resisting new books when I’m on a spending ban

2023, books


I spent the entirety of 2022 on a book buying ban (then asked all of my wedding guests for a copy of their favourite book, thus receiving approximately 80 new books and a few book vouchers… which we thoroughly enjoyed spending), then when I took myself off the spending ban in 2023 I went a little mad and bought over 30 books in the first couple of months, so I put myself back on the ban until my unread physical books are at a more reasonable number!

(I currently have 332 unread books… I know)

But that doesn’t make the allure of the bookshop any easier to resist – especially with booktok, bookstagram and booktube throwing fantastic recommendations out left, right and centre. But I think I’ve found some pretty decent tactics for scratching the itch of new books without breaking the bank (or my bookshelves!).

This first one doesn’t particularly help with reducing the physical tbr, but using an Audible credit on a new book that you want to read but don’t want to spend money on is a great way to get at least one new story a month without actually spending any money or adding to the physical tbr! Something I’m considering trying is using my credit on an audio copy of a book I already physically own – I haven’t tried reading and listening simultaneously yet, but I have Legendborn by Tracey Deonn both on Audible and physically, so I might give it a go!

My next tactic is if (when) I go to a book shop, to put every book I like the look of on my ‘want to read’ shelf on Storygraph so that I have a list of books I want to read once I reduce my physical tbr/if I have an audible credit. You can do this on Goodreads as well or I’m sure it’s available on other book tracking apps, or you could even just make a list on your phone! Having a record of them makes it feel like you’ve at least taken some action in engaging with the story and even if you don’t get to read it right now (which, realistically you wouldn’t do even if you bought it!) you have a record of it so you won’t forget about it!

And lastly (this ones a bit more niche) – take photos or videos of the books you’re interested in. I made a tiktok video called ‘books I would have bought if I wasn’t on a book buying ban’ and it did surprisingly well (for me). But it also really scratched the itch of wanting new books. It was lovely to have people in the comments telling me which books were worth it (which I then used some audible credits on) and share other people’s enthusiasm.


I kinda lied though, I did buy three… points if you can guess which ones 😂😂 #booktok #tbr #wanttoread #bookbuyingban #reading #waterstones #theworks #fyp

♬ Cute – Aurel Surya Lie

Granted, not everyone makes social media content or wants to take photos or videos of everything, but I really enjoyed making the video. Enough that I made another video when I went to Oxford last week! Though this trip was particularly satisfying because my partner ended up buying three books despite reading way more inconsistently than me (and he offered to buy me one, as he was already buying three so… big win!).

Whenever I go to a book shop I end up spending ages in there just browsing the titles, reading the blurbs of all these fantastic stories and building a list of great books to come back to.

I also have a mental list of a few books I would allow myself to buy – I’m desperately looking for physical copies of the Ace of Shades series by Amanda Foody as I listened to them on Audible and adored them. I’d also like a copy of A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik as even though I’ve only just finished it on Audible, I’m really quite invested!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx