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.


6 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.

    Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  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.

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    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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  3. This is such a great thing to follow! I’ve done extremely well on not buying books this year and sticking to my rule of ‘if the TBR shelf is full, NO MORE BOOK BUYING!’. So far, so good!

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