Blogger Confession: Sticking to my book buying guns is not easy (and sometimes I fail)!

Posted May 4, 2012 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 30 Comments


Hi Y’all!

Confession: I love eBooks and audiobooks! They don’t take up space in my house.  I can carry my whole library with me in my purse and/or bag.  I am never without a plethora of choices at my fingertips for when my mood says “Oh no, not that one but that ONE!”  Given a good choice in the matter, I would convert my entire library (save a few) into eBooks and/or audiobooks and donate the rest to a shelter.

However, I have a firm line in the sand about how much I will pay for an eBook or Audiobook.  I have had a firm line in the sand with paperbacks for as long as I can remember so it is of no surprise that I would have some set guidelines around the pricing for the other forms of books! Also this is just an honest checkpoint on how I am doing at my $100 a month for books (failing) budget! 

NOTE: I use this blog also to keep myself in check–you can skip the $$ breakdown (Please do it is a tad bit embarrassing LOL)

My breakdown (and how well I stick to it):

  • Audiobooks:These should be the most expensive form of a book.  You are paying for not only the writer’s creation of the story but also the actor(s) who are reading the story to you!  The reason I joined Audible eons ago was because I won’t pay over $15.99 for an audiobook.  Even then it has to be a really good audiobook by both an author and narrator that I trust.  Audible was the way that I could spend less than that (my credits are 11.99 apiece) and still hit up the $4.95 sales they have a couple of times a year.
    • I stick to my guns pretty well on audiobooks.  I really do wait for the sales.  Most of the time it is that $4.95 sale but I also will hit up the half-price sale when it rolls around IF the price is right. I save my credits to use on books that I know will be higher in price!
    • Where I sometimes fail:  Actually I can name 1 book that I spent more on and I haven’t even finished it: Game of Thrones!  It was 2 credits ($24). Even on sale the least I could find it for was $18.  If I get past book 1, I am going to see if I can borrow the rest from my library.

Keep It HONEST Checkpoint:

  • Credit Purchases (11.99): 11
  • $18.58 : 1 (Game of Thrones)
  • $4.95: 8
  • $7.95: 2


  • Mass Market Paperbacks and Hardcovers: These traditionally published books have a set publisher’s price that has always been pretty standard.  I have gotten used to the pricing structure and learned what I will/will not pay.  As with most traditionally priced objects, I will not pay full price.  I shop around from shop to shop to see where I can get the best deal.  This is usually 15 to 20 percent off the purchase price.  What can I say it is an object and I want my dollar to go as far as it can!
    • Most of the time I am pretty good at sticking to my guns on this.  I am a Barnes and Noble member who usually only purchases with a coupon or when they are running deals.  I don’t buy a lot of Hardcover books PERIOD!  They are personally usually out of my price range and they don’t fit on my shelves well. I will shop at Target, Wal-Mart, Half-Price books, and library sales to find books I want at much cheaper prices.  I love book shopping so hitting up more than one place to shop for the best price is not a hardship for me.
    • Where I sometimes fail:  Book signings!  Seriously I have bought books that I might never get too or *gasp* already have on my kindle or in audio form.  I am a sucker for having that magic signature inside my books!
    • What I don’t consider a failure:  When I am buying for gifts!  If I am buying a book for someone else for their birthday, as a thank you, or just because—I am willing to not only pay full-price but also don’t think twice about it!  It is a gift and they should get shiny new pretty books that they would not necessarily buy for themselves!

