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Economy and Buying Habits Part 2

A downturn in the economy will affect my BOOK spending habits

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The Dow dropped another 700+ points only to rebound to only a drop of 300+. Bailouts of banks are happening worldwide. 6 in 10 Americans believe we are headed for a depression. It was the topic of my dinner conversation. I know that not spending is counterintuitive to a robust economy, but I can feel my desire to spend money shriveling into a tiny, hard raisin.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Nicole
    Oct 06, 2008 @ 20:17:03

    I kinda like my in-laws….

  2. Angelia Sparrow
    Oct 06, 2008 @ 20:58:53

    I’ll be buying more books than usual, because Christmas is coming. But since my book consumption goes up every year around this time, I’m kinda maintaining the usual patterns.

    I plan to buy about 6 paperbacks.

  3. Gina Black
    Oct 06, 2008 @ 21:07:19

    I can’t give up buying books any more than I can give up buying food.

  4. Dance Chica
    Oct 06, 2008 @ 22:24:28

    I'm still buying books but I'm definitely spending less. I use a lot now, and I sell my books on places like Amazon. When I do buy new books, they're usually in e-format (which is often a little cheaper than the physical copy plus saves me gas). So, in short, I’m still buying new books and trying new authors but I’ve scaled back how much I'm willing to spend.

  5. veinglory
    Oct 06, 2008 @ 22:33:45

    I am finally salaried, thank the gods. After decades of poverty it would take the end times to worry me now. I can buy books, I can buy books, thank the gods almighty, I can buy books at last.

  6. Kaetrin
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 01:45:50

    I’ll still buy books while I have any money to do it, regardless of the economy. Book buying is my “vice”. As vices go, it’s not too dangerous. Should I run out of money, then I may even start reading my massive TBR pile (which is GROWING). I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t gamble. I read and I love it. Hello, my name is Kaetrin and I’m a bookaholic….

  7. (Jān)
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 05:58:38

    I’m cutting back and only getting the ‘must-buys’ from now on. My TBR is huge, and it’s time I use it.

  8. Lori
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 08:09:21

    Thank God for paperbackswap and buying books used on Amazon!! So my book gathering shouldn’t change. Might not be able to afford groceries soon but I can always get books…

  9. jmc
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 08:09:28

    My book buying for the year is down, and likely to stay that way, but it has nothing to do with the economy. My local Borders/Walden closed, so I don’t have occasion to casually browse and pick up unplanned purchases. Well, the closing was economy related, but on Borders’ side of the equation, not mine.

  10. Moth
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 09:31:17

    Most of my book acquisitions are made through the library so I don’t have to worry about the money. When I buy a book it is because it is so fabulous I have to have it on my shelves. I went probably six months without buying one and then bought five books in the last two months. I usually get them used for $4-$7 on amazon with shipping.

    So to answer the poll I guess I should say I don’t think my book buying habits will change at all.

  11. Mireya
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 11:11:00

    I have substantially reduced my book spending by subscribing to BooksFree. I also only buy from tested and true authors. If there is a new author I want to try, I check if BooksFree have books by the author. I used to spend upwards of $150 a month in books. Not any longer.

  12. Susan/DC
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 13:15:31

    I try to check books out from the library if at all possible. I figure that helps authors because at least one HC copy of their book has sold, and if enough people check it out often enough the library might buy more of that author’s books in the future. However, my public library sucks when it comes to romance fiction, so I buy most of what I read.

    The question in the poll isn’t worded to accurately capture my response, however: I’ll probably still buy the same number of books, but not because I think everything will turn out all right. In the short term, I think things will, in fact, get worse. But I’ll still buy books because they are one of the cheapest sources of entertainment around, although I very rarely buy HC. I’ll cut back on other stuff or downgrade (go to cheap or moderately priced restaurants instead of the occasional birthday or anniversary splurge on expensive ones) before I give up books. And while I try to buy books in print new to support authors I like, I may have to wait until they are OOP and I can buy them for less at the UBS. Here’s hoping things don’t get so bad that I can’t afford books at all.

  13. Bookwormom
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 13:27:49

    I voted other because none of the categories quite fit. My answer is “I will keep the same buying pattern because I still afford to, right now.” So far the economy hasn’t negatively affected our budget. As long as that continues to be so, we can afford to spend money on books.

    I buy used much of the time, have very very few autobuy authors, am making better use of the library loan system, am making fewer impulse book buys. None of that has to do with financial issues though. I have found my attention turning away from primarily romance driven into other genres that are more easliy found in my local libraries and UBS.

  14. Christina
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 14:17:49

    My spending won’t change.

    I’m in a lucky situation. I sold my townhouse a year ago — before things got too crazy — and I live with my parents. My job is part of the Base Realignment and will move to Kentucky in two years. I plan to move, so I’m staying with the parents until then. Even contributing to my upkeep (and putting money in savings), I have plenty of money to spend on books. Like an early poster said, I don’t drink, smoke, or gamble. I also don’t drive — so no car-associated debt.

    I figure, I can spend as much as I want on books for the next year or so because I know that things will change once I get to Kentucky. Whether it’s using my Amazon Prime membership, Paperbackswap, or plunking down the discount card at B&N, Borders, or Books-a-Million, I buy books. Lots of books.

  15. Joy
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 17:13:25

    I have a book addiction. I try to stop but I can’t. I have 100+ books I have not read but will be stopping at Borders one day this week because I need King of Sword and Sky – even though I have no time to read right now.

  16. Keep Up With Me » The Economic Crisis Hasn’t Affected Me. Should I Be Worried?
    Oct 13, 2008 @ 05:01:45

    […] Jane at Dear Author asked if this current economic downturn will affect our book spending habits. A majority of respondents answered, “I will maintain the same buying pattern because I think we’ll be all right.” […]

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