Let’s Chat: Book Buying Addiction?


Hello my loves, I am here today to chat about something I guess all of us book bloggers, bookstagrammers, booktubers and bookworms could probably relate to. The addiction of buying books. Now while this might seem like a fun little chat, this one for me is a little more serious. It is about real addiction. I am going to try to be as coherent as I can in this post, but as it is something so personal, something that I have not written about before on my blog, please bear with me if it gets a little of course or I start to ramble.

I guess we should start at the beginning. I’ve struggled on and off with anxiety and depression since I was very young. So much so that I have been medicated for almost half of my life. Now while I haven’t been medicated for some time, I do not pretend that I am ‘okay’. As a child I experienced a few traumatic things and due to having only a small number of close friends, I used isolation as a way of feeling better and ‘protecting’ myself. This is something that I still do to this day. Relying often on books as they are much less likely to let you down that human beings.

I suppose you could say I’ve always had an addictive personality. Whether that be with food, or something else. I can quite easily find myself repeating the same behaviours over and over again. Please do not confuse this with OCD and please remember that I am not a mental health specialist and what I am talking about here are purely my own experiences.

Books have always been a huge part of my life. When I was very young my parents used to read bedtime stories to me until I could read myself and then I would read them. From then on you would usually find me surrounded by books. They became a great source of comfort for me when things were tough, which they were fairly regularly.

I think in a way I became emotionally dependant on the books that I was reading, regardless of the book, it became a way for me to forget everything for a time and just escape. Now reading has always been hailed as one of the best forms of escapism, and something that is very beneficial, in more ways than one. I guess what I’m getting at here is when does it become a problem?

I’ll give you the last 6 weeks as an example. They’ve been some of my best reading weeks and I’ve read much more than I expected to. On the flip side of that, I’ve actually bought close to 40 books, most of which came from a local independent bookstore (so were full price). I get such a thrill when I buy new books, and feel immediate guilt afterwards. I find myself compulsively buying them, even when I know I can’t really afford it. There is something inside me that doesn’t care if I don’t have the space, or the money, for the books. A lot of the time I feel out of control. I buy and I’m ecstatic. I think about how much I’ve spent and how I promised I wouldn’t buy anymore for a while (because I such a long TBR) and I feel sick to my stomach.

I guess I rely emotionally on books. To the point where it is become problematic and is beginning to effect other aspects of my life. Like I said in the beginning, this is a very personal post for me. It’s not something I’ve ever done before. I would love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve chatted about today, but please try to be kind with me.

Peace and pages

22 replies »

  1. I think a lot of book lovers feel the way you do. I know I do. I get so excited and get so much pleasure from buying a book that I often wonder the same thing. I think what’s saving/helping me and my bank account is utilizing the library more, especially for those titles I’m not sure about buying. I hope you get to the bottom of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wish I had a great library close to me, but unfortunately it’s pretty small and the selection isn’t very good. I hope it improves because I would love to use it more. Thank you for reading and commenting ❤️


  2. You are not alone. I use books as an escapism. I’ve always read, always bought books and never got to the bottom of my TBR list. I’ve challenged myself to try and not buy this year… I know… Massive challenge right. I have so much happening just now and so much life stress that I need to read for that familiarity and routine, yet, get this, I’m anxious about choosing my next read and struggle articulating my reviews. Reading is my constant. Thanks for sharing such a personal post. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • We sound so similar I swear I could have written that comment! How are you getting on with the no book buying? Ive never managed to do it for more than a couple of weeks! Reading is also my constant, and I bet a lot in the community feel the same. Thank you for reading and commenting X


      • I have only bought one book that was on my wishlist and reduced to 99p..that is allowed since sometimes we wait years for a price to reduce. I have had a few from netgalley though so maybe that is bending


      • Oops I pressed send too early. I love book chat and am really looking forward to chatting with you. Are you on FB? Xx


  3. I completely get you! Thank you for this post. I also have severe anxiety and the way that I have coped with it was to escape through reading. It can become this restlessness, a need for me to buy a book; if, for instance, I’m in a bookshop and I come to the realisation that I have not yet grabbed a book to buy, I start to panic. I’ve always been like that, to be quite honest. It’s only just now that I realise that this could be another manifestation of my anxiety.

    Thank you for this! Love,

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am exactly the same Allie. When I buy one there’s that flood of relief before the guilt kicks in. I hadn’t realised when I wrote this that so many felt the same as I do. Thank you for reading X


  4. Thank you for this wonderfully written post Amy! I have never been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, but I understand where you’re coming from when you say that you use books for escapism. There are times when I wouldn’t stop reading a book no matter how many more important things in my life I had to do, and I felt guilty for them but still wouldn’t stop. Now I understand that we all have different ways of coping with the stressors in our life, and as long as it doesn’t debilitate us or hinder us from living life normally, there’s nothing that we should be guilty about. 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful, heartfelt post. I completely understand the need to buy books and then the overwhelming feeling after of having so many and of course having spent the money. It’s a big deal that you recognized what is happening and why. ♥️


    • I think it’s more common than I ever expected it to be. It really was like a lightbulb moment, and while I’m not completely ‘normal’ yet, I’m continuing to get better. Thank you so much for reading and commenting ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s by far the most personal thing I’ve ever posted and I do not regret it one bit. It’s make me realise that I’m not alone in feeling the way I do. I found it so hard to click the publish button on this one, but once it was live I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Thank you so much for reading and commenting ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Amy! TQ so much for sharing this. I know it’s not easy for you, and yet you did it. That itself, took STRENGTH & COURAGE! Kudos to you! You’ll continue to get better! I know that for sure. Stay strong, AMY! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are not alone. Many people feel the same way. A person can have an addiction to anything. For us book lovers, it’s books. We have to approach it in the same way as other addictions such as alcohol and drugs. The fact that you recognize the addiction and the symptoms is a huge step. I applaud you and I support you on your journey. We are here for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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