Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Apprentice Writer read a newpaper article about a family who didn't make any monetary purchases (except for food, utilities, medical needs) for a year. This experiment was the result of the parents' alarm that their teenaged daughter spent almost all her free time at the mall with her friends, shopping or planning future shopping. According to the article, it took a little while for all members of the family to settle into the new make it yourself/ barter / recycle / trade routine, but after the year was over they all agreed to continue with their good habits and enjoyment of rediscovered leisure activities.

Neither AW nor her family are ready for such a hard-core experiment. But it did make her take a very hard look at her TBR pile; like that of many a book-lover, it seems to double in size regularly. Yet, she keeps buying more. (The new paper smell! The pretty covers! The fact that there is always someone in the checkout with more books, giving a feeling of pseudo-virtue!)

Recently, other family members became disgruntled at AW hogging all the shelfspace. She brushed it off and recommended they get gruntled again.

Then she did a quick inventory. Yikes. Enough reading material for two books a week for over a year, sitting around gathering dust.

AW resolves not to buy books in 2009.

But won't that cause the teetering tower of publishing in these harsh economic times to collapse altogether?

She thinks not. The whole point of the exercise is to clear space, SO AS TO BE ABLE TO FILL IT AGAIN. Also: isn't it insulting to the authors who worked so hard to polish their manuscripts to treat it like a rectangular rock?

Gentle Reader - What are you book-buying plans for this year? Do you also experience books giving off an 'essential' vibe in the store only to have it change to 'put-offable' on the way home?


Carrie Lofty said...

You can buy my sequel in Jan 2010 :)

M. said...

Haha! The debut made it just under the wire! Starting as soon as I've finished 'Hunting & Gathering' by Anna Gavalda for my bookclub.

Abby said...

Me too, M! I've stopped buying books (due to broke-ness, not shelf space) so I'll meet your challenge.

I don't "count" books won or bought with a gift card, though :)

Abby said...

Oh, and I already bought Carrie's book too :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Oh M...
I'm not sure I could do it. NO NEW BOOKS? But, but, the pretty shiny covers!
I'd have to avoid the mall (cause there's a bookstore, Pier One (next door to bookstore) all Starbucks (cause they remind me of the Starbucks IN the bookstore) and Costco (big book table).

Good luck my friend. You're a braver woman than I. :)

M. said...

Abby - Brokeness does play a role. And I think I'll adopt your caveat about winning and giftcards!

Wylie - Don't praise me just yet. We're 2 weeks into the new year - plenty of time to grow weak.