Thursday, February 26, 2015

Show Your Shelves Some Love Challenge: February Update + Book Budget

The February topic for the Show Your Shelves Some Love challenge is book finances. Before this challenge I never had a book budget. I wasn't putting myself in the poor house, but I definitely could get easily carried away. Amazon deals,, gift cards, credit card points, bargain bins, cheap used bookstore finds, splurges at my local indie store -- I just love buying books. But with so many still unread it was time for me to make a conscious effort to curb the influx. And besides, I'm running out of shelf space!

So by joining this challenge, this is the first time I have ever set a book budget for myself and decided on one new book per month. That may not seem like enough to a lot of avid readers, but the challenge doesn't count gift card purchases or freebies and I also allowed myself a few exceptions, so my budget is a bit more flexible than a strict 12 books for the year. I thought I slipped up in January by buying two books (1 print + 1 ebook), but forgot they were both bought with a Christmas gift card, so I'm technically still ahead of the game. 

To keep myself accountable, I'm going to share a breakdown of my budget and exception categories. I'm trying to not take advantage of the loopholes too much because I still want to focus on actually reading the books I own and not adding to my TBR too much. Spending less is an important aspect of this challenge, but certainly not the only one!

One new book per month -- 0/2

* Since gift card purchases don't count, I haven't used my new book allotment for January or February yet :)

Gift card purchases -- 2

The Rosie Effect, by Graham Simsion (hardcover)
Angels in the Dark, by Lauren Kate (ebook)

Giveaways/Freebies -- 2

* Won an ARC of The Silver Witch, by Paula Brackston from Goodreads
* Won Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman from Book Riot

Review Books -- 1

* Psy-Q: Test Yourself with More Than 80 Quizzes, Puzzles and Experiments for Everyday Life, by Ben Ambridge -- I haven't accepted any new review books in quite a while, but this one was just too intriguing to pass up.

Books for baby -- 3 received as gifts

* I'm being good because I know my baby shower is coming up. The three gift books were an early shower gift from a relative who won't be able to attend. So excited to start a "library" for our little guy :)

Cookbooks -- 6

* Bought Love Bake Nourish on for a really great price
* Splurged on five new cookbooks from an America's Test Kitchen $5 clearance sale. Most of them are of the quick & easy variety which is the only kind of cooking (if any!) I might be able to manage for a while, so I couldn't pass up that deal.

Library Book Sale Books -- 1

Those Who Wish Me Dead, by Michael Kortya

Used Book Store Credit -- 0

* I'm still doing very little driving by myself, so I haven't been taking any leisurely visits to my favorite used bookstores like I used to. I'm trying to save most of my credit for the baby once I do get a chance to go shopping though.

Book Club Books -- 0

* So far I've been able to borrow from the library. I'm trying to read ahead so I don't have to think about any deadlines for a few months after the baby is born -- I already read March's book and have April, May, and June ready to go.

TOTAL new books purchased from monthly budget: 0/2
TOTAL books purchased/received (exceptions): 12 + 3 for baby
TOTAL books add to TBR: 5 (would have been 6, but I already read one)
TOTAL books read from my shelves in 2015: 12

I've also been reading library books like crazy! Since I'm limiting my purchases, my library card has been getting some serious usage -- 27 books so far this year! Library books are neutral for this challenge, but if I want to read more of what I already own, I probably should aim for a little bit better balance. And if you're wondering how the heck I've read so many books in just under two months, I've recently gotten hooked on graphic novels and comics, so I've been flying through those. Plus I've been gravitating toward shorter books in general and have even read a few kids' books that have caught my eye -- I love reading all kinds of books :)

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Do you have a book budget or any book-buying goals/limits for 2015?