

I also came across some titles that had been on my list for a long long time. Including two Elizabeth von Arnim’s for only 1.25 a piece. I ask you, who could resist that? AND a Connie Willis (I have been meaning to try her fiction for forever!)  I also found a Beryl Bainbridge, an author Violet recently mentioned to me. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (perfect for RIP, right?) And.. some others that caught my eye and that I wasn’t sure about but then saw were 99 cents and that kind of made the decision for me (see here: my total inability to resist book buying).

More pretty books <3

More pretty books❤

Anyway: Yay for new books! But shame on me for the many many unread books on my shelves. Because of REASONS (Honestly, I am too embarrassed to admit the actual number of unread books on my shelves), I think I need to go on another book buying ban. I have conveniently left out my recent bookdepository orders (including the new titles of Margo Lanagan and Patrick Ness). Look, I know I will never, realistically speaking, last on a ban. Particularly when amazing authors release new books (see: Ness and Lanagan), but I could at least try to reduce the number of TBR books right? There are such lovely books on my shelves already. I could try actually reading them before buying new ones..

So, here goes..

If you could just all stop reviewing any books that sound tempting in the upcoming months, that might make it slightly easier.

(I am kidding, of course, please tell me more about all the books!)

25 thoughts on “Will I Ever Stop Buying Books?

    1. Iris Post author

      I am a library member and happily borrow books from the library. However, the thing is, the library system is not the same everywhere. Over here, you pay for membership, and the amount you pay depends on the number of books you borrow. Moreover, the library being based in a non-English speaking country, the selection of English books (and I prefer to read books in the original language) isn’t large. Plus, the amount of books I’d love to read that is available in Dutch translation is small, because let’s face it, translating non-bestsellers specifically for the small Dutch market wouldn’t be very lucrative. That’s understandable, but it does leave me with less options to read the books I want to read. Very often, buying books is the only option to actually read it. And as such, any opportunity where I can find books for such cheap prizes as 1-2 euros has me very excited and ready to buy more than might seem reasonable to some. For example, out of the 19 books listed above, I would be lucky to find 3 at the library, even luckier to find 1 of them in English – and these are books that are relatively “mainstream” or are considered as such in order to be included in the fair. Plus, I do really like the idea of having lots of books surrounding me at home. What can I say? It’s a matter of personal preference🙂

      1. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

        I could, but I’m a mood reader. So typically I like to have a stack of books to choose from as my moods shift. However, I have accumulated a few too many these many years. I think I will always have a TBR, just maybe not as high as it is now.

  1. Fiona

    I used to keep a list of all my TBR (owned) books but its been o neglected as of late. Let’s say it was over 500 last time I updated it.

    Never stop buying books though, Iris. Being surrounded by books is not a bad thing. Books are not junk and can always be given away or shared. You can’t do that with much else you end up collecting.

    1. Iris Post author

      *hugs* Your comment is beautiful and even though its sentiment might seem straightforward, it meant a lot to hear.

      (Also, pssst… we could have a secret “I own over 400+ unread books” club.)

  2. didibooksenglish

    I’m a big book buyer too, but I do live in France and my local library does have some English books. However they aren’t what I want to read for the moment. I’m sure I’ll start to borrow from it soon or later. I love buying books and I’ve been building my collection over the years I’ve been living here. When I arrived I only had 2 books in my possession. So I’m doing a little too well at the moment. There are literally books everywhere. Soon it will be time to do some culling.

    1. Iris Post author

      I completely understand🙂 The situation is pretty much the same over here. It’s completely understandable that a nation of non-native English speakers wouldn’t have the biggest selection of English books at the library (overall, I do really like my library but yes, it’s not often they have the books I want to read) – and buying is then the only option. Moreover, the choices of English books for sale in bookshops is small. So what happens when I come across a bunch of them for incredibly cheap prizes (book prizes are also higher here than in the UK or US): I splurge. Hahaha, and yes, I am in high need of some culling. But that’s difficult, isn’t it?

  3. Words We Women Write

    Iris, I’m so lucky to have libraries all around me plus my new favorite book place, OverDrive. I can borrow library books electronically and read them on my iPad. Yes, there’s sometimes a waiting list for new releases but a trove of others to choose from, depending on your mood 🙂 and mine changes by the hour. Feel like listening? Audio aplenty. I think you’ll like the Julia Glass book on your TBR pile, especially if you liked Three Junes. It’s a smart sisterhood series of vignettes, a page-turner. Have you read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry? I just received and advance copy of this author’s (Rachel Joyce) new book, Perfect. I bet it will be, based on her first. Happy Reading, Toni

  4. Jeane

    I don’t have your library quandry, but I understand about the TBR! I have about two hundred unread books on my shelves, and yet I keep writing down more and more titles I want to read, and find the library terribly tempting. I have tried very hard to avoid buying any new books until I get my physical TBR down to at least one bookshelf, but it’s slow going because so many other books keep distracting me!

  5. Simon T

    Well done on the E von As! I’ve been meaning to read the Fraulein book this year, as I know a couple of people who really love it, but I went with Mr Skeffington instead. Soon!

  6. Daisy (@DBetweenpages)

    I really need to go on a book buying ban as well😉 I have so many unread ones as well…
    But I totally loved going book shopping with you guys!! It’s interesting to see what everyone else picks up and not go with someone who only gets 3 books and they’re set for the year😀

  7. Elena

    I think I only associate buying books with happiness and not feeling guilty. I remember when I was a kid, I wanted to spend lots of money on Barbies and their dresses (I know… I know…) and my parents would say no, but every time I asked for a book, they always said yes. No matter if we had money problems or plenty of money to spend, they taught me to love books and buying them. So, now I buy as many books as my book-money allows me and never feel guilty. Of course, having a budget for books helps!

  8. Pingback: Catching Up #1: Brief Thoughts on Some YA Books | Iris on Books

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