My Book Addiction—revealed to the dollar

books, books

Last year’s holiday season I decided to buy all of my friends used books. I love giving presents but sometimes it can make someone feel awkward for not giving you a gift. But a second-hand book takes out all the guilt. They are less than a drink and oftentimes less than, or the same price as a cup of coffee. I started to track how much money I spent on books for gifts. Then I realized it would be fun to see how much money I spent on books in a year. I often times look at my bookcases and wonder how much I have spent. When a friend suggests we get a manicure, I always think, but I could get a book with that money. No judgement on women who pay to get their nails done; from what I understand it is often about indulging one’s self. For me, buying a book is a much greater indulgence and seeing a new book on my shelf makes me so much happier than looking at professionally painted nails.

So below are all my indulgences. Some were bought as gifts for friends and family. Some were bought for me by my parents (they always generously indulged, encouraged, and groomed my reading habits). Some were gifts from friends. And the majority of them I have bought. Full price, on sale, discounted, and second hand. My book collecting really took a major upturn when I discovered (years ago) that second hand shops sold books.

And so I present my book expenses for the first six months of 2014. I have not bought a new purse or jacket in over three years; I have perfectly good ones: why waste money on another one when I can buy more books? Please hear the self-deprecation in that last sentence.

Book #   Date          Book title        Author         Price//With Tax

36_6.14.14     Last Call by Daniel Okrent (for Dad) $18//$19.57
35_6.14.14    Subversives by Seth Rosenfeld (for Dad) $24//$26.1
34_6.9.14     Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott $16//$17.4
33_6.9.14      Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno $6.99//$7.6
32_6.10.14    Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins $26//no tax
31_5.27.14     Earth Afire (gift from parents) by Orson Scott Card $8.99//$9.77
30_5.18.14    The Shadow of the Wind (for Colin) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon $1.99//no tax
29_5.13.14    The Elegance of the Hedgehog (for Franky) by Muriel Barbery $1.49//$1.62
28_5.10.14    In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson $1.99//no tax
27_5.10.14    Inferno by Dan Brown $3.29//no tax
26_5.10.14    Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climate (for Maureen) Tom Robbins  $1.99//no tax
25_5.3.14      The Sleeper and the Spindle (for me) by Neil Gaiman $18//$19.57
24_5.3.14      The Sleeper and the Spindle (for Tzuen) by Neil Gaiman $18//$19.57
23_4.28.14    The Satanic Verses (1st ed, HC) by Salman Rushdie $3.29//no tax
22_4.27.14     A Curse on Dostoevsky by Atiq Rahimi $14.95//$16.25
21_4.27.14     Ready Player One by Ernest Cline $14//$15.22
20_4.19.14     The Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte  $1.99//no tax
19_4.13.14      How Soon is Never? (for Jessica) by Marc Spitz $1.99//no tax
18_4.13.14      The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling $3.29//no tax
17_3.30.14      Cheri and the Last of Cheri by Colette $1.99//no tax
16_3.30.14      Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1st ed, HC) by Salman Rushdie $3.29//no tax
15_3.23.14      The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton $1.50//$1.63
14_3.23.14      Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh $2//$2.17
13_3.23.14     Rant by Chuck Palahniuk $1.75//$1.92
12_3.23.14     The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales $1.75//
11_3.15.14     Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (for Charlie)Robert M. Pirsig $1.99//no tax
10_3.1.14      The Ground Beneath Her Feet (for Erin) by Salman Rushdie $1.64//no tax
9_2.19.14      Bury Me Standing by  Isabel Fonseca $1.99//no tax
8_2.19.14      The Worst Intentions by Alessandro Piperno $1.99//no tax
7_2.8.14        Weird But True! National Geographic for kids* $7.95//$8.66//4.33
6_2.8.14        Prince of the Elves* by Kazu Kibuishi $12.99//$14.15//7.13
5_2.8.14       Last Council* by  Kazu Kibuishi $12.99//$14.15//7.13
4_1.21.14       I am Charlotte Simmons (for Aunt Eva) by Tom Wolfe $1.99
3_1.11.14       The Seville Communion (for Sada) by Arturo Perez-Reverte .50//no tax
2_1.3.14        White Teeth by Zadie Smith $1.99//no tax
1_1.3.14         Born Standing Up by Steve Martin $1.99//no tax

$243.91 for 36 books over 6 months. That’s roughly $40 a month. Not bad. Not bad at all.

*bought for Ari’s eighth birthday and split with Randy Maupin



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