Sure, there are probably lots of bookpeople out there who are super responsible about spending your money when it comes to books. You know all the best ways to save bank: You go to the library religiously, shop for used books, and have no time for “special” editions and other marketing ploys. I salute you, brave bookperson. Also, this post isn’t for you. 

It’s for those of us without self control, without the tools to “just say no” to some sparkly cover. We must faithfully obtain every edition, we must watch every adaptation, and we need all the merchandise. Frankly, we’re going to end up living in one of the large boxes that our book orders come in. And here is why:

1.Multiple Editions of Every Book Ever. 

You know the drill. Book of Hype is releasing in two months, and it has already begun: The pre-order gifts, the fancy first editions, and my personal favorite (thanks, UK) the “collect all 6 Book of Hype covers!”. Then of course, the publisher comes out with special covers afterward. You know- the anniversary edition, the paperback edition, the “Hey it’s a Tuesday and I bet readers will spend money if we make a new cover” edition.
I am so beyond guilty of this, I don’t even know where to begin. Well, let’s begin with the worst of the offenders, of course. (For me, anyway!) The Hunger Games.
Tip. Of the. Iceberg.
These aren’t the only multiples I have- I also have all the UK Three Dark Crowns and The 100 editions of various types. OH and UnwindOnly Ever Yours, Disruption…. okay FINE, I have a problem.

2. Books you don’t need 

Yeah so, have you ever gone into a bookstore, or been online browsing, and thought “hmm, that book looks good”, and added it to your cart? Of course. But what if, for example, this is the third book in a series that you haven’t even started? Would a reasonable person do that? I don’t know, but I do. More often than I’d like to admit. These are books that I bought even though I have not read the one before it yet:

These don’t even include books I have won, traded, been sent for review, gotten at conferences… if I added them all in, well, there would not have been enough room on the shelf. What if I hate the first book? Then what? Now I have a whole damn series of books I won’t like! This is a fabulous way to send yourself to some kind of debtor’s prison.

3. Shelves and Such

Well, now you have spent all the money on books, but where are you going to put them all? Right, you, my friend, need some bookshelves, stat. Now, if you are rich and fancy, maybe you can buy some kind of nice, matching bookshelves. I bet they’re mahogany or something classy.

But for my fellow non-rich folk out there, you may have something along the lines of my shelving situation. It goes like this: I had one crazy-big bookcase from when I was a kid that should be fine for a normal person’s needs. But it wasn’t. So then I bought a cheap little Walmart one that didn’t match anything, but soon that overflowed. So then I bought another pretty sizable bookcase on Amazon, that didn’t match either of the other two. And when space ran out, I bought a fourth shelf from Amazon- this one does actually match the third one, but let’s be honest, at this point, the odds were in my favor.

4. Merchandise 

I’d like to take a minute and give a nice shoutout to Harry Potter here, because I am pretty sure Harry takes the cake for merchandising. I mean, dude has his own park, right? You can spend literally thousands of Harry dollars in just a couple days, and you wouldn’t even be trying that hard.

But really, book merch has been around for a long time. I had all the merchandise for The Baby-Sitters Club back in the day. The sleeping bag, the board game, the posters, the t-shirts, and probably some other stuff I am blocking out because it was embarrassing.

Now, of course, we have all sorts of new and exciting merchandise! Everyone and their talented mom has a Society6 store (insert shameless self-promo) where you can throw all the money at bookish quotes, fan art, and things of that nature. And hell, half your favorite series probably have Funkos at this point, too.

Feel free to judge away.

Point is, if you love a series, you’re going to want whatever you can get your hands on when it comes to it. Which leads me to my next point….

5. Adaptations: Movies, Premium TV Subscription, etc

So, finally, your favorite book is being made into a movie! You don’t know if you should be excited or terrified, but you do know for damn sure you’re going to be seeing it. So I mean, $10 for a ticket, throw in some popcorn and a drink, and the fact that you’re absolutely going to buy it later… well, you’ve probably spent $40. Easy.

