Are You Addicted to Buying Books?

Today's discussion is one I've been wondering about for a while. Is buying books an addiction? Nevermind reading books (I think we all know that that's a serious addiction itself!) but do you consider buying books to be an addiction? 

I've always loved buying books, obviously so I'd have more to read. I loved going in to the bookshop everytime I went shopping, whether with my mam, friends or alone. If I was with my friends or my mam I'd just pop in for a few minutes, pick a book I had been ogling for a while, and buy it. If I was on my own I could happily spend hours trying to pick the perfect book to read. I would very rarely leave the bookshop without buying at least one book, at most I'd buy three or four, never more. I would read them without a problem and then pick up more next time I was near a bookshop. Or if I was desperate I'd get the bus to the nearest shopping centre to get a new book, no problem.

That all changed when I started book blogging. I discovered the Book Depository and visiting the bookshop was a thing of the past. Even though they had to pay for shipping the books from the Book Depository were always cheaper, and I could get books that weren't yet released in Ireland. I immediately ordered around ten books.

This was something I had never done before. I never had an overflowing TBR, at most I'd have three or four books that I'd have to read, which I'd manage to do in a week or two. But suddenly these amazing books arrived and I began to read them immediately. But, before finishing this pile, I was already going back to the BD website to order more books. They arrived, and again I didn't finish them all before ordering more. This kept happening.

My TBR is completely out of control now, in a matter of only eight months. I have enough physical books to last me for around two years of reading. I'm terrified of counting how many books I've ordered, and how much I've spent, since discovering the BD.

I love placing the order and knowing their coming. I love the anticipation when you know a book is going be delivered any day now. I can understand this feeling when it's a book I've been waiting a year or more to read, but when it's a book I decided to purchase on the spur of the moment, I shouldn't feel this excited. Especially since I know it's just going to be put on a shelf until I can find the time to get around to it or I'm in a very specific mood to read that type of book.

So I'm asking you, do you think buying books is an addiction? Sure I order books I'm dying to read and they get read as soon as they arrive, but I also place orders with ten or more books, knowing full well that they won't get read for months if they're read at all. Yet I still go back for more. 

I haven't placed an order in a month or so though. The last order I placed was the week before I decided to go to BEA. I need to save so I don't have to worry about money while in New York. I know very well that if I wasn't going to New York I would still be ordering books like there was no tomorrow. I'm finding it hard not to pre-order books I've been dying to read. I'm trying to convince myself to wait till I'm back home to make sure I can afford it. They are, after all, only books and I will manage to survive if I don't get a certain book I've been living for. Right?

Do you think you have a book buying addiction? Have you ever been able to actually stick to a book buying ban? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. I can't have a book buying addiction because my bookshelf and my wallet can't handle it anymore. It's also really hard to please me these days, and I'm wary of buying books because things could change and I could hate the books. And since I have a horrible postal system, everything is just against me buying books online.

  2. Oh no, I am not addicted on buying physical books ;u; I want to, but I really have a lot of priorities with my money :( The rule that I follow (yes I have a made up one haha) is when I finish a book that's the only time I buy a new one HAHA (when there's school, I think I only read 3-4 books SUCK right huhu)

    I hope you can attend BEA and I hope you get to control your book buying :-D But buying books is really tempting especially when you stare at your books in your shelf ahhhhh babies!!

  3. This is actually a good question, I believe I'm on a cusp of an addiction but not quite addicted. I don't willingly seek out Amazon for books and I've been rather good with going into shops, I tend to just look around but then every few weeks I go an a splurge of buying a lot from Amazon Marketplace from 5-15 a month. I have even cleared out my shelf recently because there were so many books I bought that I didn't actually need or didn't even think I would need. Maybe I'm in denial.

  4. I am definitely addicted to buying books. I buy books every week, usually at least 3 and sometimes 5 or 10 (including free ones on the Kindle). I don't read that many books a week! But I also have an irrational fear of running out of books to read, so this helps with that. It's the same reason I never clear off my DVR. What if I don't have anything to watch?! Like that's going to happen. Like I don't have 100+ channels broadcasting shows new and old to choose from at all times. PLUS Netflix and the internet. But still, I worry.

  5. Well, I hear you on the book blogging. For me it was reading challenges. I went from having a handful of books on my Kindle to three-figures (and yes, that's as precise as I'm going to get right now)! I do still prefer print books (like having something in my hand, turning the pages, grumbling when I can't find my bookmark). :O) Have a great weekend!

  6. Yes! I do definitely think it can become an addiction, but then I think the people who are drawn to hobbies and interests of this sort have an addictive personality anyways (it's a real thing!). I used to be like you, bought a few books, read them, happy days. But my TBR pile has grown somewhat too and I bought deals and collections at the wrong time before I knew what was realllly good and what I'm now dying to read, so I have some books that I just might not get round to (but I bought them for a great price so I can't complain really). I'm trying to be realistic and watch this habit (hard for an addictive personality to do) so I'm trying to read x amount of books before I'm allowed to buy more, which means my eGalleys need to be sorted too.... sigh, it's never ending. I've never shopped with BD before, I usually use TBP or TW - posted about them here - http://confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/bookish-deals-and-discounts/. Nice to know I'm not alone though :)


  7. I am seriously addicted to reading and buying books... the whole one-click for the kindle is a huge danger for me!! Also having The Book Depository with its free shipping is always another danger, cause I never find books in English in the bookstores!

