Kernels of Nonsense: Eliminating Monthly Book Hauls

Kernels of Nonsense (2)Kernels of Nonsense is a bimonthly discussion feature where I like to explore various book and blogging related topics. This week I’m discussing my decision to do away with monthly book hauls.

I’ve been doing monthly book hauls for almost as long as I’ve been a book blogger. In those nearly two years, the only time I’ve missed posting one of these hauls is the month I was on a book-buying ban, August of last year. While I always enjoy sharing what books I’ve purchased each month, I’ve noticed that having a monthly book haul post has a few negative consequences.

There have been several months where I almost felt obligated to purchase a book or books before the month came to an end in an effort to make sure my book haul post didn’t look so empty. And while this didn’t happen a lot, it is something that happened enough that I started to question whether I was buying so many books because I wanted them or because I wanted to ensure I had enough books to make a “good enough” book haul post. A few weeks ago I was adding up my physical TBR for a challenge and noticed just how many books I bought when they were first released but failed to actually read. I can’t entirely blame my desire to have a sufficient book haul for a post, because sometimes I’m just too impatient when it comes to books.

This brings me to my next point, I feel that monthly book hauls (for me) inadvertently fuel impatience. Instead of waiting for new releases to be available from my library, I find myself preordering and purchasing far too many books when I have no intention of reading many of them right away. Preordering should be a reflection of my excitement for a release, a statement that says, “As soon as this book arrives, I’m diving right in!” Instead of purchasing all these new and shining books, I need to reevaluate whether or not I plan to read them right away, and if not, I need to seek them out from my library first. I’ve been on a book-buying ban this month, so I haven’t been in any real danger (yes, I have, I am weak, I struggle everyday) of buying any new releases, but I just got Passenger by Alexandra Bracken and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard from my library last week, both are recent releases I didn’t need to buy because bless my library, my holds came in pretty quick.

Speaking of impatience, I could save so much money if I would just wait a little longer to buy certain books. Have you ever preordered a book only to have the price drop a few days after its release? I cannot explain how frustrating this is for me (as someone who understands that $1 saved here and there can really add up). I’m actually quite certain there’s a conspiracy of some kind going on.

While I know I’ve made this resolution before (haven’t we all?), I really want to make an effort to spend less money on books in 2016. This is why I’ve decided to do away with monthly book haul posts. By doing so, I’ll be ridding myself of the pressure that comes from wanting to have a good book haul post every month, giving myself the opportunity to check out books from the library instead of buying them, and allowing some time to pass so I can get a better deal if I do decide to purchase a book.

Now this doesn’t mean I’ll be doing away with book haul posts completely on my blog (I’ll never be able to stop buying books altogether), but there will be a limited number. As of right now, I’m contemplating a quarterly book haul post, one that will take place every three months.

Do you make a book haul post every month? Do you find there’s added pressure to buy certain books as soon as they are released or because you want to put together a good haul post? How do you save money when it comes to book buying? Let me hear from you in the comments!

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26 thoughts on “Kernels of Nonsense: Eliminating Monthly Book Hauls

  1. I’ve actually never done a book haul. But, I’m fairly new to blogging. I had no idea you had to buy it to “haul” it. What is the definition of a book haul? I agree, we should buy the books we are excited to own first and foremost, not because of some secondary obligation. I can hear from your new resolution that a burden has been lifted from your shoulder. Glad for you, Alicia.

    Hugs,
    Lonna | FLYLēF

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From my over 6 months blogging, I’ve only done 1 book haul post, since I only buy 1-2 books per month. But I do admit I really enjoy reading those posts.
    Hope you can save more money and bring down your TBR in 2016! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds to me like you’ve made the right decision for you. I myself do a Stacking the Shelves post weekly where I list the freebies I downloaded along with any other book I got that week by any other means (won, arc, bought, etc). I rarely buy books just because we don’t have the money in our budget for me to do so. However, I also don’t visit my local library either. Their hours are limited and it’s a small library.

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  4. I know this exact problem- except I do it on a weekly basis! I included book hauls with my end of the week wrap ups. I’ve bought and preordered so many books lately I’m going to be on a 100 day book buying ban (so far so good)!

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  5. I don’t do book haul posts for the reasons you listed above! I wouldn’t want to feel obligated to buy something just for the sake of writing about it. Also, I’m at a point where my shelf space is so limited that I have to be very selective of what I purchase/bring home, so it just doesn’t make sense for me to do it! I love sharing photos of my books on Instagram though 🙂

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  6. I don’t do book haul posts — and to be honest, I tend to skip right by them when I’m reading other blogs. I feel they just feed into the emphasis on new, new, new… which seems to be the #1 thing to avoid on people’s resolutions for 2016! Anyway, I do mention what new books I’ve bought or borrowed when I do my weekly round-up posts, but I really do try to avoid spending money on brand new books, unless I’m 100% sure that I’ll read them the second they come out. Otherwise, it makes more sense to wait for a library copy or just buy a used copy down the road.

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  7. I swapped a regular book haul post for a ‘waiting on’ post a long time ago – goodbye pressure! Doesn’t help with my TBR pile much though… Lol. I completely agree with you about pre-orders, they should be reserved for books you want to read as soon as they come out. That’s a good goal to have. I only pre-ordered 2 books this month (authors I already know) and 2 for next month (authors I don’t) – Starflight and The Love That Split The World. Both of Feb’s purchases have great pre-release reviews, so I hope that I’ll love them!

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  8. I think I’ve only been doing book haul posts for about six-eight months. I really enjoy posting them – but I usually don’t read other peoples! (Mostly because I wind up finding way too many more books I want.) Considering the fact I’ve been on a buying ban for about three months, I still have pretty good sized hauls. (It’s like a compulsion.) But I can totally understand where you’re coming from. One month the thought actually crossed my mind that if I didn’t buy anything else I was going to have a tiny haul. Usually, unless it’s a book that I just HAVE to have right now, I tend to buy books used. If I wait a month or two after they’ve been released, the price can drop up to ten dollars – which is like three used books for the price of one brand new one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookish enthusiasm spreads so quickly, before you know it, you’re adding tons of books to your TBR. Yes, it’s so like a compulsion, you’re just struck with a need to buy a book (I’ve got two days left in my ban and these last few days have been really hard). I like your logic, I need to learn to wait more, especially when it comes to new releases.

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  9. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: January ’16 | A Kernel of Nonsense

  10. I think you make some really valid points here. I think the entire blogging/vlogging community, bookish and otherwise, is obsessed with “hauls” almost to an unhealthy extent. Do I do them? Sometimes. But the posts are sprung from the hauls, rather than the other ways around. This year I’m really trying to step back from ordering books until I get through a lot of the books I do own and have yet to read, because like you, I noticed I was ordering so many and they would just sit on my shelves unread. I want to be more responsible and thoughtful about what I purchase this year, especially since I agree with you, often a book will drop several dollars in price if I can just exercise a bit of patience!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, hauls are a large part of blogging in general. I’m really trying to be better this year with books, I’m fighting that “I need to buy a book now” feeling I get every once in a while because I’m not typically a rash person, but books for some reason bring out the impetuous side of me that’s really costing me more money than it should (I’m also usually very frugal). Let’s hope we both make better bookish decisions this year!

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