I've been trying a new mental strategy on myself this week. I've told myself that I can buy any book I want, but the catch is, I can't buy it until I'm prepared to read it. No more stockpiling, no more bumping library books to the front of the queue since an owned book means a book I can ignore until I run out of material with due dates. No, if I buy a book now I should intend to read it immediately.
(I'm still a bit foggy on whether books I obtain with coupons need apply to this rule. Used books don't, obviously, since I can't control when I might stumble across an interesting title at a price I want to pay, but I'm probably in the used book store about ten times a year and I'm on Amazon probably that many times each day. I've never gone longer than 24 hours before using a coupon, either; perhaps I should leave a small window open for impulse shopping.)
Right now I think this is a brilliant piece of reverse psychology. I truly want to read more classics, more books I already own, over the next several months, but how can I get to them if I'm always placing holds for new books I've only just heard of. Telling myself I can buy a book when I'm ready for it instead of the library telling me when I can have it and when I have to have it back for the next person on the list--well, it feels kind of liberating. I think I'll save money in the long run, too. If I decide on my own schedule that it's time to read a book, and there's no waiting list for it at that point, I may well check it out instead of buying it since I know I'll be able to renew it.
Has anyone ever tried this strategy? Does it work? I'm really curious as to how long I can go without feeling that urge to stockpile. I pre-ordered the new Atkinson a few week back, but I expect I'll get to it as soon as I finish the R.I.P. and Slaves of Golconda books. I'm going to try to resist the urge to place any more holds at the library--I don't have the willpower to cancel the outstanding ones, but maybe I can be consistently reading more books that I own by December.