Let’s Talk Bookish: Book Buying Bans – Yea or Nay?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for January 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

DO BOOK BUYING BANS WORK FOR YOU?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: The book community is full of consumerism. People want to not just read their favourite books, but own them as well. Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand. How do you control your spending/buying books you don’t have time to read? Does setting a book buying ban work for you? How long do you usually ban yourself for?

“Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand” 👀

I can still hear the echoes of the above phrase still ringing in my head, especially as I sit and contemplate how I’ve liberally indulged in book-buying since the start of 2022, which was literally 14 days ago. At this point, to say that I’ve been treating myself, might be an understatement and though I initially justified this splurge by saying that I really didn’t buy books last year, my brain has very conveniently blocked out all the eBooks I happily one-clicked because “out of sight, out of mind” and all that, right? 🤷🏻‍♀️

I will say though that despite all the one-clicking of eBooks, I am actually spending less on books than I was previously. When I first joined the book community, it was through bookstagram and I immediately jumped in on all the book-buying hype and my physical library grew immensely over a very short period of time; it was unsurprisingly unsustainable!

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!

When I was still buying books like it was going out of fashion, I did set bans several times and they were successful—I resisted temptation and I was pretty proud of myself for not buying all the books! The longest I ever set a ban was 5 months and even then I didn’t buy books. That said, the minute these bans ended, I’d look up the books that I catalogued for buying while I was banned, and I would start “treating” myself to a certain number of them for the length of time I was banned (i.e. 2-3 books for each month I was on the ban). 🙄 So, ultimately, it was pretty pointless? 😂

Learning OVER TIME

A combination of things have helped me stop buying books so often. First, I left bookstagram. I know it’s not the same experience for everyone, but since I stopped trolling the feeds looking at everyone’s gorgeous bookish pictures, I’ve also stopped feeling the overwhelming need to constantly buy all the books. Yes, I’m still tempted to buy books when I see people talk about them all over blogs and book Twitter, but there’s less urgency for me to get my hands on it/them—especially when I think about all the books that are still sitting unread on my physical and digital shelves.

For physical books: I’ve started to focus more on quality over quantity for my physical shelves but it’s not a hard rule! 😂 But as much as I’d love to keep adding more and more hardcovers/ paperbacks to my shelves, international shipping is so freaking expensive and even when it’s free, it often takes forever and a day to arrive! In the last year, I’ve mostly bought special editions of favourites and while they’re way more pricey than your average version, they’re so worth it!

For digital books: These days I do the most indulging with eBooks but I usually tend to wait for good deals before buying them. One trick I learned was to do semi-regular checks of my wishlist and sort them from lowest-to-highest price to see if any have good deals. I’m surprised by how many popular titles/anticipated releases I’ve bought for £0.99-£2.00 as a result (some of the more recent titles include: Iron Widow, Defy the Night and Raybearer)!

BOOK BUYING BAN: YEA OR NAY?

While I’m not opposed to book-buying bans, I’ve found through experimentation (and knowing myself, lol) that they ultimately don’t work for me. That said, my priorities have changed over the years and as much as I want to own every single book under the sun, I’m also very aware of all the books that are still sitting unread on my shelf and as I get older, the guilt over leaving them unread has started to hit me harder! 🤣 Plus, international shipping is painfully high and since I stopped working full-time, it’s been easier to refrain from indulging so often. So… It’s a NAY for me!

Do you set book buying bans for yourself? If you do, how long do you set them for and do they work for you? What’s the longest you’ve banned yourself? If you don’t, how do you control your book buying habits?

Let’s Talk Bookish: 2022 Reading/Blogging Goals

Hello, friends! It’s been a while since I did a Let’s Talk Bookish post but I thought what better time to dive back into these posts than at the start of a new year, right?!


Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for January 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

2022 READING GOALS

(SUGGESTED BY DANI @ LITERARY LION)
Prompts: As we enter the new year many of us will be setting goals on Goodreads and choosing new year’s resolutions. What are your goals related to your blog or books/reading in general? Are you going to have resolutions this year, and if not why not?

QUICK RECAP of 2021 goals/resolutions

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I didn’t do a great job of achieving my 2021 goals/resolutions. 🙃 I was so convinced at the start of the year that it would be my year and well, a couple of slumps, weird reading moods, and burnouts later, and that wasn’t the case at all. I felt pretty shoddy about it when I realised just how little I accomplished but after a little internal monologuing, I decided that it’s okay. Of course, I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve what I set out to do, but I had as much of a rough personal year as a lot of others did—but the high point is: we got through it!