  8. If book haul blog posts are anything to go by, then the majority of book bloggers definitely are book shopaholics. Haha. Aside from those who receive (e)ARCs, it seems to me that a lot more of them buy the books they read rather than borrow.

    As for expanding TBR lists, I've been on Goodreads for years, so I've always had a TBR list that I knew I wouldn't be able to get through within the coming year. I try to avoid overwhelming myself too much though by culling my TBR list every other month.

    Personally, I wouldn't say I'm addicted to buying books. I borrow most of the books that I read from the library. This year alone I've saved about US$700 already on books I read. Since I'm a recent graduate, and not working yet, I don't have that kind of money to spend.

    Generally I try not to order more than 4 to 5 books a month. If I know I didn't buy any books the previous month, then I do allow myself to load up an extra book or 2 on TBD.

  9. Great post! I think book buying can be an addiction if you buy a ton of books you don't read. If you buy them and read them all, it's not an addiction because you're doing something with your purchases. If anything, it's just being addicted to reading. But if you buy them and don't read them, then that makes it seem like you buy them just for the sake of having them, which can be a problem!

    I tend to only buy books if I'm going to read them immediately, but I guess that's easier because I only get eBooks. There's no point (to me) in buying an eBook I'm not going to read now.. but I can see the appeal of buying a PHYSICAL book you're not going to read now (because it's fun to have, or put on your shelf, or it's pretty, etc.).

  10. Interesting topic :) My TBR list has over 200 books on it, but I'm in a different position than most readers/book bloggers, in the fact that I'm an avid reader who doesn't actually own any books. I get all of my books from my local library and I go there several times a week to pick up my holds. So I don't have a book buying addiction, but instead a library addiction, lol.

    I have an annual book budget of $20, for a few ebooks that I can't get from the library. So far this year I've bought three books and have spent around $10 :)

    Just found your blog and I'm now following through bloglovin :)
    Finley Jayne

  11. I have tons of books on my shelves that I've purchase and yet to read. I've even ended up giving some away that I realized are just not going to get read or are no longer in my "must read" lists. I've been trying to tone down my purchases and given myself a book allowance (book budget) to try and stop accumulating so many books. And I borrow from the library. *sigh* But all I really want is to forever be buying books and making a beautiful library in my home for them all. :)

  12. Nordie @ writing about books20 May 2014 at 07:06

    It's been ages since I've actually paid money for a book....I have too many ways of getting them for free! My list is ever growing and I'm still finding books that I've agreed to review but will take ages to get to! Arrrgh!

  13. It is absolutely an addiction, but, I think it is a healthy one :) It enriches our minds and makes us smrt-er right? I have tons of unread books on my shelves and am constantly getting more. yes, it is a form of hoarding. But it isn't a bad one.

  14. Mirely @ Rumor Has It20 May 2014 at 22:56

    It's definitely an addiction. If it'll make you feel better, I share in that addiction. I not only "collect" physical books but now I find myself with like 1000+ books on my iBooks shelf and in my Kindle (EACH). I seriously need to start reading some of these books!

  15. Yes!! I do!! My local WalMart had a 2 for 3.99 book deal going on and yeah, each time I went there I would dig through the box for more books!! What can I say? Some of them were on my wishlist! And then those Free Library Boxes don't help either! They're free but no, they aren't helping my ever growing pile of books to read at home!

    I am sure book buying is an addiction just like buying anything else. Some girls love shoes and they have 70 pairs of shoes. I'm thankful that books are so much cheaper! Well, at least paperback and some ebooks are. Can't say the same thing for hardcovers.

  16. Ohmygosh, YES.
    I definitely think buying books is an addiction (and an incurable, and never ending one, I am afraid).
    I own hundreds of books. I have a tbr-own shelf on Goodreads that has near 300 books on it, and that isn't even all the books I own but have not yet read.
    But the thing is, I don't really mind. I am happy simply knowing that I have books that are sitting on my shelves and waiting to be read. I know that there will never be a time when I am in need of a book - there will ALWAYS be one there for me.
    Unfortunately, a lot of the bookstores in my area have closed down but there's this one indie store that has a really good YA range, and really good prices and I always come out of there with two or more books :D
    But I can understand you + TBD. Whilst I have never gone crazy with it, I do find myself browsing for books I am eagerly anticipating, or books that may be older but that I still want to own for various reasons.
    The prices are fantastic, especially when those in the bookstores are a bit hefty.
    Personally, I have never applied a book buying ban to myself. It would be like applying a ban on happiness. There are few things that make me happier than buying and owning books so I would never place a ban on that just to save money. There is nothing I would rather spend my money on! ^.^

  17. It's definitely an addiction! Though, lets be honest, not the worst addiction we could have. I have to restrict myself on BD... but when I do place an order, it's not small. Plus I find it hard to part with books I've enjoyed. Those I disliked I pass on or donate pretty quickly, but if I like it I keep it. I never realise how much of an issue this is until I move house... Books are heavy!