Book List, Books

Buying Books I Don’t Read

Sometimes I am annoyed by myself. The reason is simple, I buy books that I don’t read. Ever. I never really go for a book shopping for more than two books a time, and once or twice I have been I made sure that I have read them all. But there are some books or the other when in time I glance on my shelf that brings back the happiness of buying it but the guilt of not reading it. I must day, I like buying books. Books which are lesser known. Books in series. Books with yellow pages, rusty covers and that smell!

I don’t think I am harming them in any way even if they are lying soundlessly on my shelf. That’s what we readers do and we do it by having  good intentions in our conscience. We have the best of intentions and never the worst of intentions when buying books. Sometimes it is a result of a peculiar obsession. Either obsession with the cover, or that smell, or the writer. 

Sometimes I think there is a kind of an enzyme in every reader which only works and reacts when they are buying books. When the see a bookstore or a sale on a used-bookstore. Some of the titles I can remember buying but never reading.

I know, I know.

This one and eleven others by the same author Tom Clancy. It has been a long time since I bought them and I think they will be staying on the shelf for a long time more.

It has been almost six months and it is still waiting to be picked up in the front row. Patience, my dear Mr. Hardy.

What are some of the titles you acquire but are waiting to be read?

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69 thoughts on “Buying Books I Don’t Read”

  1. Sometimes I get the urge to add up the amount of money I have spent on books. Separately, those I’ve read and haven’t read, and collectively. Just to see how much of my “hard earned” money is sitting amongst my shelves throughout the house. Eh, either way, books are good. They’re fun to read or to use for decoration, and I heard there was some study that the more books in a house where a child grows up, the better they do developmentally. Either way, I will continue to buy books I don’t read and continue to be pulled both ways in my feelings about it. A good post! Check out my blog if ya want, I like to read too. 👍🏼

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    1. Thanks for sharing the link. Oh, please. I don’t even want to open that door of summing up the money I have spent on books, especially those which are still unread. 🙂
      Books are great to be around with, I feel both for a child and for an adult too. Thanks for reading the post!

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  2. Like me pick out a few I am going to read. I just haven’t got to them yet. Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Hurston, Tried By War, by Mcpherson, Childhood’s End by Clarke, Tar Baby by Morrison, so many more because I am creating a library.

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  3. The worst is when after repeatedly trying to get into the book, you realize its just not for you. Watership Down falls sadly into this catagory. I got about half way and realized it is a well written, much beloved book but its not my kinda book. Others were impulse buys from the dollar stores.

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  4. I so can relate to this! I’m a book hoarder and have lots on my shelves that I keep saying ‘one day I’ll read that one,’ or else it’s a book I ‘saved’ (like my parents were going to throw it away or a charity shop was and I hate the idea of still readable books going in the bin) then I get more books and read them instead! Currently, I’ve the Battle Royal novel to read, Some Stephen King novels that I’ve had for years that I’ve not picked up and the whole of the True Blood series, which even though I’ve watched on DVD I’m still going to read them at some point.

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    1. Once I bought quite an amount of Tom Clancy’s war novels from a flea market a few years back. Last week, somehow I managed to gather enough courage to move them from one shelf to another one. Yeah, it always feel like that some them will be read later on, and out of those some of them are read later on.

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  5. I’m sure I have too many to go check but I know I bought the Goldfinch and I haven’t read it yet. I also tend to buy books I see as classics that I will go back and read or just want to own.

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    1. One time, someone said to me, ‘owning books is good, reading them is better.’

      I guess, my mother said that to me a few months back when I confessed that I haven’t read a pile of books yet.

      I think I can never help the temptation of buying books.

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  6. I have an entire (albeit smallish) bookcase devoted to my “pile of shame”–aka books I’ve bought and not read. I will read them, someday. I had The Night Circus for 3 years before I read it! Mostly, the books are parts of series I’m reading and I’m just waiting for another one or two more to come out so I can binge read them (like Netflix bingeing, but for books haha).

    PS-I think there’s something about the scent of paper and ink, new or old, that activates a primitive hunter/gatherer instinct in a bibliophile’s brain. ^_-

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    1. Yes, you are absolutely right. There is something about them that activates the instinct in a bibliophile and I think it is my personal observation and a realisation that whenever i see books, everything goes blurred, the surroundings, the people, the chitterchatter, my focus is humongous at that time of buying books.

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  7. Too many … so many … some grabbed from my shelf Geoff Dyer Anglo Saxon Attitudes, Susan Sontag Where the Stress Lies… Adam Ford The Art of Mindful Walking… and on and on it goes!

