March 30, 2015

The Picky Pledge || Quarterly Check-in #1

Some of you might be wondering - what in the world is The Picky Pledge? Well, it's this fun partnership between Hannah of So Obsessed With & I, where we hold each other accountable for the books we acquire this year. For more details, you should check out the introduction post!

The first quarter of 2015 is just about over, which is pretty dang mind-blowing. When we were chatting one day, Hannah and I agreed that it might be fun & helpful to share an update on The Picky Pledge, so y'all can see how it's going, the lessons we've learned and what we plan to improve in the next quarter. (But I also track my progress via a page I created, so you can take a look at that too if you want a more in-depth look at things.)

For this section, we drew on some inspiration from our original stats post earlier this year. Specifically, we updated our source breakdown and our book buying breakdown charts with the information from this year!

I'm definitely pleased with my improvement in this area! While review books still make up the majority of my reads, it's only by a very small difference from the books I've borrowed or the ones I own. It speaks well of the pledge that I've been able to be more balanced when it comes to where I'm getting my reads from!

I'm quite pleased to see that there is also a little progress here! While I haven't quite been able to stop myself from book buying (so far, I've bought 44 total), the ratio of the ones I've read versus the ones I added to my TBR is pretty telling, as I've read more than half! Looking forward to hopefully making that difference between them grow as the year continues.

1. It is not as hard as you think to avoid going onto online book retail sites. Seriously, I just stop myself from even typing the first few letters of any online book retail site whenever I start thinking about. Plus, there are so many other web distractions - like blogs and Goodreads and Twitter.

2. It is, however, hard to resist the lure when faced with physical temptation, AKA going to an actual bookstore. Oh man. Whenever I see books in person, I always find it extremely hard to resist. Whether it's the lure of a plot or pretty cover, it takes a lot of willpower not to pick up a book (or a bunch) and run over to the cash register so it can come home with me. It is triply hard when you're at a bargain bookstore, by the way.

3. The library will be your best friend and your worst enemy. The library is the best source for free books! If you're lucky, they'll have a large catalog or a great inter-library system and you'll be able to borrow just about any title you'd like to read. Plus, there is no greater thing than being able to place holds on books. The only reason you might start resenting the library a little? You'll be tempted to acquire too many books, or forget how many holds you placed and have a bazillion (or twenty) come in at the same time. Not that I've experienced that or anything...

1. Budget for a book. My husband recently set up a spreadsheet with our planned budget. I've never really been well-versed when it comes to properly handling my finances, but with my husband's guidance, I'm truly eager to give it a shot. This means that I've got to be stricter than ever about how much money I spend on books, and having an actual guideline as to how much money I can afford to spend will really help.

2. "Read a book, then buy or borrow a book." This works hand in hand with the first suggestion. In the past, I've used this rule on myself, and it's certainly worked in keeping down the numbers of books I own/borrow. It's both an encouragement and incentive to pay attention to the TBR pile that sits waiting for me. I haven't put this in place for a while, but I certainly think it would be timely.

3. Be picky about the library books you request. This goes hand in hand with my goals! I let myself get carried away by the advantage of being able to get free books from my library, and requested the heck out of books. It resulted in an overwhelming stack of books gathering dust in my apartment, and a nearly unnoticeable but still suffocating pressure to read them all bothering me. While I did wind up reading at least half the books I'd borrowed, I wound up returning a big bunch unread. I seriously think it would help me stay calm and excited to read if I were even more picky about what I borrowed and factored a modified version of the chart into my decisions.


  1. I totally understand what you mean about not being able to resist books in person! I think I buy smarter when I'm in a physical bookstore too instead of shopping online since I can feel how heavy my haul will be and I'm more critical about how much money I'm willing to spend.

  2. I actually really liked this. It did take me a little to get into it, because I couldn't get a grip on Juliet, but then I did, and I enjoyed this a lot. I actually didn't find it to message-y, but that's just me.

  3. Candice @ The Grown-Up YAMarch 30, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    I feel like I buy a LOT of books, then I see people comment about how they've bought 40 books in a month and I don't feel bad about how many books I buy. That being said, I have run out of shelf space, despite several book cullings, and have therefore put myself on a book buying limit (ie no more used book store visits). It's really helped me start going through my shelves (both physical and ebook) and reading these books that I just HAD to have 3 years ago. I love the idea of read a book then buy or borrow one; while I don't want to force myself to read by any means, I like this incentive to read one I already own before going out and getting the next thing.

    Also, yes! The library, while I do love it, tends to be a frenemy most times. It's great that I can request, and typically have a handle on my requests, but I feel like I have to drop everything to read whatever book finally comes in because I only have 7 days with the new book. But requesting can easily get out of hand... not that I've experienced that myself ;)

  4. Candice @ The Grown-Up YAMarch 30, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    I kind of want to do a whole post on this question! I think I love fantasy because it gives me the chance to ask "What COULD happen?" Could there be magic? Could a hero fight a dragon? Could there be unicorns and fairies and wizards and and and...? In fantasy, YES! :)

  5. I had similar feelings about this one. I'm starting to appreciate it more as I see other reviews but it's not really a book I connected with or enjoyed. I had so many problems with Juliette while reading that it's really only in seeing reviews like yours that I can appreciate other aspects.

  6. I've really been enjoying following your Picky Pledge posts (and Hannah's too) to try and model some of my own better behaviors. The book buying was a lot better until Teen Author Fest because of signings but I'm hoping to get back on track again now!

  7. I love fantasy since it can let my imagination become limitless! There doesnt have to be any roots to reality. Its very freeing.
    <3 Britt

  8. Danielle @ Love at First PageMarch 31, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    I love that you and Hannah are doing this! I am doing horribly with my TBR/ARC ratio... most of the books I've read this year have been ARCs, then new releases, then old books. The temptation of "new" is always there for me!

  9. Danielle @ Love at First PageMarch 31, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Sorry this one didn't quite work for you, girl! I can understand where the length would hinder one's enjoyment, plus I don't think the humor will be for everyone. I really adored the characters though, especially Abram!

  10. Hmm, not sure if I'll pick this up. Maybe if my library gets it in! Great review! :)

  11. This is such a great idea. I just started going to the library to curb my book-buying craze, but progress has been limited thus far. I need an intervention. :P


    Sarcasm & Lemons

  12. Katherine @ Neon Yeti ReadsApril 5, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    This is a great idea! I have been trying to cut down on my TBR as well, mostly through taking books off of my Goodreads shelf. I have the exact same problems with library requests! I just had a bunch of books come in all at once, some I forgot about. But I love all the money that I've saved.

  13. I love fantasy because there can be magic and amazing new worlds and new creatures and the possibilities are endless!


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)