Friday, 22 January 2021

Book Spending in 2020 & A Book Budget

It's no secret that I buy a lot of books. Most of them are ebooks and I tend to buy them when they're on sale. In a normal year, I probably add acquire more than double the number of books than I actually read but it doesn't deter me. However, it really should... So, I decided to do something a little masochistic and I tallied up how much I spent on books last year.

Up to December 23rd, I spent;
 £178.69 on kindle ebooks. 
£395.02 on physical books 
£32.47 on Audiobooks
£95.88 on my kindle unlimited subscription
£95.88  on my Audible subscription

This brings me to a grand total of £797.94 
(Which tells me is around $1100 USD)

I genuinely have no idea whether this is "good" or "bad" when compared to other book lovers, nor do I know whether it's possible to quantify such things for everybody's circumstances and preferences are different, but what I do know is that - excluding Kindle Unlimited reads and ARCs - I added 290 books to my shelves in 2020 which averages out at around £2.75 a book and I don't think that's too bad... Except, I read 133 books last year and 30 of them were KU. More than 20 were ARCs. About 30 were books I already had on my shelves/kindle before any 2020 buying... Yeah, do that math. I added 290 books and read about a sixth of them in the year they were purchased. 

This means, no matter how good the deals, I spent a load of cash I really didn't need to... Spending close to £800 on books over the course of the year wasn't something that stung my bank as it was spread out... A little bit here and a little bit there, but it's totally wasteful. I have no idea how many of those books I'll ever read especially when I keep adding to the pile so I have to institute some controls. 

This year, I'm bringing in a book budget!

I'm keeping my Kindle Unlimited and Audiobook subscriptions (~£190 for the year) and I'm imposing a £100 cap on all other book purchases backdated to December 26th.
The very idea freaks me out and makes me want to search for loopholes but I'm not giving myself wiggle room, guys. On top of the budget, I'm instigating the rule that I need to read more books than I acquire in a year! 
That way, I can't gorge on freebies or go on an ARC rampage.
  It's time to hold myself to account and that's why I'm sharing this... Accountability. 
I plan on updating my progress quarterly and I have no doubt what-so-ever that it's going to be a challenging year breaking habits acquired over many but it needs to be done for the sake of my sanity!

The bonus of it all is that, assuming 2020 is a "normal" year for me in terms of book buying, and it's actually probably a light one what with book stores closed for a good chunk of the year, I'll be saving close to £500! That'll be a nice addition to the holiday fund for when all the covid-madness is over.

Now, I have questions... 
Do you know what you spend on books in a year?
Do you have a book budget?
Do you think I'm a little bit mad? 
Wish me luck?


  1. I think I spent about $100 USD on books. I don't really buy many. I did a few orders when Amazon would give me a credit for spending X dollars. I load my account with a $100 gift card, and I have to think hard once the balance goes to $0.

  2. You are a brave, brave woman to add up all that you spent on books in a year. I don't even want to know. I don't even think I spend that much. I get a lot of newsletter freebies, a few arcs here and there, and the odd full price purchase. Otherwise I stick to a lot of 99 cent sales. Even so, that adds up so I really don't want to know a total. That's some strict budget you've given yourself so I'll look forward to seeing how it goes in your updates.

  3. I tell myself that spending money is good for the book industry. If we want books, somebody has to pay for them! I always track my spending because I’m broke. I usually spend around $200 a year on books for myself and the kid, plus another $100 on book gifts for people. It works for me and isn’t too much of a financial strain. Good luck with your budget!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. Last year, I started keeping track of how much I spent on books and my jaw fell on the floor : too much ! So I started listing my purchases on a special booknote so I would see how much I spent versus how many books I read and I've reached one decision : this year, book buying ban! With a few exception of certain books for group reads that I won't be able to get at the library (I'm a librarian...). After all, I have enough books, physical or e-books, to last me 3 ou 4 years... Once I've finished reading all my physical TBR, I plan on joining Scribd. If there's a book I read there and really love and plan on reading again, then, and then only, I'll buy it. Wanna bet on how much these beautiful resolutions will last ? ;)

  5. I get Amazon gift cards from doing surveys on survey sites. I only get books if I have an Amazon gift card to get them with. That is my way of budgeting. I probably spend a total of $200 a year on books. I usually try NetGalley first to get ARC's of books that I want to read first though. I also enter about 100 blog giveaways each month for either books or Amazon gift cards and I usually win at least one giveaway a month. I also use Goodreads to enter for book giveaways and I tend to win at least 5 books a years from there.

  6. You're so brave. And wise. I started to keep track of my books purchases last year and decided the beginning of March that I had to stop or else I would give myself a heart attack. I did actually slow down my book spending considerably for the rest of the year. Good luck to you! You can do it. :-)

  7. I'd say I think I spent the least amount ever on books last year. I tried to stick with my existing TBR just to clear them out. And I mostly used my library.

    I have KU but I get it during Prime days so that's about $50. I bought a few books from indie bookstores and that cost a bit more so maybe another $75. But that's it.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  8. I wouldn’t like to think what I spent last year, my KU sub was on promo so I’ve yet to pay full price and my audible subscription was the same deal but as for physical and ebooks, yikes, I don’t want to think.
    I’m doing a book buying ban this year and one month in, its easier than I thought though I may not say the same in ten months time

  9. I'm glad you threw your Top Ten post in here with your weekend wrapup post. And I know exactly how you feel. I have a lot of those moments when I am fed up with everything.

  10. "It's time to hold myself to account and that's why I'm sharing this... Accountability."
    How is it that us bloggers can't seem to stick to our plans/promises if we don't post them on our blog for the worlds to see? LOL.

    That's...a lot of money, especially since you can't possibly read ALL those books in a year. Personally, I spend very little on books, because 1)I'm picky as hell and 2)...I have a REALLY limited budget. I can see how all those sales would be tempting, what with each book costing very little per se, until you sum all of them and...😱. Good luck on your book budget project!