My Bookish Rules

Living far away from libraries (and basically everything useful) means I always had to buy books if I wanted to read something, even if I didn’t know if I would like the book or not. So it’s not surprising that I have accumulated a good amount of them during the last few years, until the end of 2012 when I got my beloved Kindle and I started buying ebooks. Owning Amazon’s e-reader isn’t amazing just because you can buy books from the comfort of your home and immediately read them, it’s amazing also because you can read a lot saving money and also without filling your shelves.

But no matter what, books were still cluttering my little IKEA Billy (I have a thinner version that they no longer produce), bending my shelves. Fortunately, this Summer my village got a little free library and I’ve been able to donate many books I didn’t care to keep, like those random chick-lit novels or those I didn’t enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love paper and I’m often tempted to buy new physical books when I visit bookstores. But since my living space is small, I decided to set some boundaries and I came up with some self-imposed rules to manage my impulse buys in 2018.

  • I’ll buy physical books only by my favourite authors (Tolkien, JK Rowling, Agatha Christie, etc.). I know this is a very difficult rule to follow for a bookworm, but believe me, you would try to stick with it if you’d live in a tiny space like mine.
  • I’ll buy only pretty editions. After donating tons of old books, I realized how ugly were the editions I used to pick up, obviously because I was always trying to save money, so I mostly bought the cheapest pockets/paperbacks around. Now, because of my strict rules, if I’ll buy a book, I’ll choose pretty editions, possibly hardcovers (my favourites).
  • The rest of my reading time will happen on my Kindle. Ebooks have many perks because I can highlight passages (this is why I love reading non-fiction in a digital format), read them everywhere, they don’t take any physical space, and so on.
  • Finally, before purchasing a Kindle book, I’ll always send an extract to my device first. This is such a useful service offered by Amazon, but somehow I always neglected it and directly bought the book, maybe to discover later that I didn’t enjoy the way it was written/formatted/whatever.

That’s it! This is how I plan to handle my bookish life next year. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to own a bigger bookcase and I’ll be able to reduce the number of rules for my book-buying habits.

4 thoughts on “My Bookish Rules

  1. I think these are great rules. I tend to get most books that I review in e-book format and it really does make it easier to read/review. I find that sometimes I read quicker in an e-book; I’m not really sure why. Physical books will always be my favorite though so I do still buy them – but not too often, and I’m really trying to weed out more and more of what’s just sitting on my shelves.



  2. I totally understand and love your bookish rules! I think I’ll apply some of them myself.
    Here a little backstory (you already know but others may not). For a year now I’m done with uni. I was an English major which meant I had to buy and read tons of books for uni. During my uni time, I spend most of my money to travel around. All this meant that I had no time and money to read and buy books I want. Ironically my bookshelf was still stuffed, but only with uni books most of which I’d never tough again. So throughout 2016, towards the end of my studies, I decluttered everything and kept only what I loved and would reread. My unread books were around 10 or so (not counting my unread books in my Tolkien collection). After returning from travels, I was left with money (thanks to a summer job) and the time to buy read whatever I want. And to be honest I went a bit crazy with my bookish purchases this year. Well, crazy to me at least. I’m always torn between minimalism and being a collector so I really need to stop myself for a while and start thinking “do I buy ghis because I love it or do I buy it just because I want to buy something?”.

    So here are my bookish rules for 2018 (which I’ll start today to be honest):
    For 2018, I decided to buy less (maybe even none at all) physical books.
    Until I’ve read or decluttered my Kindle, I will also limit my e-book purchases. Doesnt help much if I clutter my kindle with unread e-books.
    I will ‘shop’ my own bookshelf and read my unread books and reread my favourites.
    If I really want something new to read, I’ll check my uni library first. My uni has a decent collection of classics and a small collection of contemporary fiction. I know already that I wont find there any decent fantasy or sci-fi. So when I cant find a book there, I’ll then get it as an e-book.

    I’ve also decided to put my Tolkien collection on hold. I’ve purchased this year sooo much. Before 2017, my Tolkien collection grew slowly: one piece at a time. Now I’m like “buy all the things” and I simply don’t gave the money to spend just on my Tolkien collection. So unless it is a gift from someone, I wont buy Tolkien stuff.


    1. Love your rules!!! I already applied mine already in 2017 as well, to be honest. My parents want to get me a bigger bookcase because I have so many art/archaeology books now that I don’t have much space left and I have to keep them for future reference since I hope to work in my field one day.

      If I’ll get a bigger Billy, I’d like to display my books properly along with my Funko POPs and other trinkets, so I still want to limit my purchases. I’ll allow myself to buy other Tolkien books, only because he’s my fave, however, I decided to put on hold my Harry Potter collection. I wanted to start collecting the illustrated edition and purchase a new paperback edition (I only own the very first hardcover one in Italian), but while I justify owning 3 copies of The Hobbit because they contain different things (annotations, a new translation), it would be stupid to fill my shelves with multiple copies of HP having myself so little space in my small bedroom.


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