But wait! That one book is being made into a show! This is exciting, right? Well, that depends. How much money can you spend on random ass television? Because if you want to watch Game of Thrones, Big Little Liesand probably some other shit, you’re going to need HBO. Want to watch The Handmaid’s Tale? Hulu subscription required. 13 Reasons Why or A Series of Unfortunate Events on your radar? Better make sure your Netflix is up to date. Miss Ricky Whittle and/or need to see American Gods? Well, I hope you have Starz. And other faves require a cable subscription, if you want to watch Shadowhunters or Shannara. And even my beloved The 100 has been tough for people in certain places, even though The CW is free in a lot of areas, it isn’t in all.

Unless you are rolling in all the money for entertainment, you’re going to be missing some. I have a serious case of the sads that I will forever be spoiled about Game of Thrones before I ever get to watch it. I want so badly to watch The Handmaid’s Tale, and I NEED Ricky Whittle back in my lifeeee. But alas. I am luckier than a lot of people, and I acknowledge this! But if I spent all that money? I would legit not be able to pay my mortgage, so see how quickly we can get to that box?

Aka, bankruptcy

6. Kindles and Electronic Stuffs

If you’re going to really commit to this whole “spending all your money” thing, you’re going to have to grab an e-reader of some kind. If you want digital ARCs, this is nearly a necessity. And, if you don’t have an e-reader, you’ll need some device, certainly a phone, a computer. I mean, granted, you kind of need those things to function in 2017- at least a working phone, I suppose- but if you want a smartphone or… well, I don’t actually know how audiobooks work, but I bet you need… something to listen to them on. Because I highly doubt that the narrator knocks on your door and just starts spewing forth words from Book of Hype.

7. Blogging Costs

Now, this does only apply to the bloggers among us. And let’s be real: you don’t need to spend money to blog. You just don’t. You can teach yourself how to code and do design even if you have Blogger or free WP. You don’t have to do giveaways, or pay for extra plugins, or whatever. It can all be done for free, well, as long as you have a way to connect to the internet.

But I am talking about ways to spend all the money, so screw free. How do we make sure we spend all the money? Well, you can get a nice, professional design. I did that once, then my blog crashed a few weeks later, and I had to recreate it all from scratch by myself. (Learning experience, though!) You can give away all the things. Books for everyone! You can become self hosted, and then buy every available plug-in- though to be honest, this will probably not make your blog very efficient, so maybe skip that one?

You can hire a blogging secretary! I have wanted to do this for ages, only I have no actual money and none of my friends are willing to do it. Believe me, I have asked.

8. Conferences/Events

Now, these can be mildly pricey to holy-crap pricey, depending on the situation. If you are lucky enough to live near a bookstore that has authors coming around, you can probably do this for not much money. But, if you want to go to a several-day long event in a city far from you… well, get ready to shell out the money! If you fly, don’t forget that you have to haul books somehow. Or you can make Val  or Sabrina do it. Just pay them. In seriousness, it is a great way to see the bookish people you love from all around the country/world, but save your pennies!

Worth. It.
Then there’s hotels. Find some friends, or get a tent prepped and huddle outside the convention. I mean, I don’t know if anyone would throw you out, but think about the stories you’d have to tell! Whatever you do, if you order gnocchi in Atlanta and it’s $20, be sure they give you more than 8.
Delicious, but I needed another actual meal after!

So yeah. My point is, bookish stuff can be pricey. Especially if you don’t keep it in check. Which… well, I have been better, above Funkos aside. But it is a struggle, because there will always be pretty new editions, the next “Big Thing”, and events all over the place. And I don’t know about all of you, but money is not something that I am rolling in. So I did this post in jest, of course- I don’t really want any of us to be bankrupt ha- but it is easy to see how much some of this stuff adds up, isn’t it? 