Keep It Honest Checkpoint:

  • Hardcover
    • $9.99:  1
    • $11.99: 1
  • Paperback
    • $1.00: 20 (Half Price Books $1 Sales Rack)
    • $3.99:  25
    • $5.59: 10
    • $5.99: 13
    • $6.99: 1
    • $7.99: 1 (originally 10.99)
    • There were quite a few in store purchases where I don’t have the receipts so I can’t be sure of the price.  I know there were a few author signings so add about 10 purchases to the total (Probably 2 HCs and 8PBs)


  • Big Paperbacks: I have always called them that!  They are a little pricey and I tend not to buy them for both space and affordability issues.  They seem to fall between that not quite a hardcover books but also a little more important than a MMP category.  However, some of them are even more expensive than a Hardcover because book stores don’t traditionally mark them down as much.
    • I usually have no problem at all sticking to my guns on this!  They don’t fit on my shelves well and paying $14.99 for a paperback seems a big extravagant.  They don’t stand up to time any better than a MMP.
    • Where I sometimes fail: Book Signings!  That pesky place where I fail on all book pricing LOL

Keep It Honest Checkpoint: None


  • EBooks:  I have harped on this enough that you know I won’t pay more for an eBook than I will a paperback.  Where hardcover eBooks (sounds silly) prices go—I won’t pay over $9.99.  I could go on and on about why but that isn’t what this confession is about!
    • Hardcover eBook prices are the easiest for me to stick too and the ones that kill me the most!
      • I have done really well this year about not budging on this particular line in the sand.  I have in some cases used my audible credits to get a new hardcover release at 11.99 (cheaper than I could in Hardcover or eBook when it should be the highest). Some examples: J.R. Ward, Charlaine Harris, and a few others.
      • Where I failed: Lara Adrian’s new book ($11.99)—I have the rest in eBook and did not want to break up the set.

Keep It Honest Checkpoint:

  • $0.00: 98
  • $0.99: 20
  • $1.99: 11
  • $2.99: 10
  • $3.99: 5
  • $4.99: 1
  • $5.99: 1
  • $6.99: 8
  • $7.99: 11
  • $9.99: 3 total: Waltz this Way by Dakota Cassidy, Siege by Rhiannon Frater, Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry
  • $11.99: 1 total: Deeper than Midnight by Lara Adrian


So do you find you have trouble sticking to your guns too? I have actually done pretty well but part of that is my Dave Ramsey plan that I started (though I am sure he would say books aren’t a necessity but I would never stick to a budget that didn’t have a book budget in it).

Total Spent this year (so far—yes as I said a few weeks ago I am an equal opportunity spender):

  • EBooks: $288.30
  • Paperbacks/Hardcovers:  $290.48
  • Audiobooks: $205.97


Plus I am totally over my book budget for the year so far by $184.00 so no books for the next 2 months! WOWZER I am glad I did a check point! I have 2 pre-orders but other than that I am on a Buying band for 2 months!

** another reason I did this particular confession was I felt the need to back up my earlier confession on why I find agency pricing annoying and why I am excited to see what the DOJ ruling means to me as a consumer**

**Authors: I do support y’all 100% BUT unfortunately I am not made out of money and pricing on all things (not just books) is something that I care deeply about. **

Felicia S
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30 responses to “Blogger Confession: Sticking to my book buying guns is not easy (and sometimes I fail)!


    I feel like we are sisters from another mother. 🙂 I love your book choices- you sound just like me. Although I havent gotten into the Audio books- I have a hard time concentrating when I listen to one and have to rewind all the time.
    I love the Kindle freebies – I have found some books that I wouldnt have known about otherwise – and I love when that happens.
    Just as an FYI- my faves are: JD Robb, JR Ward, Rachel Gibson, Nora Roberts and pretty much most of the paranormals.

    I signed up for your emails- can’t wait to hear more from you!


    • Audiobooks don’t work for everyone. I didn’t like them for the longest then I started at a place where I could listen to them while working–now I don’t know how to live without them!

      I *heart* Kindle Freebies! I have found some great authors that way and it is a great way to sample something. Heck I have bought whole series based on reading the initial freebie. Maybe I should rethink the freebie angle LOL 🙂

  2. Robin

    I could have written this post! Although I’m limiting myself to one book a paycheck in part because I already have so many in my audible stash and my ebook stash and my book book stash to read that spending more isn’t a necessity, yet. 🙂 I just like to keep it current. I’m also happy to live in an area with a great public library. Except for a few, J.R. Ward, Patricia Briggs to name a couple, if I can get it, especially in audible form from the library I do. I love my audible!

