An October Book Buying Ban

As I write this, we are now officially halfway through October.

First of all, can we acknowledge how crazy that is?

I feel like it was the height of summer about thirty seconds ago — and suddenly, it’s basically the holiday season. Every time I say this, I wonder if I’m aging myself by about a decade or so, but really: why is time flying so fast?

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about what’s been going on this month…

There’s been a whole lot of work so far in October. We also had our first weekend at home in Brooklyn in about six weeks earlier this month. I’ve been reading and recording tons for the podcast, and I have so many fun things to share with you! We traveled to Bar Harbor, Maine to dance the night away at the wedding of two of our closest pals. We have another wedding coming up at the end of the month in Annapolis, and I’m stopping for a night in D.C. on the way to catch up with friends and co-work with one of my clients. Next week, we celebrate Matt’s thirtieth birthday! Oh, and we’re really in the final countdown for our trip to Thailand, which is feeling like an increasingly big deal.

In other news, as you may know if you follow me on Instagram, I have officially put myself on a…


… for the month of October.

I assume you’re a bookworm, so I assume you know that this is a challenge.

But I can also assure you that it’s necessary. And also that I have absolutely no shortage of books waiting to be read. And also that I think it’s really healthy to set these kinds of challenges for yourself now and then.

Why an October book buying ban? There are a few reasons.

  • First of all, I just have a lot of books. It’s that simple. One of my favorite activities over the summer was wandering into bookstores (most often, Books Are Magic, of course), and it’s hard to go on that kind of a field trip without grabbing something for the road! After all, we all want to support our local indies.

  • I’m starting to lose control of my TBR again. One of my reading resolutions at the beginning of 2019 was to get a little more organized and intentional with my reading. I’m not a Goodreads gal, but back in January, I made a list of all of the unread books on my shelf and sorted my TBR list for the year based on what I already own and still need to get. Even as I’ve added titles over the last few months, the system’s been working pretty well, and while I have consistently shopped for books this year, I’ve been much less likely to go on random shopping binges. After my most recent shopping trip — I bought The Gifted School, American Royals, and The Wedding Date — I realized that I had almost every book on my list and that I was starting to build up a serious backlog. Stop the madness!

  • I’m swamped with SSR reading, anyway. I had to reschedule a few of my podcast recordings from September because of some personal things, and I already had more sessions on the calendar than usual since we’ll be away for the first half of November. This means lots of reading for the podcast. I’m trying to make it easier for myself to focus on those books by minimizing additional reading distractions.

  • I’m not bringing (many) physical books to Thailand! I’m not a huge e-reader fan, but I do think they have their place… especially for travel. We’ll be traveling in Thailand for two weeks and I’m trying to minimize the amount of stuff I have to pack, so the last thing I need is more physical books to tempt me. For the last few weeks, I’ve been keeping a list of titles I want to read but don’t necessarily feel like I need copies of in my library. Those are the books I’ll be downloading to my Kindle for our trip! I recently started using the Libby app, which will also give me the chance to support my library in the process. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think I’d bring at least one physical book to Asia, but I really am trying to streamline, and I think putting a pause on buying new books will help.

  • It’s good to cut back! It never hurts to take a look at the budget and acknowledge where you can make some (temporary) adjustments. I’m not a huge shopper and books are one of the very few things I splurge on. Also, I try to support independent bookstores as much as possible! Still, given allll of the other factors above, I know cutting back for a few weeks is a smart move.

  • I want to look forward to a cozy holiday season/winter of reading! I’m really looking forward to hunkering down this holiday season and winter with a whole lotta books. When the October ban is over, I’m going to treat myself to a few new titles to cozy up with! In the meantime, I think this little exercise is a good reminder of how to make smart, thoughtful reading and shopping decisions.

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There you have it! I’ve had to buy a few books for podcast reading (you know the library isn’t going to appreciate all that highlighting and annotating I do), but more than two weeks in, I’ve successfully avoided buying new reads. I’ll call it a win.

Do you ever put yourself on a book buying ban? Tell me more in the comments below or on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**