Hello folks, how are you finding the January blues? I always think that January feels like the longest month of the year, and as much as I really don’t want to wish the time away, I am always pleased to see the back of it. I think we all suffer from either actual or perceived money problems in January. Christmas costs a lot, let’s be real, so January is all about saving the pennies and thinking about ways to put money away for the year ahead. Last year I decided to have a bookish savings jar that would help me save some extra money for my trip to Disney at the end of October. It worked a treat and I ended up having around £200 saved which was enough to make the effort worth it and for me to have a little extra pocket money to spend on holiday.
The idea in itself was amazing, save when you buy/acquire/read/re-read a book or participate in a readathon/reading challenge. I didn’t re-read a single book in the whole year (OK, so I re-read the first three Harry Potter stories, but in the new illustrated edition so the books were new(ish) to me) which helped me make a small dent in my ever growing TBR. I thought a little more about buying books and probably bought less books than I did in 2017. The problem was that it stopped me reading as freely as I normally would. I sometimes (mainly when I was in a bit of a reading slump) found myself not finishing books because I knew I had to pay money, or not re-reading a book I was desperate to re-experience because I knew that the double up fine I imposed on a re-read made it quite expensive.
Let’s be honest, the first year of almost anything will have teething problems, and the benefits definitely outweighed the issues. I am doing it all over again, with a couple of small tweaks and adjustments to balance my want to read and my want to save.
£1 for every book bought/acquired/received
I have a fairly large book collection. I love books. I love to read. They go hand in hand. But I have a bad habit of buying books and then forgetting I own them, which means there are a number of books on my book shelves that are unread. I hope that if I have to think carefully about buying and acquiring books I will be able to read some of the ones I already own and end up getting left throughout the year.
£1 for every book read, but not reviewed
I have set a resolution to review 75% of books I read. I felt like I got into the swing of reviews a little bit more last year, but I want to do more, I want to write more, so I’ve decided to scrap fining myself for reading, but keeping it if I don’t review the book I finish. I think it will work, I think I would rather write the review, and even though I know I won’t review everything and will occasionally have to pay, it feels like a good compromise.
£2 for every re-read completed
I hesitated a little bit at setting this at the higher fine of £2. I don’t want to put myself off re-reading, but I decided I was better to keep this at £2 and simply cut the fine for finishing a book all together (except for those non-reviewed). I don’t really want to review re-reads unless I haven’t reviewed them before, so I’ve made the decision I won’t be fining myself/saving and extra £1 if I don’t review because that feels harsh and unrealistic.
£2 for every readathon/reading challenge entered
I love a good reading challenge and readathon, but I found that the year long reading challenges I entered ending up hindering my reading enjoyment rather than helping it. I take part in a lot of readathons through the year, and sometimes feel an almost pressure to take part if I have done before even if it does not work for me. So, this year, I am going to save £2 for every reading challenge or readathon I take part in, both to make me think about what I take part in and to try and ensure that I actively engage with everything I do decide to participate in.
I am feeling good about this. I think this can work. I saved so much doing this last year that I am hoping to save enough money to pay for some Christmas presents or some spending money for a trip away to Paris at the end of the year. I’ve even got a Honeydukes money jar to collect my money in this year which is both awesome and in keeping with the bookish theme.