    I also belong to a very nice online paperbook swap and I have more than 100 credits so if I need a book book copy it comes from them. Each credit cost me about 3 dollars and I cleared out a ton of paperbacks. I don’t do book book from the library. I hate fines 🙂

    If I could get every book in audible or ebook form there wouldn’t be a solid book left in my home.

    • You are awesome! I don’t know that I could stick to one book a paycheck for a long time but the next 2 months I will!

      I think I need to check out my library–it is on my list for tomorrow (rare week day off). I haven’t been there in a few years!

      Me too on the ebook/audio—I would have so much more room in the house. I dream of the day!

      • Robin

        I’ve revised my one book a paycheck to all you can get for 20 dollars a paycheck. ) If you shop right that’s pretty good.

        I also am on the audible 24 credit buy and it’s the best! I like the price drop but also like that it’s not a monthly bill. I just dropped down to 12 credits and they asked if I wanted to renew for another 24 early. I’ll wait till my birthday…..always get some cash then.

  3. I loved your breakdown, Im not that organized when it comes to my book spending…I really dont buy to many paperbacks or hardbacks anymore, only the books I really REALLY want for my book shelves, most of the physical stuff comes in review books or library. Ive set a 50 a month book budget which part go’s to my audible membership and the rest is Ebook purchases, Im addicted to those 2.99 purchases….:D Like Missie, Ive been using my library a lot, they have the audible downloads and ebook downloads now so most of my stuff I get for free….I love it!

    • Last year I wasn’t organized at all! This year I kind of made myself start doing it (Of course I am doing this with all my spending–so it was just part of an overall spending haul)!

      I am going to start hitting my library! It is time!

  4. I’ve done pretty well this year keeping myself in check. My big splurge was when B&N had their romance books 50% off. I bought a slew of witchy romances from Christine Feehan, Anna Windsor and Jennifer Lyon. I’m always keeping an eye out for sales and specials, especially the wonderful coupons from Fictionwise.

  5. Friend, talk about a wake up call. Why does Amazon make one click buy way too easy? 😛

    Audible was sucking my wallet dry, so I decided to give my library’s audiobook section a go. Good news was that they had a lot of series, but a lot of the first few books in the series were missing. I just asked in they planned on getting them, and they put a request in just for me. Couple of weeks later, and I got a few! Love my library now. 🙂

  6. I loved this post because I’m always curious about how other people set their book budgets! I think we must be book twins. I love e-books and audiobooks because they don’t take up much space, but have a collection of signed hardcover books on my bookshelf which I don’t mind paying full price for because it helps support indie bookstores that host the author events. Just this week, I bought all of Kristin Cashore’s books in hardcover for her to sign (even though I had already owned two of them in paperback).

    I am an Audible member and do the 24 credits at once plan, which means that it’s a little under $10 per audiobook. I think that’s such a deal because as you said, we are getting the story and the performance! (Plus, audiobooks let me read when I am doing chores or other boring tasks, which I can’t do with e-books or paper books.) For e-books, I will pay up to $10.99 because most of the books I want to read are $9.99 or $10.99. I’ve noticed that Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster new YA books tend to be $9.99, while Penguin and Random House tend to be $10.99. Even though there is just a dollar difference, I tend to find myself gravitating toward the $9.99 books more often (out of principle maybe?).

    I spend way too much money on books each year, but it’s my main source of entertainment (as I don’t have cable or go to the movies or concerts often), so I don’t feel too guilty about it!

    • I probably need to switch to the 24 at once plan! It would probably make more sense in the long run.

      I think it is funny how when we are not thinking about it what our book buying purchases say about our psyche! I imagine it is true that without thinking about it you navigate more to the 9.99 ones 🙂 I tend to do that too without thinking about it even!

      I am about to cancel my cable since I don’t watch it nearly enough to justify the cost!