I thought I’d share a review of some of my 2021 goals/resolutions before moving on to 2022:

  • Read 150 books (GR challenge)this is the only goal I achieved as I ended up reading 199 books!
  • Tackle my existing physical shelves (at least 50 books)yeah, no. this really didn’t end up happening as i participated in a slightly overwhelming number of blog tours last year 😂
  • Catalogue all my physical/digital booksi didn’t even end up making/downloading a library tracker until january 2022 so… 🙈
  • Prioritise reading Asian (South/Southeast Asian) authorsi read 13 books by asian authors and considering i read almost 200 books, i didn’t do well with this one!
  • Read more amazing Middle Grade Fantasy!i read a few mg fantasies that i really enjoyed but 2021 ended up being the year of romance, and i think 2022 is going to follow suit.
  • Grow my blog to 800 followerssadly, i didn’t achieve this and have been in 700 followers limbo for the past 8 months but i’m honestly just happy to have a few regular readers who engage with me, especially after posting so erratically in 2021
  • Read more non-fiction (at least 4 books)nope. non-fiction stood no chance 🥲

IS THERE HOPE FOR MY 2022 READING GOALS?

Oof, that recap was a little more painful than I anticipated (😮‍💨) but I’m not gonna let that stop me from trying again in 2022! I also know myself and I’ve never been very good at sticking to resolutions or slaying goals. I’ve always kind of taken things as they come and just going with whatever flow I’m on, but I also like having a general idea of where I’m heading and what I want to work towards. All that to say, I’ll have these goals but I’ll try not to take them too seriously? It’s chaotic but we’re rolling with it, ok? 🤓

THE 2022 READING/BLOGGING GOALS

I’m gonna keep it pretty simple this year and include one or two ideas that I’ve been thinking about doing for the past year and I’m pretty excited about it, so hopefully, that means it’ll happen! 😂

  • Read 150 booksGoodreads Reading Challenge
  • Read 50 backlist titles – Because I really want to focus on getting the backlist read this year!
  • Complete the 2022 Popsugar Reading Challenge – I’m trying. Again. Maybe 2022 is the year I’ll finally complete it 😂 why not be ambitious, right?
  • Fill in my Library Tracker – I’m starting with recording my ebooks and then I’ll move onto my physical books!
  • Grow my blog to 800 followers – why not be a little more ambitious, eh?
  • Start my Re-read Project – I had this idea to re-read some of the books that I rated 4-5 stars before I started my book blog. I’d love to see whether I still feel the same way about them and I want to give them actual reviews this time! I hope to at least read 2-3 series or ~10 books.

That’s it for my 2022 reading and blogging goals! Do you set yearly goals for reading and blogging? Do you find setting goals helpful or is it just pressure you don’t need?

2021 End of Year Book Survey: Part II & III

It’s time for parts 2 & 3 of the End of Year Book Survey! This part of the survey looks more at blogging and future planning but you can check out part one for my 2021 Stats & ‘Best in Books’!

The End of Year Book Survey was originally created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner.

New favourite book blog/bookstagram/youtube channel you discovered in 2021?

I didn’t do half as much blog hopping this year as I had planned so there were only a few new bloggers that I discovered but I’m so glad that I discovered them! They produce great content and write great reviews, so you should definitely check them out: Nick @ Infinite Limits of Love, Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse, Kerri @ Kerri McBookNerd , Lia @ An Ode to Fiction, Maria @ The Character Study, Georgia @ Lost in Neverland, Hasini @ Bibliosini, Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books, and Lori @ Fifty-two!

I also have to give a special shout out to my favourites on here because they’ve made this reading year even more incredible with buddy reads and great chats: Leslie @ Books Are the New Black, Julie @ One Book More, Jess @ Jessticulates, Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog and Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den!

I also started watching my fair share of booktube this year and these three were my favourites:

Jess

Gavin

Jack


Favourite post you wrote in 2021?

I’m not usually good at boosting my own stuff? But there were a few posts that I really enjoyed making and two reviews that I’m particularly proud of, even though they’re a bit lot on the long, I couldn’t help gushing about the books because I loved them *so much*!


I didn’t take a lot of bookish related photos this year but I did do a book look for my stop on the Cast in Firelight blog tour, a photo of my newly reorganised bookshelf (that didn’t last long lol) and another photo of one of the (very) few hauls I did this year!


