Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

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General > Confessions of a book addict

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message 1: by Debra (new)

Debra Harrison (bookcollecting101) | 11 comments Hi, all. I have always felt that real success in life would be to retire with a library of books which are waiting to be read and books that are well read and well loved...

When I hit 55, I realized it was time to do something about a home library. I went on a shopping spree over about 6 month on ebay and spent $12,000.00 (That is twelve Thousand dollars) on books - mostly signed or fine bound books.

My partner put an abrupt stop to it but over the past month or so I have been book buying again on Amazon. I have dozens of new books now waiting to be read - to say nothing of all the hundreds of books from ebay.

I have even found that it can effect my enjoyment of the book I am reading as I know I have so many great books waiting to be read that I have little patience for any author who wanders or whose book does not flow well.

Yet, I am always interested in what my favorite authors have coming out next. Many books are preorders so I get them as soon as they hit the warehouse at Amazon - sometimes even before they are released in stores...

I stress over it (not because I feel bad about it myself) but because my partner feels it is self indulgent and wasteful (I could read from the library). We are not exactly broke but we have not worked in a while and there is a limit to funds available.

I am a 3 time cancer survivor and she was terminated from her job because she was a whistleblower over a year ago.

I know I should curtail my book buying but find myself browsing ABE, Powells, Amazon and Barnes & Noble sites... What is a girl to do?

Part of it may be because my close connection with death. I really get that we are here for a finite period of time because of cancer and other health issues. But I need to be much more considerate of my partner...

I think I need a support group... Book Buyers Annonymous...


message 2: by Rosalie (new)

Rosalie Sambuco I will certainly join your BBA group. I am also helplessly addicted to buying books. I have been disabled since 1992. I was in a major car wreck in 1993 - Had a kidney transplant in 2004 but I have not regained my health completely. I tire so easily but not while I am reading. I have many books not read; but I am always ready to go to the bookstore.


message 3: by Debra (new)

Debra Harrison (bookcollecting101) | 11 comments Do you find that having a shelf full of books waiting to be read can make you impatient with what you are currently reading?

I was giving a review of a book and had to honestly say that all my waiting books may have influenced my lack of patience with the author...

If I don't have stacks of books waiting, I tend to have a more forgiving nature for authors varied "techniques"... but with other good books to be read, I find myself thinking... "Why am I waisting my time with this..."

Am I the only one who has noticed this?


message 4: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (26kathryn) | 42 comments I get impatient too. I sometimes wish I could read everything at once.

If I'm halfway through a book and then I get a new one that I really want to read I find it very hard not to abandon the current book in favour of the new one!


message 5: by Rosalie (new)

Rosalie Sambuco Yes, I think all my books is one of the reasons that I read more than one at a time. I am so impatient to read the newer book that I will usually start it as soon as it arrives. If the current book being read is kind of dragging; I will put it down for the new book. I cannot force myself to finish a book I am not enjoying. Life is too short to read bad books. I did force myself to finish THE POSTMISTRESS. I kept thinking that something would tie the book together. It never happened IMHO.


message 6: by Debra (new)

Debra Harrison (bookcollecting101) | 11 comments I am one of those who - almost - always finishes a book. I won't force myself to read a really terrible book but I rarely buy a really terrible book.

I find suggestions online (I found a suggestion for Saving Cee Cee Honeycit from Goodreads, for example. I also get referrals from places like NPR Book section and from reading reviews like those found on Goodreads and other sites...).

I also have favorite authors and am likely to pre-order upcoming books.

Despite the urge to jump to newly purchased books, I stick with one book at a time til it is finished.

This provides a bit of structure in an otherwise totally unstructured life :-}


message 7: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 1863 comments Mod
I very rarely read more than one book at a time and I also very rarely do not finish a book I've started, it has to be really awful for me not reach the end of it.


message 8: by Susan (Suz) (new)

Susan (Suz) (sharney) What he said :):)


message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments Bluemoon wrote: "Joseph wrote: "I very rarely read more than one book at a time and I also very rarely do not finish a book I've started, it has to be really awful for me not reach the end of it."

sigh...unfortun..."


