Bookish To A Fault (1) - Confessions of a Bookaholic

Monday, April 28, 2014 10:20 PM

I'm so excited to introduce my new original feature Bookish to a Fault. Bookish to a Fault is basically where I confess my nonsensical and/or shameful reading habits and bookish behaviors. I hope these posts will act as a reality check because I'm often in denial when it comes to my ridiculous self.

Confessions of a Bookaholic 

For my first Bookish to a Fault, I chose a topic that I seriously need to address since it concerns my wallet. I just need to come out and say it: "Hi, my name is Courtney and I'm a bookaholic". I've admitted this to myself and to others many a time even though my admission has yet to solve anything. I frequently buy books when I still have tons of unread books waiting for me at home. It is an addiction. It's why I have to avoid bookstores like the plague because every time I go to a bookstore, I find myself searching for books to buy just because I can. Because I have that power! I see a book that has a nice cover or that I've been meaning to read for some time, and I'm a goner. From the outside, I may appear to be calmly holding a book in my hand, admiring the cover and contemplating its merits. But on the inside, my logical and irrational halves are engaged in all-out war.

My logical half is asking myself "Do I reallllllyyyyy need this when I have a million other books to read at home? And should I even be considering this ill-advised purchase when I should be saving up and paying off college loans so I'm not still in debt when I'm old and decrepit and have a million cats?" And my irrational side always answers....YES.

It's not that I need the book. No, I need oxygen and food to live, but I don't live on books. I don't need it; I just want it more than anything else at that exact moment. I forget about bills and clothes and sustenance as soon as a beautiful cover catches my eye. It's almost like I'm possessed every time I enter a bookstore. I leave the store with my purchase in hand, but I don't feel like it was me who bought the book(s). Oh no. Something inside of me took over and I really had no choice in the matter. Or at least that's what I'd like to believe...

I find myself thinking, "What if I want to read this book next week? It will be so convenient to just have it right there on my bookshelf." But does that ever happen? Do I ever buy books and immediately read them when I get home? No. There have been times when I cannot bear waiting even another second to read my new book. I will read books right away if they are new releases I have been dying to read, but this is a rare occurrence. Usually what happens is I forget I even bought the book until much later. I will be suffering from one of my bouts of indecisiveness, and I will come across that book I just had to buy weeks or months or even years ago, and then I may or may not read it then. Sometimes, I wonder what I was thinking when I bought it, and those moments leave me feeling guilt-ridden. Once again, I realize I have a problem, and it's not going anywhere as long as I'm in denial.

But it gets worse. I actually try to hide my book buying addiction from my family members. When I come home from a bookstore, I will try to sneak the books upstairs before my parents notice. That's how ashamed I feel! I know that I don't need any more books and that I should read my unread books before I buy more, but I just can't seem to help myself. I love knowing that I'm building up a little library, even though I hardly ever make a dent in my TBR pile.

When I step into a Barnes & Noble or any bookstore, I feel like I'm in a candy shop and all these tantalizing sweets have been set out to torture me. And I can't help thinking, "Courtney, you deserve this! It was a long week so why not treat yourself to some well-earned books? And while you're at it, why not throw in a bookmark?! You've already lost all of your dignity so why not?"

I try to justify my behavior by listing all of the valid reasons why I should buy books in excess:

  • What if we run low on paper and books become a rarity? It could clever of me to buy them ahead of time just in case.
  • Books could become extinct. I should save them from their eventual demise. Yeah, this sounds insane...
  • It's better that I'm addicted to buying books than buying cocaine. I picked the right addiction.
  • I'm supporting bookstores! Well, I didn't save Borders, but I can still help out Barnes & Noble and other local bookstores. And I have a B&N membership so why not?
  • They look nice on my bookshelves?
  • Many bookstores have cafes. I love hot tea and books. So, I should go to bookstores and buy both. It only makes sense. 
  • You can never have too many books! I think...
That wasn't the most convincing list. But what about you guys? Do you buy books when you still have ones that you haven't read yet? Do you frequent bookstores like I do?


  1. I'm actually ridiculously good about buying books because I only buy them if I know I'm going to re-read a novel, but the problem with me is that buying books just makes me happy and every time I'm feeling even remotely upset, I just buy them and it's a vicious cycle where I use money to make myself happy. Not good. I totally feel you about this addiction, Courtney, but it's totally better than cocaine and who says we don't need books to live, heh? ;)

    1. Gahhhh I envy your self-control :P And I know exactly what you mean. Buying books always makes me feel better no matter how upset I was before. It's like medicine haha

  2. I think your valid reasons for buying books list is spot on! lol They are 100% totally legit reasons so I don't think you should feel ashamed about being addicted to books. :) You do want a nice big library one day don't you? hehe ;)

    I don't buy a lot of books, maybe one a month tops, (even though I totally wish I did) because of two things. One, I am very poor. Two, I work at a library, and therefore have access to a crap loud of free books five days a week while I'm there.

    1. I'm jealous that you work at a library and are surrounded by books five days a week! That's definitely an awesome job! and you're right. I do want a big library. Maybe not the size of the one in Beauty and the Beast though that would be nice...if only :D

  3. I'm a minimalist so not usually but I hear ya. It's hard. They're so friendly and inviting.

    1. And the covers are so pretty and the spines look so nice all lined up on the shelf! Gahhh haha


  4. Yay! Glad to see your first post for this feature!
    ha I don't think you really avoid bookstores like the plague. It feels like most weekends when I text you what you've been up to, you tell me that you stopped at a Barnes & Noble lol.

    I don't go to bookstores nearly as often, but when I do get the chance to go to my local indie I almost always buy something just so I can support it. I don't think physical books are going anywhere any time soon, but I do think physical bookstores are in trouble.
    And, like you said, if you've got to have some addiction, this is way better than so many other ones...

    1. haha okay maybe I don't avoid bookstores like the plague, but that is something I should do cause it never ends well. Though last weekend, I went to Barnes & Noble and only bought one book instead of my usual two. That's progress I guess :P And I'm happy to hear you're supporting local stores. I wish I knew of one but all I've been to is the Books 4 Less.

  5. Yep. I totally have a buying addiction. That is why I only allow myself to go into used bookstores. We have a handful of Half Priced Bookstores in my city which is so awesome. They have wonderful clearance sections where books are marked at only $1 or $2. I buy books from there all the time...and then they just sit on my shelves because my Kindle is always overstocked with e-arcs and I usually have all the brand new releases checked out from my library so I never have time to read books I own. It's silly, but I just love seeing all those pretty books on my shelves. Great post!

  6. Ah yes, tale as old as time for us book lovers. Good on you for not becoming a cocaine addict - you definitely deserve a book for that one! Heh. Seriously entertaining post, Courtney!! I've mostly broken free of this addiction because I'm so super cheap that I can't bring myself to pay bookstore prices, even though I enjoy frequenting bookstores myself. Of course, then I go online and just purchase books that way so that doesn't make me a whole lot better. I've seen other people make a rule that they won't allow themselves to buy a new book until they've read 2 or 3 of the unread books sitting on their shelves so it's a type of motivation and it's a way of getting your unread books total down. Seems like a good idea - now just to get myself to actually do it!

  7. I think that many of us struggle with this. I will put myself on a book buying ban every once in awhile. It helps me concentrate on books that I already own and books that I have for review, but book bans are made to be broken.
    -Flirting with Fiction


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