#ShelfLove Challenge: Giving Thanks for Not Buying Books

Posted on November 1, 2015 «
Categories: 2015 Discussion Challenge, 2015 Shelf Love «
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Just a quick note before we jump into this month’s #ShelfLove Update!

Last week’s Scenic Sunday post included a quote from James A. Owen. It is one of my favorite quotes about getting through life. I have found Mr. Owen’s life and professional story to be inspiring. Currently the first book in Mr. Owen’s Mediations series is for free for a limited time. It’s well worth the read. Get the book on Amazon.com today.

Now on with the show!
giving thanks

Lots of people laughed at me at the start of the year. “You’ll never make it a whole year without buying a book,” they said. Well, they were right. I didn’t make it a whole year without buying a book, but I did make it several months before I broke (damn work with its stress). So am I thankful I helped mastermind this challenge and participated? Short answer, heck yes!

The #ShelfLove Challenge allowed me to figure out my book buying triggers were stress and meeting authors in person. I attempted to find other outlets for my stress (not very successfully) and find other ways to get books. I started vetting available ARCs via NetGalley and tour hosts as a way to get my new book fix. I also created my In the Spotlight feature which led authors to request reviews of their books to accompany their feature. In turn, I came up with an extensive review policy.

I took advantage of my library’s audiobook collection to find books to reread or listen to books I already own that were on my #ShelfLove list. I borrowed at least one book from my sister-in-law that had been raved about for a few months earlier in the year. I got creative and I enjoyed the challenge of finding the next great read.

The Challenge has definitely been worth it for me. I’ve discovered that I thrive on talking to people about books and just because I’m talking to them about a certain book that doesn’t mean I have to read it to or go out and buy it. There are other ways to get that book.

I also discovered that maybe my day job isn’t my passion. What is my passion? Books and literature. How does that translate into money and health insurance? I’m still trying to figure that out. And while I didn’t make it 12 months without buying a book, this challenge has made me thankful for books, thankful for the friends I have made through this challenge and thankful for helping me discover a passion I had long buried.




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33 responses to “#ShelfLove Challenge: Giving Thanks for Not Buying Books

  1. Great post, Terri 🙂 I know Bec feels the same way ever since she started doing this challenge. Although she has bought books she hasn’t bought nearly as many as she usually does and is reading more of her review copies so this has helped her as well.

  2. Can’t think of a better passion than book and literature! so hope you find a way to translate it into $ and benefits soon 🙂 just got Drawing Out the Dragons! beautiful cover! thanks for the tip

  3. I still bought a lot of books, since my goal was setting a budget. But I’ve stuck to my budget pretty well, and cut my book buying in half. Like you, I buy books because of stress, and I’ve managed to replace that with going to the library and/or wishlisting books instead, so… that’s a start! We’re all doing amazing.

  4. I wish I did better with the challenge, but I am thankful that I used the challenge to seriously slow down my book buying. I haven’t bought many this year and I’m doing a lot better reading what I already have (which is plenty!). I’m hoping y’all are doing it again next year – maybe I can do a bit better!

  5. I think it is great that you cracked down on that so much! While I love supporting authors by buying there books, as cost of living keeps rising it gets harder, but the a habit to break is so tricky. Libraries are my favorite way to get books nowadays. Also trades/swaps are fun.

    • I did buy one new-to-me book at ICON this year. It’s historical fiction and deals with the Winchester family. It’s right in my wheelhouse! I can’t wait to read it.

      Other than that, I’ve done pretty well at author events. Letting go of the guilt of not buying a book after talking to an author is hard!

  6. Congratulations on getting so far with your book ban challenge! I don’t think I could have gone several months. I don’t always buy a ton of books (it just depends) but I know how difficult it can be sometimes, especially if you see a bunch of new releases. It’s good you found other ways to get books you wanted to read though, instead of simply buying them all!


  7. I definitely agree with you, Terri, on meeting authors and wanting to buy all of their books at that time. Those conventions are difficult to get out of without books. But they usually have some swag in lieu of buying more books.

  8. This challenge has really been grealt for all of us! I like that you learned your buying triggers and we can now talk about books without feeling like we have to buy them. Great progress for us all 🙂

  9. Aw Terri, this is FABULOUS. I am so, so glad that this has been such a positive challenge for you. First, you did amazing- even a few WEEKS is hard for me, so several months? That is just incredible! And finding out more about yourself and your goals, well that is worth it all right there. I am so happy for you, and my fingers are crossed that you find a way to balance your passion and your want to live in an actual house with running water 😉

  10. Kudos on attempting such a big challenge. I don’t know if I could even entertain the idea of doing this. I like how you came up with so many alternatives to buying books. It sounds like you did a really good job overall.

    • Well, my co-hosts and I pretty much knew we couldn’t go a WHOLE year without buying a single book, so we had to come up with some alternatives.
      🙂 It’s been a fun challenge.

  11. I’m glad you’ve learned so much and are happy to have hosted and participated in this challenge, Terri. I, too, have learned a lot about myself and my book buying habits. And to see the space I’m making on my physical bookshelves is a great feeling. I can’t see that progress on my ereaders so much but I know I’ve made progress there as well. Thanks so much for sharing why you’re grateful and for co-hosting a great challenge! 🙂

  12. I’m new to the book blogging business, so this is the first I’ve heard of this challenge! I’m guilty of buying a book nearly every single time I go to Wal-Mart, but doing this challenge would definitely give my wallet a chance to get back on track! Lol.
    It’s like an addiction to me! I love the feel and look of new books on my bookshelf, so I don’t know how well I would hold out on this.

    • Yes, this challenge has definitely helped that aspect. I can actually SEE all the books on my physical TBR shelf now. And it’s the first place I look when finishing a book. I need to focus on some ARCs right now, but I’m anxious to get back to my TBR pile. What a habit I’ve created!