I think I've started too many series, and I need to work on finishing them. I'm always abandoning one series for the next, and I need to stop that. But, I honestly spend more time on goodreads, reading about books, and buying books than I spend reading books.


message 10: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 2 comments I notice that too. If I have a full book self, full of beautiful books waiting to be read, I usually rush through a book, but if I have just a few unread books, I take my time and read the book longer. I guess I can't wait to fill my head with all those stories when there just sitting there..waiting..


message 11: by Debra (new)

Debra Harrison (bookcollecting101) | 11 comments It is just too tempting, isn't it? The obvious solution would to buy fewer books so I do not have a stack of books waiting to be read... That may be obvious - but it would also mean foregoing the book buying urges... Which IS why I joined this goup... I am a book buying addict :-} Now, that does not bother me as much as my partner wishes it would, but, if I hear of a good book to read - I go right out and buy it. We are going to have to move soon I guess - not enough room for us and the books.


message 12: by Kel (new)

Kel (kelpeterson) It's true. It's hard to keep slogging through a slow, not-so-great book when you know there's a new one by a favorite author, staring at you from the shelf, saying, "Read me!"

Actually, college kind of quelled my book buying tendencies. My reading time/free time of any sort went down to the bare minimum. I've only really picked up again recently with this temporary reprieve from 6 course semesters. ^^

Although, college also seems to have made me a much pickier reader. The lack of reading time makes me less patient with books I'm not really enjoying. I get enough torture from textbooks. No need to inflict it upon myself unnecessarily. :)


message 13: by Michelle (last edited Apr 04, 2010 08:08AM) (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments Kell wrote: "It's true. It's hard to keep slogging through a slow, not-so-great book when you know there's a new one by a favorite author, staring at you from the shelf, saying, "Read me!"

Actually, college ki..."


I was the same way when I was in school. I felt guilty when I did read something just for the fun of it, when there was always studying, or other things to be done for one class or another. It seemed like a year or more had gone by after graduation, and I probably read 5 books if that, and hardly bought any. Then, my reading/ buying habits returned with a vengeance, LOL!


message 14: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments Debra wrote: "Do you find that having a shelf full of books waiting to be read can make you impatient with what you are currently reading?

Yes! When you have so many books waiting to be read, its hard to have patience with something that doesn't grab you right away. Sometimes, I find myself rushing through one book, just so I can get to the next one.


message 15: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany (herbtiff) | 411 comments I hear ya! I notice that I get impatient enough and start a book while reading another book. Then I get overwhelmed.


message 16: by Schnaucl (new)

Schnaucl | 43 comments Debra wrote: "Do you find that having a shelf full of books waiting to be read can make you impatient with what you are currently reading? "

Yes, though in my case it's library books. I actually do have a bookcase full of books I own but haven't read but unlike library books, they don't have a due date. For a while I was pretty good about alternating between books I own and library books but unfortunately I've gotten away from that. It's hard when I have 25 books checked out at once.

Most of the time I have at least one book going. If I'm reading non-fiction I usually have a fiction book going at the same time. I occasionally also have an anthology going where I'll read one story or so a day and spend the rest of the time on my primary book.


message 17: by Debra (new)

Debra Harrison (bookcollecting101) | 11 comments I have been meaning to start getting library books but just do not seem to get to it. It is too convenient to have Amazon and Barnes & Noble right here on my computer.

I seldom read more than one book at a time with the exception of short stories. I have to be reading almost at all times. I will read a cereal box if nothing else is available... so I sometimes have short story books in (yes she is really going to say it...) in the john. I ccasionally keep books in there that I think I "should" read. The Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy was in there for the longest time before I finally gave up on it (some things are just TOOOOO boring - I would have been better off with the cereal box...) smile -


message 18: by Schnaucl (new)

Schnaucl | 43 comments Debra wrote: "I have been meaning to start getting library books but just do not seem to get to it. It is too convenient to have Amazon and Barnes & Noble right here on my computer."

Honestly, I think a big part of why I use it so frequently is that it's literally on the way home from work.

Anthologies make for good bathroom reading ;)


message 19: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments Schnaucl wrote: "Debra wrote: "I have been meaning to start getting library books but just do not seem to get to it. It is too convenient to have Amazon and Barnes & Noble right here on my computer."

Honestly, I t..."


