Thursday, April 23, 2015

Discussion Post: Bookstores and the Temptation Problem

I love bookstores. I absolutely do. The feeling you get when you walk in and you get the sensory overload of the smell of the books, the look of the cover designs, and the feel of new pristine books in your hands. I could spend hundreds of dollars in one trip, given the opportunity.

Which is why I don't go that often. I can't. I would have absolutely no money left. I am already out of room on the bookshelves. I have kept most of my school books with all of my notes in them from 5th grade on and people love to give me books as presents. Not that I'm complaining in any way.

I'm an impulse buyer and I can't be trusted with my own debit card. If it has a pretty cover, an interesting blurb and especially, if it is discounted, it is mine. This leads to a big problem though...

Last weekend, my fiance came to town and he wanted to go to the bookstore for some investing books. Knowing myself, I didn't even bring my purse. But there I was, browsing the discounted section and I found something with a pretty cover and a thick binding. Taylor bought it for me (what a good man) and it is now sitting on my bedside table waiting for me to tackle it.

Here's the problem: It's the fifth book in a series. So now I'm going to read all of the others just so I can read the one he bought me. Once again, not complaining.

But does anybody else have this problem of low impulse control in bookstores? This isn't the first time it has happened for me. I have so many second and third books in a series because I was drawn in by a cover. This has been at least partially mitigated for me by having a kindle and planning out my purchases in advance. 

But I can't be trusted in bookstores. I'm not a responsible adult. I'm a little kid in a candy store with no real supervision.

I'm sure a lot of you guys have this problem but what is your strategy for book stores? Do you have a plan and go in for one or two books or is it a free for all for what catches your eye?


  1. This is funny that you posted this, because this happened to me TODAY! I had a little "spending money" (by that I mean my fun-stuff-money-to-spend) because I already spend my actual spending money on clothes (okay I may have a small problem), however, I didn't buy any books. What I did was, I went to both big bookstores here where I live, I got like 6 books and I read a little bit of every single one of them. Yes it takes a while, but who doesn't love being in a bookshop anyway?? So, if there was a book that I LOVED TOO MUCH, and by that I MEAN LOVE, not the "love" we tell ourselves and end up buying the book and not reading it straight away, then I would purchase it. However, I honestly didn't absolutely loved every single book I picked. If I had extra money that day I would probably purchase a few, BUT, since I didn't and had to buy other stuff, it was good to know those books can wait. Plus, what's the best place to see if a book is worth buying then a bookshop? I actually found out a few books that I WOULD NOT buy, by doing this! I don't know if it helps, but it has definitely helped me :) Great post! I am sorry for talking so much D:

    Paranoid Puppet @

    1. That sounds like an awesome strategy. I'll have to try it. My usual method is to take pictures of the cover on my phone and save it for later. Look it up on GR and see if anybody else likes it.

      Thanks for commenting! It looks like you have a good way of avoiding the temptation of bookstores. I spend all of my money on shoes so I know the pain.

  2. Whenever I go to bookstores, I come home with books that I didn’t intend to buy. I think it’s because I can SEE the books in bookstores. On Amazon, I only search for the books that I know I want to buy. That’s why I do most of my shopping on Amazon. There’s less temptation.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Exactly. Book stores are just a free for all. "I want that one and that one and that bookmark and Ooh! A Sheldon bobblehead!"

  3. I definitely have this problem too. While I can generally restrict myself to one book, if I go into a bookshop with money, I will be leaving it with a book as well (and slightly less money). Same goes for records stores, which is even worse because a vinyl record can cost anything from €15-€35. Anyway, I don't really think there's any way to stop yourself from buying books except from not going to bookshops. As I'm just 16 I only really have money around Christmas and my birthday (except I have a summer job for three weeks in August so I'll practically be a millionaire then) so I end up abstaining from book buying due to simple lack of money, rather than lack of will. Great post and I can completely relate to it!

    1. There's always at least one store that everybody in this world can go into and be excessively tempted. Book stores, jewelry stores, vinyl stores, art stores, asian grocery stores (two foot long chop sticks? sign me up!). The biggest problem is restricting what you need versus what you desperately want!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!