Do you ever find yourself concerned with bookish spending? Or do you have a pretty good handle on it? Or are you just super rich and money is no object? If that’s you, hit me up, we need to chat 😉 

Posted April 17, 2017 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 50 Comments


50 responses to “How to Go Bookishly Bankrupt

  1. HAHAHA this post is perfect timing considering I just ordered 11 books from Amazon tonight. THE SPECIAL EDITIONS KILL ME. And that fact that it seems like every book is coming out with a different cover when it’s released in paperback now??? How can I keep up??? I feel like there’s always some nicer and newer cover coming out and I wish I hadn’t bought the “bland” regular edition!

    • Oh my goodness, 11 books!? I am jealous hahahah. And YES- what is the deal with all the new covers!? I mean, obviously it is working, since we buy them, but still 😉 And I agree- even though I liked whatever the original cover was, I always want the newer, shiny one!

  2. You know I used to collect multiple editions of certain books, usually if it was a cover artist I liked. Or a certain series. I don’t do it as much anymore but if it’s a series I love- absolutely. And sometimes you have to have a READING copy, right? So that the precious does’t have a broken spine or those irritating read marks.

    Speaking of merch, I do not have any of The 100 Funko’s yet. But I LOVE that Lexa one. Must have. And shelving- I won’t even go there. Because my situation is NOT good. But #5 is the big one for me. I have Netflix and HBO Now, and that’s about it. No Hulu or starz. I wouldn’t really give a shit about Starz except I can’t watch Black Sails or that new White Princess that just started and looks kick ass. So that’s annoying AF. And I don’t have cable either so I end up watching TWD and Fear the Walking Dead and whatever else on Amazon at $2 an episode. Yeah it does add up… and cons totally break the bank lol.

    And I know we were discussing the neon HG cover but I have to say- those three in your pic- they DO look good on the shelf, and I like that green one especially. Hmm…

    • YES. Reading copies are a MUST. I won an old copy of THG that was well-loved from Adam Silvera once and now it is the one I ALWAYS read because I don’t have to worry about the spine- I even take it in the bath hahah.

      You do need The 100 Funkos. I don’t know why, I just know that you do. Because we really don’t get much merchandise for it, so you have to grab whatever you can, maybe? 😂

      The struggle with the shows is REAL. I want to watch American Gods for no other reason than I need Ricky back on my screen 😉 BUT I really actually WANT to watch The Handmaid’s Tale- and since it is on Hulu, how does that even work? Would I ever be able to just buy a season? I know Holly had to buy The 100 season 4 on Amazon because her town doesn’t get The CW and the site just sucks. I watched True Blood on Amazon at $2 a pop too, it was annoying. But it’s like, either pay or be spoiled.

      And SEE? The neon covers are GREAT, so you should get them and then, you know, READ THEM hahhaha.

      • So the neon covers are available?? I’m heading over to Amazon after this to see what’s what. As much as people on my post weighed in against them, I don’t know… I’m kinda coming around on them. You know? They look good with the spines lined up like that…

        Okay Funkos. I love em and I only have one, a Star Wars one. I need more. Because surely I can’t Bookstagram without a zillion Funkos on my shelf right?? But I also need Clarke and Bellamy to look at when I’m writing a 100 review ha ha. And maybe Octavia and Raven… and is there a Murph one? I must go see.

        I HATE watching shows on the CW site because commercials. I’ve been watching Riverdale and The 100 there. I’d almost rather pay $2 a pop at Amazon just to skip the commercials. I’m not really sure about Hulu, I had a trial once and let it lapse, it didn’t really work for me but I was super into Netflix and always watching that. I guess I could have caught some TWD and other shows on Hulu and saved money buying them at amazon… but I didn’t want to pay for both. I dunno… but I hope you get to watch The Handmaid’s Tale?!? I think I saw a promo for it and it looked good?

        • They ARE, but not in the US! They were UK editions, so Book Depository should have them. They were cheap too, like $7 each!

          There is no Murphy, sadly. I don’t have many Funkos either, just The Hunger Games and now The 100. I am so obsessed though that I actually tried to find one of Henry Ian Cusik’s character on Lost, because they have Lost Funkos, but alas, he doesn’t have one there either. He is getting the short end of the stick, damn it! I need Kabbys, and one of Jaha being weird and culty, and Jasper with his damn goggles, and yes to Murphy!