Best bookish event that you participated in
(author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

There were none this year (but are there ever any events? no… lol) 🥲


Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2021?

I don’t know if I can really say whether I had a “best” moment because my blogging and reading life felt pretty low key in 2021. I guess one of the best moments I felt was when I came back from my extended hiatus to find that there were still people following my blog? 😂 I still feel the imposter syndrome pretty often, especially when things felt really tough this year, but yeah… I’m just thankful for all of you who engage with this weird third culture kid across the sea! ❤️


Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Oof, I’ve said it a million times already but this year was a weird one and I felt it on both the blogging and reading front. I planned to take a short break early on in the year which then turned into a several-month-long hiatus which I apparently really needed! It wasn’t a smooth journey diving back into blogging but I found my groove again after a while. I still question why I’m producing anything at times because my engagements weren’t what they were before, but I love this community and I’m still glad to be here. In terms of reading, I was stuck with a weird reading mood that didn’t disappear until… well, it didn’t really disappear all year! 😂 While I’d normally read a pretty balanced mix of fantasies and romances, I could hardly focus on anything except the latter all year and without them I probably would’ve read next to nothing in 2021. 🙈 I’m planning to try reintroducing more fantasy into my life this year but if not, I’m totally okay with mainly reading romances!


Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views?)

The most liked post on my blog this year was my Top Ten Tuesday: Goals & Hopes for 2021! The post with the most comments was also a Top Ten Tuesday: Re-reading 5-star Books Like It Was the First Time.


Post you wished got a little more love?

As with every year so far, my reviews always get the lowest views out of all the posts on my blog. I’m also sure that because I took an extended hiatus this year, my stats dropped considerably but again, I’m just glad that anyone stuck around. ❤️


I gotta be honest, I didn’t really discover any new book related sites or book stores this year because I didn’t really do much retail therapy (surprisingly!) and outside of work, I spent very little time online and engaging. 🙈 Boring, I know!


Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Well, I can say with certainty that I didn’t reach many of the reading/blogging goals I set myself this year. Some of the reasons why were out of my control and the others… Well, it just didn’t happen and that’s fine! The one goal that I did surpass was my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set my goal for 150 books in 2021 and I ended up reading 199 (welp, that one to 200 😂). I’m happy I at least did that!


One book you didn’t get to in 2021 but will be your number 1 priority in 2022?

I’ve technically been reading She Who Became the Sun for… A long time now. It’s been on my “currently reading” list since I picked it up mid-year and I’m disappointed that I haven’t finished it yet but as I’ve mentioned, I really struggled with fantasy last year. I’m definitely going to prioritise it this year and I do hope I love it as much as everyone else seemed to!


Book you are most anticipating for 2022 (non-debut)?

Ooh, there’s not just one book I’m highly anticipating! I’ve just made a list of ten but here are ten more that I’m really looking forward to this year:


2022 debut you are most anticipating?

A Magic Steeped in Poison isn’t my most anticipated debut because it has the most gorgeous cover but it definitely doesn’t hurt! 😂


Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2022?

I’m really looking forward to reading Bound by Firelight, the second and final book in the Wickery duology.


One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2022?

I wrote last year that I wanted to spend more time engaging in the book community and sadly, I didn’t do as much as I’d like. So I think I’m going to keep this goal the same! I hope to be more active in the book community and engage with more amazing book lovers!


A 2022 release you’ve already read & recommend to everyone (if applicable)

I’ve only read two 2022 releases (I’m so behind please don’t judge) and one I didn’t quite enjoy and the other I absolutely loved but haven’t gushed much about yet.

If you’re looking for a sweet and adorable graphic novel to read this year I’d highly recommend Chef’s Kiss! It’s got great friendships, realistic and relatable adulting situations post-uni life, and a very sweet MM romance. Not to mention all the food!

And that’s a wrap on 2021, folks!

So, that’s the last bit of the End of Year Survey. I actually feel like there are maybe some things that I haven’t reflected on yet in this wrap-up—mostly to do with my 2021 goals—but that’s OK. Maybe I’ll do a separate post for that. I can’t believe 2021 is already over and we’ve started another new year, sadly with the same circumstances. That said, I hope 2022 gets better and is kinder to all of us!

How was your year of reading and blogging in 2021? What was your best blogging or book-related moment? Is there anything that you’re really looking forward to or something you really want to achieve in 2022?