Friday, August 15, 2008

I've Had a Relapse

It's been a while since I've been on a binge. No, not a food binge (although I'm proud to say I haven't had one of those in a while either). I'm talking about an all-out book buying binge. Yes, I did it again.

It always starts so innocently. I get an email coupon for a deal I can't resist--this time When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris for $12.99--and I go to Barnes & Noble for this one item. But I come out with so much more. I grabbed the Sedaris book, and should have just left with the one. I had another coupon for an additional 15% off a single item, though, and how could I let that go to waste? I started looking around the clearance section and found The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. It looked interesting, and I've heard really good things about her other books. It was only $4.98 and I figured it would look good sitting on my TBR shelf next to gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia, waiting to be read. (It just occurred to me that I purchased gods in Alabama for $5.98 during my last book spree. More than a year ago. And I still. Haven't. Read it. Ugh!)

Did I stop there? Take my deals and run with them? No. Of course not. I wandered around, looking for anything that seemed a must-have or that had been hanging out on my wish list for a while. That's when I spotted the Buy-2-Get-1-Free table. Piles of trade paperbacks just begging to be purchased. And there was Mercy by Jodi Picoult! I've been meaning to read more of her older novels so I picked it up and looked for a second and third to go with it. Oh! Songs of the Humpback Whale, too! Now I was really searching; the next one would be free, after all. They had My Sister's Keeper and Second Glance, but I've already read those. No more Jodi Picoult on the table, and nothing else was piquing my attention, so I laid down my two choices and started to walk away.

As I turned to head to the register, I noticed She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb. While I've read it before, it was about eight years ago and I've been meaning to read it again. I quickly picked it up, stacking it on top of the two Picoults and the two books already in my arms, and mentally calculating the deal I was getting. Three paperbacks for $30 and two hardcovers for $17, minus my 10% member discount and an additional 15% off one of the paperbacks. A gift card that I've been holding onto for several months came in handy, and I managed to get out of there having spend only $20. At least this binge didn't put a huge hole in my budget.

Now I'm going to have to cut back on blog reading (and maybe posting), email checking, and television watching and start reading more books. If only I didn't have to go to work.


Kimberly said...

Too bad they didn't have a "Book Lovers Annoymous" group (BLA). I'd have to join too. I can't resist books. I get a natural "high" when I walk into Barnes and Nobles! LOL! I have about a dozen books left to be read (not mention a ton of magazines).

Unknown said...

I believe it is an airborne virus, as I have caught it too. Granted, my book binge is partially thesis-induced, but still.

Fortunately, there are several used bookstores in the area, as well as a remainders bookstore (love Daedalus!), so when I feel a binge coming on, I go to those first before Borders or B&N. That way, I don't feel as guilty if I come out with a stack of books because I didn't spend a fortune on them.

I also allow myself a small percentage of fun money each month, so if I spend it on books, I don't feel guilty either, since it was earmarked for that anyway.

hmd said...

I'm that way about the library. I always leave with too many books, but it's too hard to resist. All those books - for free!

Kat Mortensen said...

I have a tough time getting out of a Chapters book store without armloads of books (usually from the "last copy" table).


Ami said...

Kimberly - Yeah, I have a large stack of magazines to read, too. Maybe we should start a BLA group. :)

Cate - I try to stick to the library and used bookstores, too. It's not so much the money I spend because I usually have a gift card or get books off the clearance shelves. It's more that I'm running out of space for them and buy them much faster than I ever read them.

Heather - You're right, free books are always great. I stopped "binging" at the library though, because I could rarely read the books before they were due. I should probably limit myself to the library, though. It might motivate me to read the books I get instead of just sticking them on my shelves for some future date when I "have time". When that will be I'm never sure.

Kat - Gotta love those remainders sections. :)

Melanie said...

Good job! That's a real bargain splurge. I love books. I've been hitting the library lately. I'm a re-reader, though, so I prefer to own rather than borrow.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I read Sedaris's latest last month -- though not my favorite of his, I still read it quickly and enjoyed it!

patresa hartman said...

yikes! ami, you should never ever ever work in a bookstore.

shortly before i got my job at the bookstore, i had vowed to stop BUYING books, and just check things out from the library. but now that i am touching them and talking about them and shelving them and looking at them, i keep buying them again. oy.

at least you're not buying crack.

Anonymous said...

*waves her hand*
I SO DID THAT THIS WEEKEND AS WELL----but didnt know there was a name :)

for me---Im a tween writer---it used to be all tweenstuff so I could claim it was for work.
now Ive migrated to memoir/chick lit.

there is no excuse :)


Ami said...

Reluctant Housewife - It may seem like a bargain, but with all the books on my shelf some might consider it a waste. :) At least I don't do it EVERY time I go into a bookstore.

Katherine - I've only ever listened to his stuff on CD, which is great because he reads it himself. I'm hoping the humor comes through in his writing alone because when he reads his essays? Hysterical!

Patresa - You're probably right, although working in a bookstore is my dream "day job". I keep thinking that if it weren't for people like us, our dream of writing books would be pointless. I rationalize that buying books is my way of supporting other writers so that when my books are finally out there, I'll be able to reap some of that book buying karma. (Is this flawed thinking???)

MizFit - Buying books for "work" is totally justifiable.

NoRegrets said...

Wow... I'll have to look up some of those. Once I have a brain again to read.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hey, Ami,

Love Sedaris (not his up in flames book, in particular) and Wally Lamb is a fav. Books are good. They make interesting end tables when stacked up high with a lamp on top. ;)

ps The cyber monkeys ate the comment I left here the other day, I think!

katy said...

I read Sedaris' "Dress your Family in Courduroy and Denim" last summer and LOVED it! Maybe I'll borrow this one from you when you're done? nudge, nudge, wink, wink...

You'll appreciate this, Ami. Matt and Josh were gone last week so I declared a day to chill and chill hard. I read Emily Giffin's "Something Blue" (sequal to "Something Borowed") in LESS THAN 24 HOURS! I've never done that with a book before.

Enjoy your purchases. You definitely deserve some spoiling.

And, yes, I do owe you a Starbucks :-) Let's make it happen!

Ami said...

No Regrets - I really liked all the ones I mentioned that I've read. I'll let you know what I think of the new ones as I get through them. Expect to hear about them late in 2009. :)

Katy - Creepy, but I did the exact same thing. I borrowed it from the library the weekend I got my wisdom teeth out and finished it in one afternoon!

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