Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hello I'm Amy and I'm a Bookaholic

Yes, it's true. I'm a book-a-holic with a very serious problem. I cannot read all the books I want, so I think if I own them, it's almost like reading them. Only I'm seriously running out of space.

"So just quit getting books, Amy," you're thinking while rolling your eyes.

It's not that easy. For one thing, I love getting books. There is no sweeter feeling than the feeling of knowing you have acquired a book. Why? Because acquiring a book is like acquiring a possibility. It's a whole brand new fresh chance to have your life changed, turned upside down and all around by whatever is printed on that page! Or to be madly entertained and laugh like you've never laughed before. Or to find yourself, and see someone get you and express all those hidden thoughts and feelings like no one has ever managed to do before.

Okay I already want to run out and find a few more books so I better stop!

But even more than that, I consider book blogging a vocation. What that means is that I don't just read books and review them here, I am FULLY IMMERSED in the bookish community. I talk to book lovers, authors, publishers, publicists, and bloggers on a daily basis. I get, sometimes, upwards of 30 pitches a week for books that people want me to read. I'm in a book club. I subscribe to almost every publisher's newsletter, Shelf Awareness, Publisher Weekly, Publisher's Lunch, author newsletters, and all the major newspaper's book blogs. I read book blogs, fantastic book blogs that are amazingly well written and tempt me towards more books. When possible, I go to readings at my localish independent bookstore. I have other interests, but this interest interests me most.

Basically, I like books. And I have really easy access to books through bookstores, Amazon, and all the pitches that come flooding into my email inbox.

But lately, I've sort of been wanting to stop getting books and read what I have. Also, I need more space. But I need HELP. I am powerless over this addiction, and trust me, fellow book lovers are not much help. Luckily, I found a few willing to venture into this strange, scary unknown territory with me! We've set up a game, inspired by Game On! Diet. We have a point system. You get points for getting books and lose points for getting rid of books. At the end, the person with the fewest points win and the rest of us will treat that person to dinner when we're all together in New York for BEA. Also, we all have to donate a dollar to a charity of our choice for each point we have at the end of the month. Yes, that really is as sound as it sounds this is just a month long thing.

Here's the points system:

  • Impulse buy: 10 points
  • Coercing someone into buying you gift / buying book for someone else (not): 10 points
  • Snagging a book on a swap site: 5 points
  • Requesting a review copy (including Shelf Awareness): 5 points
  • Considered buy: 5 points
  • Saying yes to a review copy (pitched): 3 points
  • Checking a book out from the library (any medium): 3 points
  • Unsolicited review copy and genuine gift: 0 points

Andddd.....get rid of a book and you get -2 points.

My partners in crime?

Wish me luck! And feel free to adapt our scoring system and find a small group of friends to play against yourself! (also we're calling this game BLOB, cause we're good at picking attractive appealing sounding names like that. BLOB=Biggest Loser of Books!)



Carrie K. said...

Good luck! You can do it - it's only a month, right?

Amy said...

Ahhh I completely share your problem, and while it doesn't help for this month, here are my two favorite quotes for you:

"Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity... we cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access, reassurance."
--- A.E. Newton

"The truly cultured are capable of owning thousands of unread books without losing their composure or their desire for more."
--- Gabriel Zaid

Lenore Appelhans said...

I am playing along at home ;)

First day and I already have 3 points for accepting a pitch (but I won't get the book until fall, so that's ok - yay for authors pitching early!)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Cute and clever game!
I'd lose. I never get rid of books. I just go buy another book shelf...

bermudaonion said...

I noticed y'all picked the shortest month of the year to do this! LOL Good luck!

Amanda said...

Have fun! I'm looking forward to seeing where you guys go. I'm also glad my impulse buy was yesterday so I can start today with a clean slate. :D

Jenny said...

I am so impressed by all of y'all who are playing this game. If I tried this I would be racking up points right and left and it would be very shameful. :P

Aubrey said...

Ha ha, I LOVE this idea, but I could NEVER be disciplined enough to do it...I would have 20 points by the end of a week!

The whole premise/title of my blog stems from the idea of my book obsession and that I have more books than I can handle on my own!

Good luck!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Sigh. See the fun that we miss out on when we don't Tweet? I am all about the points, and this is such a cute idea. See I obsessively buy books because in my mind I think if I buy them, I will be SURE to read them some day. Otherwise it is a crapshoot. I'd say most of us have similar problems. I've actually been on a book buying ban since the beginning of the year, but still I get library books, giveaways and ARCs! Serenity now!

Michelle said...

I feel your pain. My husband has put me on a book buying ban. I don't have to get rid of any books but I am not allowed to visit B&N or Amazon at any point in time. I would have to justify to him any book purchase I want to make. It just plain sucks. Good luck, and be strong this month!!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Good luck! I have the same problem and recently weeded out around 70 books from my shelves. Of course, now that I have space, I want more!:) I love that you said "Because acquiring a book is like acquiring a possibility" that's exactly how I feel and I think that puts it perfectly!

Jen - devourer of books said...

Oh, Amy, you're always so eloquent! If you wrote a book I'd buy it - but not until March, because I don't give up points!

redheadkate said...

Books have always been one of my closest friends. When I was in middle school and high school, one of my teachers (a compulsive book buyer) would give me a box of books to read at a time. It opened up worlds that I wouldn't have know without her. So if you really want some points, find some teenagers (or a school) and give them a bunch of books.

Anonymous said...

Be strong.

Vasilly said...

At the end of the month, we're going to look back and feel so much better about our collections!

April said...

What a fun idea!! I am also a book-a-holic who is just not ready to face my demons yet, lol. Good luck!!!

Vera said...

Nice point system! I too cannot resist adding books to my collection. BN Bargain section just spells trouble for me!

Debbie's World of Books said...

Good luck! I was wondering what all the #BLOB talk was about :) I wish I was going to BEA. I've actually been pretty good lately about my book buying. I had a slight relapse in accepting books for review but still better than last year.

caite said...

"I cannot read all the books I want, so I think if I own them, it's almost like reading them."
oh, I so understand that...which scares me a wee

Jenny Girl said...

Good luck my friend! It is hard to say no to the book offers, but you'll never get to read the ones you have if you don't. The first time you say no, will make the next time easier. Trust me :)

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