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  8. Both my mom and I are impulsive book buyers, so I was surrounded by more books than I could ever read since I was still in elementary school.. On one hand it’s great to know that you have many different choices to pick for your next read, but then again it’s certain that many of those books will remain unread, and that’s a pity of sorts.
    I do believe that there’s a right time for a book to be read, so you shouldn’t feel bad about having unread books on your shelves. And even if you end up not reading them, this feeling of happiness you get when you see them there is more than enough, I think 🙂

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    1. I agree with you, there’s always the ‘time’ to read some book. At times, I carry two to three ebooks on my ereader as next to read and sometimes I don’t pick any of them. I just find something else to read altogether.

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      1. Yes, exactly! That happens to me all the time, too, that’s why I don’t really like making TBR lists – I almost always end up reading something entirely different 😛 But it’s fun in its own way, don’t you think? 🙂

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      2. Yes, I certainly do. Picking books depending on the time and mood is always fun. I have never made a TBR list and never followed one. Maximum I have chosen two ebooks on my Ereader and read them. I think it is because of my always changing state of mind. 🙂

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  9. I have around 50 unread, some really great ones, the lowland, clifton chronicles, to kill a mocking bird, and the mountains echoed, life of others, phew¡!! Just to name a few..

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  10. I don’t think I can list them all…I love to buy books. I always pick them up on sale, believing I will read them later, because at the time I’m in the mood to read them…then I forget about them because I’m in the middle of something else. I am a mood reader, and if I don’t see them, I don’t think about them. I am exceptionally bad at this in audible and ebook formats because I don’t see them looking back at me from my shelves.

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  11. I love buying secondhand books. Only when I moved a few years ago I was inbetween houses and alot of them were in storage where they got damp and ruined. I gave alot away to charity after that so now I stay away from bookstores until I’m settled permanently and I can start filling up bookshelves again. Its all very sad. I console myself with buying shoes instead but its just not the same.

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  12. I’m lucky to live in an area with a superb library system, so I usually get a book from the library before I decide to buy it. (I’m a big re-reader, so it works for me.) But me t-read list gives me the same sense of guilt sometimes. There are books that have been on there for years and will probably be on there until the end of time, but I just can’t let them go!

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  13. I probably have about 50 books waiting to be read, usually they are picked up at bargain prices so I don’t see the harm in getting them while they are cheap. And you never know, I might get trapped in my house due to the zombie apocalypse, and I’ll be glad of all the un-read books that keep me going 🙂

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  14. This happens to me so many times. I usually don’t get a chance to go book shopping and when I finally do, I splurge. I love the reasons you gave for buying those books which in some part of your brain, you know you are not gonna read. But, like you said, for the cover, for the yellow pages, for the smell… it drives me bonkers- the guilt of seeing them sit on the shelf, waiting to be picked up. But, the feeling of buying a new book…Sigh! Paradise on earth.. Thank goodness I’m not the only one 😀

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  15. I do this too! It’s an awful habit that I’m trying desperately to break. I have books on my shelf that I bought midway through high school… and I graduated nearly six years ago. Oops.
    I have recently pulled a whole heap of books out that I know damn well that I won’t read, or those that I did read but didn’t like or just know I won’t read again. I still haven’t actually got rid of them though!
    I’ve been trying to get through them by having reading lists made up entirely with books that I already own, and it has been working. Trouble is, I still keep buying more books!

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    1. Buying books is a never ending process. I sometimes think at night that I will not buy books until I have read every book on my shelf. But the the next morning, I go to a bookshop and buy some more. 🙂

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  16. Sometimes I have a spree of books I want to buy in a basket and then I get out the calculator and I do the unfortunate task: DO I NEEED THISS!? It is often yes but I usually think back and think would I actually read it. Tough sometimes. I recommend reading The Color Purple. There is post-colonial concerns about the representation of black culture and how particularly black males are represented which some readers (particularly at the time) had strong feelings about, but I think that is more to do to with Walker and womanism. It is worth a read I think.

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      1. You know what. that comment reminded me on a post I shelved for a while until i finish other i started called ‘judge a book by its cover’ where even though that is appropriately used in terms of people, it shouldn’t necessarily be for book because covers are used for a reason. As you’ve well said, sometimes the title or the cover is even to tempt someone and that is quite a powerful technique for books to sell, especially a lot of what we respond to is visual. *exhale* rant over.

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  17. I can’t think of a book I have ever bought that I didn’t read. I can’t think of many books I have started reading that I didn’t finish either. I have read a few of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series now…some are better than others of course but worth a try.

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  18. I live in Italy and after my first return to the UK back in 2002, I would buy so many books, most of them – remained unread by me. The books I want to read but struggle to read are the big ones. Autobiographies: maybe because they make my life seem so uneventful (and it really isn’t!) of this I can assure you.

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  19. A couple years ago, I collected some classics from the Barnes and Noble collection and haven’t even cracked the spine yet. Those are books I have to be in the mood for.

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