          That is how Holly felt about the commercials too- plus it kept like, freezing up in the middle of them, so she’d have to start over and watch the damn commercials AGAIN. So yeah, the $26 is worth it for a short season, I figure!

          You actually gave me an idea! I can do a 30 day free Hulu trial, binge watch the Handmaid’s Tale, and then quit! Bwhahah thanks for that 😉

  3. My spending just keeps growing. Bookstagram makes me spend money. I just bought both Strange the Dreamer editions because…gorgeous! I just keep buying bookish candles too. I can’t stop!

  4. I am getting worse with spending money. Bookoutlet and Kindle book sales are my downfall. I am good with more other things but book sleeves right now are an obsession and I must own all of them. Me and Etsy have been best friends lol. It is very easy to spend $$$ with books and bookish stuff!!!

      • Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

        I have some from 4 different Etsy stores (I really am obsessed) : PagesRemembered, AuAlternateUniverse, TheCozyLifeShop, storybookgirls. They have all been really good quality!

  5. I WANT to spend on books but I honestly don’t actually spend a lot because I don’t have the money. Hahahaha. However when I am a rich and famous author I will also rapidly not be rich because I’ll have spent it all on books and shelves with ladders and probably a magical cape. And if I had money I’d buy everything in hardcover. 😍 Excuse me while I go fall down a goldmine now and hopefully solve all my wishful problems. 😂

    • I feel you, honestly. I have been MUUUUUCH better about buying books lately! Somehow. I think ALAMW helped a lot, and then I traded for a few, so it worked out well. Of course, there are like 5 books that I pre-ordered for May BUT they were all gift cards so that isn’t bad, right?

      Good news: You will probably be famous soon. Bad news? You will also be broke soon. But more good news? Look at all the authors you’ll be supporting! 😉

  6. I’m pretty good at managing money because I’m the cheapest person ever, but the TV stuff kills me. The Handmaid’s Tale is my favorite book ever, but I don’t have Hulu money. I finally saw Game Of Thrones last year because my dad got HBO, but now I need to watch the new season, and I don’t know when his subscription runs out. Problems.

  7. Your bookshelf situation is identical to mine…but I only have one. It’s light wood IKEA from an ad for $20…I thought it would hold everything in the world but some parts of the shelves have these ripped ridges and I don’t want to put my paper books on those, so I have to pop a funko box there and it takes away valuable real estate.
    I need another one…and if after two shelves, I don’t have room, I am just going to take a wall and make it all shelving. That at least works for anything you have besides books as well.
    Love this post. I can totally relate.

    • Aw thanks! And YES- I want to make a wall all shelving too… I just don’t know HOW? I feel like it would make more sense and take up wayyy less space than all these ridiculous bookcases but… I have no idea how to actually do it? If you have any tips or tricks, let me know 😀 Also, sorry about that Ikea bookshelf ruining your books, that is RUDE. I actually lined one of mine in like, that stuff you line drawers with? Contact paper or whatever it its called? That might help!

      • That’s a great idea, actually…then I can remove the torn wood and no one would no it was gone! Did you pick a particular kind to go with the shelf? Mine is that light wood color, and I’m dreadful at matching…but that is genius! (I was thinking of removing the splintered parts and covering them with duct tape…I was that desperate to protect the books!)
        As for the wall of shelves…I have no suggestions as of yet. I’m thinking of either just buying multiple shelves of the same kind (like IKEA ones – but unfortunately they aren’t anywhere close). But maybe Walmart? They don’t have to be pricey but look the same, and then you just put multiples next to each other on one side of the wall…I wouldn’t know where to start if it came to building my own!

  8. A blogging secretary, that sounds like a dream! I swear I’m going broke from buying all of these shelves and bookish merch! I actually just bought my first bookish candle because my obsession with ACOMAF is REAL.

    Surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve bought multiple copies of books, although I’m tempted with that UK Strange the Dreamer!