Anthologies for the bathroom? Excellent idea!


message 20: by Michelle (last edited Apr 20, 2010 04:23AM) (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments I only feel comfortable coming here and confessing. Within the last 2 weeks, I've bought over 90 books. Granted, they were only 50 cents each, but I have no more space. I just went to the book sales, and saw so many books that I just went crazy, and started grabbing anything that I thought looked good. I've decided to give some to my mother in an attempt to ease my guilt. :)


message 21: by Debra (new)

Debra Harrison (bookcollecting101) | 11 comments Yes, Michelle, you are an addict... Have you ever gotten home with your "finds" before only to discover that you already had one (or a few) of the books you just bought or (even worse) that you had already read one? Just a couple more guilty secrets of a true blue BOOKADDICT... I can see a whole new branch of psychiatry targeting our "kind". We are everywhere - despite the fact that fewer and fewer folks actually read at all anymore. Not sure of the exact statistics - they are staggering - about how many folks never read one other book after leaving school.. That's IT. Maybe we are needed There have to be folks who read and treasure books in the world - doesn't there - doesn't there???


message 22: by Debra (new)

Debra Harrison (bookcollecting101) | 11 comments I googled the statistics. Here they are:

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.

80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

57 percent of new books are not read to completion.

70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.

70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.

(Source: Jerold Jenkins, www.JenkinsGroupInc.com)



53 percent read fiction, 43 percent read nonfiction. The favorite fiction category is mystery and suspence, at 19 percent.

55 percent of fiction is bought by women, 45 percent by men.

(Source: Publishers Weekly)



About 120,000 books are published each year in the U.S.

(Source: www.bookwire.com)


A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies.

A successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies.

(Source: Authors Guild, www.authorsguild.org)


On average, a bookstore browser spends 8 seconds looking at a book's front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back cover.

(Source: Para Publishing, www.parapub.com)



Each day in the U.S., people spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.

(Source: Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment banker)

Amazing - I am awfully glad the rest of you are out there...


message 23: by Rosalie (new)

Rosalie Sambuco Very interesting stats.....I, also, am glad the rest of us are out here. Lately we have been turning off the tv in the evenings and reading. Both, my husband and I say we are sleeping much better after reading instead of watching.


message 24: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments Debra wrote: "Yes, Michelle, you are an addict... Have you ever gotten home with your "finds" before only to discover that you already had one (or a few) of the books you just bought or (even worse) that you had..."

Well, I got home from last Saturday's library sale, it was only when I was sorting my books, that I realized that for 2 copies of 2 different books. That's what happens when you're grabbing like crazy, lol!


message 25: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments Debra wrote: "I googled the statistics. Here they are:

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

42 percent of college graduates never read another book after coll..."


The finding that 80% of US families did not buy, or read a book last year is disturbing to me.


message 26: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments Rosalie wrote: "Very interesting stats.....I, also, am glad the rest of us are out here. Lately we have been turning off the tv in the evenings and reading. Both, my husband and I say we are sleeping much better..."

Sleeping better? That's a great reason to turn the tv off and read more!


message 27: by Schnaucl (new)

Schnaucl | 43 comments Debra wrote: "I googled the statistics. Here they are"

Wow. That's pretty incredible. Thanks for sharing!

I'm lucky, reading was always encouraged in the house where I grew up. Both my parents read, my dad more than my mom these days. My brother read a lot too and now encourages his kids to read.

I wonder how the statistics break down in terms of gender. I remember reading somewhere that men vastly prefer non-fiction but most people I know read a combination of both.


message 28: by Janice (last edited Apr 21, 2010 03:38PM) (new)

Janice (citereh) I am so glad to have found more book addicts like myself! Twenty six years ago, I moved off an island and had to pay per pound to move my belongings to the mainland. I also had children, furniture, etc. and so I reluctantly sold/gave away 10 big boxes of books. I kept quite a few boxes also. Then a year later, I moved into a single wide mobile home! This by necessity kept my collection to a minimum, though I had books everywhere. Ten years ago, different home, my house burned down. ALL of my books were gone! Some of them are still missed, as good friends who have passed on. Some were replaced with new copies. The memory of that fire has prompted me to catalog my book inventory in an Excel file which is backed up.

I live in a small house again and have slowly been collecting for the last ten years. My collecting has picked up speed lately, even though I am totally out of space for them! Sometimes I bring home a new book and discover that I already own it. I should carry around a copy of the Excel file. I collect books much faster than I can read them (which is the point, so that there are always shelves of books yet to get to), and the acquisition of a new book sometimes causes me to put down the one I am reading if it isn't really good. I see my husband frown on this practice though.