  7. Denise Z

    You are so my soul book sister LOL I have an incredibly hard time not indulging with all of the awesomeness that is out there. I have found myself jumping through incredible hoops hoping to win books in giveaways to help keep the budget gods at bay and I also end up finding wonderful blogs to follow. I also haunt the freebie top 100 lists and have come away with some real jewels that I might not have read otherwise. I am trying to stick to my guns, but sometimes . . . My only beef is the publisher set prices on some of the ebooks that is so incredibly high, especially when a paperback is so much cheaper. That really annoys me. I strongly feel an author should be compensated for their work, don’t get me wrong on that front, but I can honestly say I would buy more if they were not priced the way they are. I am impressed with your awareness and the fact that you are willing to look at the actual numbers LOL I will keep my head in the sand and pretend that a little here and a little there did not quite add up to that much LOL

    • LOL I have a REALLY hard time (evidently since I am over budget) resisting the new shiny books 🙂

      I definitely have paid more attention to freebies and giveaways this year. I even started entering goodreads giveaways again and I haven’t done that in ages!

  8. Wow, great post Felicia! I really really don’t want to know what I spend on books, I know it is way too much. But I also don’t buy expensive books, with only one exception: Bertrice Small. Her books are always published as those big and expensive paperbacks, for I just have to have the new book asap. With lots of authors I can wait a year for the small and cheap paperback, but not with her books. Not even sure they are published mmp.

  9. I’ve been pretty good, but when I did get a gc from my aunt for Christmas and there was a huge sale… well, I spent my money too because I couldn’t resist. Otherwise I’ve been pretty good.

    Great way to break things down.

  10. I am almost all ebooks these days. I hate storing books. I love that I can have as many as I want stored on my computer and up to three thousand on my kindle. A. my husband will never know how many books I have. B. I can carry all those books around with me . C. Imagine having that many books in your house. I rarley buy books these days cause I have so much to review I can’t find time to read the others anyway, but when I do I won’t pay over 9.99 for an ebook. I am glad Apple and all these publishers go sued for driving up the prices, glad they are going back down.

    • I want all eBooks! I am thinking about trying to put myself on a “you can’t have it unless it is in eBook and fits your buying parameters”—I am just not sure that I can stick to it 🙂

  11. I feel you. Last year I bought way too many books, but mostly on sale since they were a bit old, not that much.
    So far this year I spent way too much, but not just me! Everyone in my family and some close friends know that book is the perfect present. So they help growing my TBR pile, since I usually only buy ofter the release date, any book on my wishlist is good to go.
    But this year I’ve spent arong $250. Luckily I only buy ebooks and they have good sales.

    • Some of those above were probably bought on Christmas Gift Cards (I to always ask for books or giftcards) but yep I buy way to many books 🙂

      That being said, it gives me the chance to be vocal about prices LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

      *that is my excuse and I am sticking to it*

  12. Felicia – you are brave to post your budget and overages! I’d be too scared my husband would see. 🙂

    I, too, am constantly frustrated by inconsistencies in book pricing. Ebooks more than paperbacks? I feel like I’m taking more of a chance on ebooks because I don’t have the benefit of flipping through it at the bookstore, so I should be rewarded with lower prices. I could sit at B&N all day and read books without buying them, but you don’t hear publishers crying at that.

    And the big MMP prices infuriate me, like the Chloe Neill books. Why are they so expensive? They’re right there next to all the other paranormal/urban fantasy MMPs, but cost twice as much? You’re not enticing me as a reader with your crazy high prices.

    I’m curious to see what the DOJ case does, but I’m not holding out hope for lower prices to be honest.

    • I have to give myself a visual slap occasionally! Though honestly I didn’t know I had spent that much. I stay in my entertainment budget so I must be grabbing from there!

      I am way frustrated with pricing inconsistencies across books–it should be a pretty equal buying experience for what you get, lend-ability, and longevity.

      OH and MMP Book books—their prices have always staggered me. Seriously, that much for a paper book is just not right! GRRRRR!