Opinion Pieces / reading / The Latest

A year without buying books (almost): consumerism


So I travelled to the U.K. this year and I am currently in Australia, which translates to: I may have bought a book or two… or six.

This will be my last update on my year without buying books and I have learnt some great insights. Firstly, any step towards reducing spending and the contribution to fast consumerism is always a win in my books. Not buying things does not mean you have to be anti-buying EVERYTHING, but it should make you think before you buy. In a world where you can click a few buttons and impulse buy 10 books (Amazon, I am looking at you), it can be easy to get caught up in the moment. Oh, how sweet that moment is. Although, if you are buying and buying and buying maybe the questions you need to ask yourself are: ‘Do I really need this?’; and, ‘What am I trying to replace with all this stuff?’.

When friends are hard to find and even harder to rely on, when you feel far away from your native language, when you miss the sunshine (if you live somewhere cold you will know what I mean) buying things can be a way to reward yourself and to fill in the void of all the things you feel you are lacking.

This year has not be a total ban on books, however, it has made me reassess what books I buy, if I really want them, and where can I buy them at a good price that will also support local bookstores. These are the things you should be thinking of when you are buying books and things in general. I am an advocate for buying local and keeping local things alive means supporting them by not just visiting them and then finding it cheaper on Book Depository, but by also buying a book, notebook, or other goods from the store itself.

To keep myself accountable of all the books I own and still need to read, I have kept an Excel sheet that has all of my books with two columns: TO READ, and READ. When I think about buying a book, I look at that list to remind me I really need it.

Are you careful about the books your buy? How do you practice smart consumerism? Would you ever challenge yourself to less buying? As always, share the reading love.

One thought on “A year without buying books (almost): consumerism

  1. I think you’ve done very well! Yay for not only supporting local bookstores… my bank account is sighing in relief. Having a good library nearby certainly helps, too.