I like to loan books to other readers so we can discuss them, but only if the books are returned. I tend to be possessive of a book if I care about it. I don't know very many readers though except for my husband, daughters and grandchildren, and we all have different tastes. I have even collected some favorite childrens books so my grandchildren can find a book to read when they visit.

I prefer hardcover books and I read both fiction and non-fiction. My dream would be to turn the spare bedroom into a library. I love to read books, and I love the look of them on the shelves. I have them arranged by subject matter and author. When I find a new, favorite author, I look for everything that author wrote. I work full time and never have enough time to read, but they will be waiting for me when I retire. My house would be cleaner if I didn't love to read!

The rate at which I buy new books varies. I buy new and used. I live in a small town with only one bookstore. I visit book stores in other towns as often as I can, and am a frequent buyer at Amazon, Alibris and Ebay. I also love to read ABOUT books, so I read reviews. When I was young and broke, I used the library much, much more than I do now. Our small town library doesn't always have what I want. And I prefer to own them.


message 29: by Shannon (new)

Shannon  (bookjunkie57) | 353 comments It's been over two weeks since I've purchased a book. However I've made multiple library trips and have developed a new addiction to free ebooks. I've exhausted both Kindle and Barns and Noble's free offerings and found a few other places to pick up free ereads too. I love expanding my collection and learning about different authors that I might not have bought a book from but I must confess, I don't get the same rush as I do when I get home with a fresh new book in hand.


message 30: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Logan (Tnashes) | 10 comments Rosalie wrote: "I will certainly join your BBA group. I am also helplessly addicted to buying books. I have been disabled since 1992. I was in a major car wreck in 1993 - Had a kidney transplant in 2004 but I ha..."
I just joined and your comment hit a cord in me. I was in a car wreck in 2006 and had spinal surgery 6 months after, which I found out later should have been immediately instead of months later. I am on a lot of meds and reading is my one enjoyment. That and watching movies with my hubby and being with my puppy. He encourages my book buying and reading a lot. He is really good about that. I am sorry to hear your story and I hate to hear of anyone that has been in a bad wreck. I was hit by a log truck and I am still trying to settle with their insurance and that is a PAIN! I wish you well and lots of wonderful reading!


message 31: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Logan (Tnashes) | 10 comments Guys, I also must admit that I too have bought 2 of the same books more than once. Recently it was Evermore. I was back at Wal-Mart and had actually forgotten that my hubby had bought it for me lol! I guess when you have about 500 books, 75-90 of them waiting to be read, you forget what you have. I am going to have to start keeping a file like the one lady on here lol! Glad to know I am not alone in all this book madness!


message 32: by Angelika (new)

Angelika | 7 comments I keep a list in my purse so I won't double buy...even then I'm not sure sometimes in case I've forgotten to cross purchases off my list.


message 33: by Annallise (new)

Annallise (annalises) | 2 comments Angelika wrote: "I keep a list in my purse so I won't double buy...even then I'm not sure sometimes in case I've forgotten to cross purchases off my list." I have given up on trying to keep a list. Somwtimes I'll double buy and sometimes I'll have someone recommend a book and i won't have my list. I'll forfet the name of the book and a few days later I be looking through the book store thing what was the name of that book? which is a problem I guess you have wether you have a list or not but it seems to me like I actually forget things more if I write them down, I dont't know if that makes sense though.


message 34: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments I have a few duplicates. I usually end up buying them at the used bookstore, or a library sale where I'm just grabbing everything I see. Since I go to bookstores so much, I think I better start keeping a list. Someone in this group once mentioned keeping a list on their blackberry. I'm not sure who, but I thought that was a really good idea if you're able to do that.


message 35: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Logan (Tnashes) | 10 comments I used to keep lists but they were on paper and it all fell apart lol! So...I've started a new one in a sturdier notebook!


message 36: by Edward (last edited Jun 05, 2010 06:19PM) (new)

Edward Lengel (edwardlengel) | 4 comments Debra, these statistics are fascinating and consoling for me, both as an author, and as a book-buying addict!

There are worse things in the world than buying piles and piles of books, even if I only have time right now to read about 70 a year, especially when I see, as your statistics point out, that most people hardly read at all.


message 37: by Edward (new)

Edward Lengel (edwardlengel) | 4 comments I don't keep a list of the books I own, which would be next to impossible to maintain. What would I do when these bulk paperback shipments come in from ebay!?!?

