I’m trying to remember when I even went on this year’s book buying ban? I posted about book buying bans in general back at the end of May (warning: that post is realllllll feisty), but I talked about one with Erin at the beginning of April. I’m a big fan of them because they really help me keep track of my TBR and my spending, and while I normally have exceptions to the ban (I bought books for Pride), I’m usually pretty good at following them.

This has probably been the longest book buying ban that I’ve been on, and that is 100% because my reading has taken a huge nosedive this year. Though I’ve been reading consistently, way more than I have in years prior, I haven’t been reading a lot. I wouldn’t even say the quality is up, so that’s why the quantity is down. I’m just not reading a ton, and honestly, some of the quality has been pretty low. But because I’m not reading a lot, my TBR spilled straight out of my bookshelves and onto my floor back in April, and that is a huge problem.

I’ve talked before about how small my room is, and having books on the floor is just absolutely not a thing that can happen. I tripped over and banged into that stack of books probably daily over the last several months. I only recently read enough to not have books on the floor, so it’s been a long while working my way through that stack. I also recently did away with my TBR cart and replaced it entirely with an actual three-shelf bookcase, which has helped in a lot of ways. Not only was I able to put all of my unread books on the three shelves, but it’s given me extra shelf space on my main bookcases, which was sorely needed.

Anyway, long story short, have I maintained my book buying ban? Let’s say I set it, officially, on April 1st. I’m going to open up my Barnes & Noble account and be a hard ass about this. I will note that I’m not including preorders when we talk about bans because those are past purchases, and I’m always going to support my favorite authors. And there have been a lot of preorders since April, both for this year and next.

Ah ha! I’ve found some culprits.

I did buy a huge stack of books for Pride, though those were expected and already factored into the ban. I’m very proud to see that I didn’t buy anything outside of birthday presents for other people right up until September, when I bought A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee and The Marvelous by Claire Kann. Lee was because I wanted to read it for the magical readathon in Orilium, and I did read it less than a month after I bought it. Kann was because I had no idea that she’d written another book, and she’s one of my favorite authors, and I do plan on reading it soon.

Shirley Jackson, however, is the real culprit here, which feels fitting, and I’m blaming it entirely on Victoria Lee. A Lesson in Vengeance had such Hill House vibes, both the show and book, and it kept referencing Jackson, and I just–I’ve only read The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and both were amazing, so I deserve to read more, so I bought three more. I ended up with Dark Tales, a collection of Jackson’s short stories, because it felt appropriate for the season, but I also snagged The Road Through the Wall and The Bird’s Nest, too. I have no idea if they’re also horror, or what they’re about (don’t tell me if you do), but Jackson was an acclaimed horror writer, so I think it’s safe to say these are going to scare me just as much as her others have.

However, outside of these five books, I haven’t bought a single damn thing! Even when I went away to see both Erin & Sara, I didn’t buy anything! That’s kind of a lie, I bought a copy of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, but a) I’ve already read it several times, and b) it was pretty, so it doesn’t count because it went straight with my other three copies of La’commedia. (Don’t @ me, I know.)

I’m feeling really good about this. I’m still on a book buying ban because I still have too many books, and the amount of preorders coming in right now is staggering, but I’m slowly working my way up to reading with my usual fervor, and my TBR is verrrrrrrrry slowly becoming a bit more reasonable. I am going to receive some books for Christmas, as well as buy some for myself, which I guess breaks the ban a little, but I’d like to continue to stay on a book buying ban until The Great TBR Challenge is at or below 35 books. (I KNOW!)

Posted by:Mary Drover

she/her | yoga teacher | Tibetan Buddhism | part-time witch | full-time author | astronaut in a previous life

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