    • I am so SCARED to buy bookish candles because I will never stop, I fear. But I love candles AND I love books so it is inevitable, I fear. As for the Strange the Dreamer, I am super sad, because I was supposed to get a copy and Idk where it went, and now the edges aren’t blue anymore and I want to SOB. Because… #booknerdproblems 😉

  9. This would definitely be me if I weren’t a broke teenager that needs my parents’ money. 😂 I DID badger them to take me to Bookcon, though, which is pretty expensive. And new bookshelves. And some books. So there’s that!

    I don’t blame you for getting all the editions of The Hunger Games! They just have such gorgeous covers everywhere you look! I really want to buy new ones because mine are so ratty, but no money, so oh well! Sometimes, I want to get a job so I can pay for stuff, but then I realize I’m way too shy for any jobs available for me at the moment!

    • Hahhahaha I feel you- when I was a broke teenager, I had much less broke parents who caved to a lot of my nonsense, so yes. Yes things were better then, when the money wasn’t my problem 😉 That is super nice of your parents to send you to BookCon though, I hope you have a wonderful time!!

      Eh, if I were you, I’d wait for the job- you’ll have LOTS of time to work and buy all the pretty editions- plus, for now there are always birthdays and holidays to ask for them at 😀

  10. OMg hahahhahah the gnocchi made it to this post LOL. And also, in that first picture, did Peeta fall there? I SEE HIM IN the CORNER.

    I’m sad about all those adaptations because I really wanna watch the Handmaid’s tale, but it’s only on Hulu which I don’t have. BUT AT LEAST I HAVE 13 REASONS WHY

    • Bwhahh they DID. I had to fit them in somewhere since I put the kibosh to my actual recap post, and I am STILL HUNGRY.

      Peeta DID fall, and I was too lazy to pick his ass up before I took the picture- I was wondering if people would notice, good eye 😉

      I need to watch 13 Reasons Why but I am re-watching The 100 and I have 15 episodes to watch in like, 4 days so. But then I will! We can probably find Handmaid’s Tale… elsewhere 😉 Have you read the book? I really need to.

  11. Kel

    Money is definitely in short supply, so I’m mostly on a book-buying ban. Every once in a while I treat myself to something at Dollar Tree ($1 books!), but otherwise I try to hold out until the library gets it or I have a gift card or something. I’ve also tried to get even pickier, especially with the merchandise stuff. If I’m not sure I absolutely love it and need the actual thing, it can stay a picture on my computer screen. 🙂

    More importantly, what in the world is a blogging secretary, and could I actually get paid for it?! I work for chocolate and books. 😉

    • A blogging secretary is someone who answers all my emails and sometimes my comments when I am ridiculously behind. They probably also search for GIFs 😉 And YES you can. 😀

      I am on not *quite* a ban, because when I say “ban”, it makes me want to buy books to like, rebel? So now I am just VERY picky. I actually pre-ordered a bunch of books with a gift card and am ONLY allowing myself those for now. I think because I am in such few fandoms, it helps with the merchandise too 😉

  12. Sam

    My guilty pleasure is bookish events. I love them! And I agree, totally worth it. I am guilty on the electronics front. I have a paperwhite, and I am hoping it breaks, so I can justify buying an Oasis. Yes, I have kindle envy. I also have a Fire, but it’s not the same, right?
    Sam @ WLABB

    • BWHAHA I love that you are actually hoping for the demise of your paperweight 😂 I have a Fire, and it’s all I use, but no, it isn’t the same at all- especially because it is HEAVY and hurts my hands. And events are my kryptonite, I swear- because how else do you see books AND authors AND bloggers?! You can’t!

  13. I LOVE this post! The only thing here that I don’t do is different editions of books—unless you count the illustrated version of Harry Potter, which I justified by buying it “for my daughter” (who has never read it and probably never will). I spend way too much on blogging. Basically my editing job is just to pay for my blogging hobby. Which actually works out pretty well, so I’m not complaining.

