Why I Buy So Many Books

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Every time I post a book haul, I inevitably get a comment along the lines of “WOW! That’s a lot of books!” Yeah, I know. I buy A LOT of books. More than any person in their right mind would buy. Clearly, I have an addiction. But if I have to be addicted to something, buying books is not so bad. I don’t spend a lot of money on anything else. I don’t really go out to dinner, I don’t get my nails done, I rarely go to the movies. I just buy books. (I also currently don’t pay rent, so that helps.) But that’s just how I justify my over-the-top book buying habits. The reason is really simple:

I am in love with the idea of having my own library. I have been ever since I watched Beauty and the Beast when I was three.

Books are a priority for me, plain and simple. I know I don’t need to own them all, but I want to. I love being surrounded by books all the time. It makes me happy to look at the shelf and relive the satisfaction I got from reading a certain book **cough** War & Peace **cough**, or remember how much I loved a story. Books definitely shaped who I am, so, to me, it’s important to keep those parts of me.

But I’m not just surrounding myself with memories, I’m surrounding myself with potential. At any given moment, on my bookshelves, I have the potential to read something that will change my life, entertain myself for a few hours when I’m having a bad day, learn something new, travel across the world,  or put myself in someone else’s shoes for a day. I can go anywhere and learn anything, and it’s all right at my fingertips.

Being surrounded by both books I have read and books I have yet to read just makes me really happy. I’ve had a tough few months this year, and the one thing I found that helped calm me when my anxiety got out of control was just looking at my books. Even when I was too exhausted or upset to read them. I knew they were there.

There is no friend as loyal as a book. – Ernest Hemingway

Okay, maybe I’m a crazy book lady, but I don’t care. They make me happy when everything else in my life sucks. And I’m really not willing to give that up.

Yes, I know I could buy ebooks and audiobooks and go to the library and not end up with dangerously huge stacks of books (especially in earthquake country). And I do all those things. But I really just like having the physical copies. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing them without having to open my iPad. I’ll never get tired of looking at books, and I will never regret having too many books.

I am by no means saying you should adopt my book buying habits. I realize they’re completely impractical for most people. But to each their own. I have absolutely zero regrets about buying the number of books I do. Even when I lose interest, I’m happy to pass it on to someone who might enjoy it more and may not have my budget for books.

So, I know I buy an insane amount of books. But it makes me happy.

23 thoughts on “Why I Buy So Many Books

  1. This is so sweet. I’m sad that it seems you feel/are judged for buying so many books, I mean, it’s such a harmless thing to do! If someone spends hundreds on a shoe, or a gaming mouse, or other expensive hobbies, people aren’t really so shocked, but somehow buying lots of books does that. I love that you’re building your own Beauty and the Beast library!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I don’t really feel judged, because I completely understand how the number of books I put in my hauls can be a bit shocking compared to most book hauls (and I love books more than I care what other people think). And I agree – my sister spends hundreds on her nails and alcohol every month (things I don’t buy), why can’t I spend the same on books?

      I mostly just wrote this post because I get that my book hauls look kind of insane, and just wanted to share a bit of my reasoning behind it, and why I like having so many books.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is awesome and very positive – I love it! 🙂

    I love how it’s not just memories but the potential from having books. I finally got a bookshelf a few months ago and I’ve been excited to add to it. Just need to find a way to get all my books from my parent’s house to where I’m at now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      Best of luck with moving your books! (I lived right across the street from a used bookstore in college and my parents wanted to kill me when it was time to move back across the country.) I love the excitement of filling a new bookshelf. It’s the best!

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  3. I also love being surrounded by the memories of all the books I’ve read and loved. Sometimes I go and just look at my bookshelf and feel a sense of accomplishment and also just HAPPY. But compared to a lot of book bloggers I don’t buy that many books. Money and space are both a concern for me with 2 small children. Lately I’ve taken to checking everything out from the library (talk about potential, SO MANY BOOKS!!!!) and only purchasing the 5-star books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! And I completely get that other people have different situations that don’t allow them to go as crazy as I do. I have some space where I can prioritize books, and no kids. And I can’t afford rent where I live, so I live with my parents and have a bit of disposable income (for books). So I’m going overboard now because I can. Also, my library isn’t great. But I’m glad that other people have that opportunity and that you’re building a collection of books you absolutely love.

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  4. I feel you! I’m, too, in love with the idea of having a personal library. I’m a student and I have no source of income from a job, so I buy only paperback books or used copies. I have around 150 books, and I have finished my space, I’ve started stacking books in piles in the corners of my room. I just wish, one day, to be an old lady, standing in the center of a room covered in bookshelves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the dream! Every time I browse for apartments, I have to check if they have a nice wall for bookshelves haha. (Also, as a student, the dollar charity bookstores near my house helped a lot. You should check and see if there are any near you.)

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  5. I completely understand the desire to have a home library! I read a lot of books on audio and from the library as well, but when I pick up ones that I really love I will buy my own copy at some point. I also think that sometimes people comment on the number of books someone buys because they take up physical space and they are a visual representation of the amount of money that was spent on them, whereas it’s hard to get the same vibe from someone who gets their nails done often, or buys video games, or goes to the movies, etc. At the end of the day though, if you’re making you’re own money you get to decide what you spend it on, and you should spend it on what makes you happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I do the same thing. If I read the book in audio or ebook format or borrow it from the library and love it, I need to own it eventually. And I totally agree! I know people who spend far more money on movies and dinners out than I do on books, so it’s just a different thing I’m choosing to spend my money on. I don’t regret it at all. (Books are forever, nail polish will come off sooner or later, right? I have no problem painting my own nails and buying books instead.)

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