Spending less on books

I really have a bad habit of buying too many books that I don’t generally read. I have the urge to own every book that seems to be linked even very remotely to me. I do spend a lot of money on books. This year I have spent around atleast 4k on books and I am only half way through 2007.

Before this gets crazy, I found J.D. posting an article on how to save money on books. Most of them are common sense, but so long as our minds are occupied with the urge of satisfying our ego (i.e. to buy books, decorate them in our book shelves and feel happy about it), we generally don’t see things that are even common sense. I list some of the tips that I liked below:

  • Don’t buy new books. Let it go through the Darwinian wars and wait for the result.
  • Read reviews. Amazon is THE best site for reviews. Long ago, when our fresh batch of juniors came in, Tejaswi introduced me to Amazon. That was my first encounter. Since then I regularly visit the site and whet my desire to know about different books.
  • Read a lot of classics online. Gutenberg project is one that holds thousands of classic works. I knew this already. What is new to me was the DailyLit service that allows one to read snippets of books either by e-mail or through RSS feed. This one sounds too cool. I am gonna check it out.
  • Explore used book stores and buy them there.
  • Buy a book only if you are planning to read. This may sound too ridculous, but just run this question in your mind when you are holding a book at the shop deciding whether to buy that or not, and you will see the real importance of it. :-)
  • Share books. J.D. says it is the best way to stretch the value of a ruppee (ok, he meant a dollar).
  • Visit Library. This is far from desirable in this place. I doubt how many libraries update their shelves with the new ones from the market.

So it takes self-discipline, in short, to spend less on books.

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