On the other hand, since 1995 I've kept a list of the books I've read, which has helped prevent some duplication, and besides it's fun to look over. Goodreads has been a great help in completing and expanding that list to include books I can remember having read earlier, although alas! there have got to be many dozens more I've forgotten.

Michelle wrote: "I have a few duplicates. I usually end up buying them at the used bookstore, or a library sale where I'm just grabbing everything I see. Since I go to bookstores so much, I think I better start k..."


message 38: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Tavana (mamavik) | 16 comments Schnaucl wrote: "Debra wrote: "Do you find that having a shelf full of books waiting to be read can make you impatient with what you are currently reading? "

Yes, though in my case it's library books. I actually ..."


Debra wrote: "I have been meaning to start getting library books but just do not seem to get to it. It is too convenient to have Amazon and Barnes & Noble right here on my computer.

I seldom read more than on..."


I do that too! My mother used to do that; my dad and brothers used to call it the library; since it was the one place to read where she didn't get interrupted. I cannot make myself finish a book I am not enjoying especially if I have one by a favorite author that I KNOW I will enjoy.


message 39: by Angelika (new)

Angelika | 7 comments Edward wrote: "I don't keep a list of the books I own, which would be next to impossible to maintain.

The list I keep with me is not what I own (too many books for that kind of list), but a list of ones I'm looking for plus new (and upcoming) releases.



message 40: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Tavana (mamavik) | 16 comments Jan wrote: "I am so glad to have found more book addicts like myself! Twenty six years ago, I moved off an island and had to pay per pound to move my belongings to the mainland. I also had children, furniture,..."

I also collect; at one point I had 7 tall bookshelves in my bedroom, overflowing with books, and had more in storage- I made the mistake of getting rid of some when I moved and then when I wanted to reread a certain story I no longer had it and couldn't get it again at the bookstore since it was out of print. I learned my lesson- Any book by certain authors automatically gets saved and will not go anywhere! I also have discovered I have several copies of the same book when I have bought many books at once and sometimes since I have so many stored I will buy a second copy on purpose when I really want to read this particular book and can't find mine..


Elise-Pinterest+Goodreads=The Perfect Book Boyfriend (eliselovesshinyandnew) | 15 comments I am a book addict also, but now I can hide the addiction with my Kindle. No longer does my husband see overflowing bookshelves or books that I have not read yet. All tucked safely on the Kindle. Unfortunately, I found an auction site that sold Amazon gift cards on auction. I spent nearly as much on the site as I won, however, I ended up with 75.00 credit on my Amazon account. I have vowed to close the account because it is becoming like a gambling habit. I don't want anything but Amazon gift cards. Anyway, that's my confession.


message 42: by Tayla36 (new)

Tayla36 | 14 comments Hello, my name is tayla and I am a book buying addict.

Fortunately for me, about 3 years ago I discovered Library book sales. In the past three years I would say my book collection has tripled, maybe even quaddrupled. I live in a densely populated area and there are at least 8 libraries in easy driving distance.

I have converted my basement into a den and I have 8 bookshelves that house my Scifi/Fantasy collection (about 1600 books).

And I have 3 bookshelves in my bedroom that house the mysteries and general fiction and non fiction. And a small bookcase in the hallway that houses the Stephen King collection.

I recently joined this group, and I have been reading over some of the posts.

Debra wrote: Do you find that having a shelf full of books waiting to be read can make you impatient with what you are currently reading?

I joined the 50 Books a Year club here on goodreads, and that is what now makes me impatient with what I'm currently reading. I want to make that 50 a year, so I don't force myself to keep reading, I move on to another that might interest me more.

Somebody mentioned buying two of the same book. I have come home from a library book sale with two of the same book from that sale. They were different editions, so they had different covers, so I don't feel too bad. Sometimes I will just grab books by certain authors without reading the back of the book. That's what happened that time.

Before I had my books organized, they were kept in boxes in two different houses. If I couldn't find the book I wanted to re-read, I would go to the bookstore and buy another. Since my books are now organized, a lot of those duplicates have gone up on BookMooch. (Except for the Tolkien. I have four different copies of LotR.) I also like to collect omnibus editions of series, so when I get the omnibus, the individual volumes go up on BookMooch.

The thing with BookMooch is, I don't like to let go of my books. Luckily for me, my mother does not hold on to hers. So I list her old books on BookMooch, and I can get stuff that I want.


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