  14. Going bookishly bankrupt is the easiest thing in the world. Now, I am very impressed with your Hunger Games collection. The only book series I’ve gone out and bought another addition of is the Shades of Magic trilogy. In a strange turn of events having the bookshelf has actually made me more aware of the amount I spend so I don’t actually spend as much as I use to do when my books piled themselves up on the floor haha.

  15. I can completely relate! I finally gave up on the bookshelves and bought new ones from Ikea so they all match because I just needed one more instead of two. I 100% agree on your gnocchi post I ordered it recently at a restaurant and the dish looked the same I am like umm I am starving still! It is so easy to spend money on book things!

  16. I’m lucky that I don’t care for paper books anymore (seriously, I can’t even read them) so I buy very very few of them. I do have a book budget for ebooks and audiobooks that I exhaust every month but, otherwise, I am pretty good with bookish spending. I like to do a few giveaways a year but nothing crazy!

  17. I keep things in check for the most part, but yeah, bookish love can get crazy expensive. I’m obsessed with all things Harry Potter so that doesn’t help; there is SO MUCH I NEED.

  18. Also, this post is totally for me, Shannon *evil laughter*.
    And I can’t even say I’m overly concerned about my book-spending. Even if just before I happened upon your post I one-clicked a six-book series for my kindle. Just because I loved the first book in the spin-off series. And I enjoy the author, too. So I can totally relate.
    I’m also going to Atlanta for the RT Booklovers’ Convention in ten days. That’s me – traveling from Europe for ten days of unpaid leave so I can meet and greet favorite authors and bloggers. While spending a small fortune. And I know I’m going to love every second of it, too!
    I’m fairly good about not getting other book-related stuff. But I do go a bit crazy over authors I absolutely adore. Like, having the UK and the US editions, plus French and Norwegian editions of CoHo’s books… That doesn’t really count, though, does it? I’m seeing her twice in the next year, and it would be rude not to have any books for her to sign, yes?
    Great post, Shannon! *hugs*

  19. Yeah, I’m with you. I spend way more than I should on books/bookish things/everything because my self-control is non-existent. I have no restraint at all and whilst I am capable of just about resisting owning multiple copies of books (unless it’s coming with pictures or it’s a really pretty cover) I can’t help but buy books even though I know I don’t have time to read those ten books I just couldn’t remove from my basket. It’s like a disease, I see a book and instantly need to buy it. It’s practically impossible not to. Luckily I manage to avoid bookish merchandise less from self-control or not wanting it and more because I simply don’t have space. Books I can justify as I can read them but pretty things to go on shelves and walls I don’t have… can’t quite do that. Sometimes it’s good having limited space to keep stuff, this is one of those times. I do think I’m going to have to start building furniture out of books, though, with the number I have going on.

  20. Love this! I’ve spent sooooooo much money on books in the past years and I’ve finally learned to cool it a bit. I used to pay for my blog but now I’m just going the free route. One thing that always tempts me is international editions of my favourite books … some covers are so gorgeous and I want to own all of them!

  21. This title was the bomb dot com. I’m actually pretty decent about the amount of $$ I spend. I don’t buy THAT many books (though lately I’ve been getting a little crazy), and I don’t really collect special editions or multiple copies of really anything. I use blogger, and my domain name was like $10 for 2 years. I did get a personalized design, but that was over 2 years ago. The merchandise does get me though. I can’t pass up an HP t-shirt and NEED every Funko for every fandom I like (I just completed my Hunger Games Funko collection over Easter and was SO happy!). But yeah, the conventions, the travel, the books, the merch– it’s definitely a large chunk of my spend money!

  22. What a great post! I’m the same with The Hunger Games, I have three copies of the series and that’s my most owned one! Mostly, I just have a problem where when I buy a digital copy of a book I’m afraid to damage it by actually reading it so I double up and buy the ebook. I have an ebook for pretty much every physical paperback I own. I am just paranoid.

  23. Ugh. All of this especially different editions of books /sigh. I also struggle with buying books I don’t need but since they’re cheap why not but now I need more shelf space, it’s a bad cycle haha. Great post, Shannon!

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