We all have them. The books we bought because we felt like we needed them. Sometimes the pressure to own a book, whether or not you actually want to read it, wins out. We also buy books with every intention of reading them, and then they sit on a shelf for so long the desire disappears. Or, we buy whole series thinking we’re going to love them, and then don’t.
Whatever the reason, we all have books that we ultimately regret spending money on.
When I came up with the idea for this post – or just thought about other content, I thought this was going to be pretty easy. As it turns out, I could only find a handful of books on my shelves that I actually regret buying. I did just recently clear out my shelves and un-haul a bunch of books, so that’s probably why. The reasons I regret buying these books vary, but the thing they all have in common is – I don’t think they’re long for my shelves…well, some of them anyways.
I think I may be about to make some enemies, but let’s go.
I’m starting off with King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. This book is definitely one I felt pressured by Twitter into buying. It’s been years since I read the Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology, and quite honestly, I don’t remember much. I was definitely a big fan of the OG trilogy back when it was coming out, but I haven’t touched the books since. Twitter convinced me that I needed this book. So, I preordered it and I haven’t touched it since. I felt like I needed to preorder it, to get a first edition, to get the pre-order perk. Looking back, I definitely didn’t need to do any of that, and I probably shouldn’t have spent the money when I did.
I probably won’t touch it until I find time to re-read the Grisha Trilogy to refresh my mind of the world and everything else. So, it’s just going to sit on my shelf, looking pretty, collection dust until some day in the future I decide to read it…if I decide to read it.
Oof, these next ones. Zenith and Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. Zenith was the biggest let down read for me of 2018/2019. I was so excited and really looking forward to this book, that I pre-ordered it through Good Choice Reading. It’s signed and came with the pre-order perk and it cost me about $30. I should also mention that I pre-ordered it, before I was miraculously approved for it on Edelweiss (the only book to-date, that I’ve been approved for on that site). This book was a mess, way too long with too many POVs, and what’s worse is the eARC I received, wasn’t complete. So, I had to wait like 2 months after reading like 40% of the book, to find out what happens at the end, and the last 60% took me hours to read. Anything and everything was more interesting than this book.
Why did I buy Nexus? I don’t freaking know. I figured that I could quickly finish the duology and be done, but I legit could not be bothered. Now I have these two books, and I can’t yet justify getting rid of Zenith because it’s 1) signed with my first and last name (idk why tf they signed it that way) and 2) I paid like $30 freaking dollars for it. So now they just sit on my shelf, tucked away out of site.
Next up, Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. I hated this book. I regret buying it – but I don’t regret buying the OwlCrate Edition, since I needed the series to match. I really didn’t like this book. It sucked compared to the other two, and it read like fan service fan fiction. I do think that my regret could branch out to the whole trilogy, because these books are good, but I don’t think they’re nearly as great as everyone makes them out to be. But I really did not like this book and I really don’t think its publication date should have been pushed forward and released earlier.
You know what, thinking about it, I do actually regret buying the OwlCrate Editions. The covers are pretty, and I do like them better than the standard covers, this series is just kind of blah for me. I said what I said.
Now for The Three Dark Crowns series – well, the two books that I own. I never should have bought One Dark Throne and I only did because Barnes and Noble had signed copies for Black Friday one year. I haven’t even read Three Dark Crowns, and I don’t even know if I’d like the series, but I needed a signed copy of book 2, because signed. At this point they’ve been sitting on my shelf for a few years now, and I just feel no desire, no drive to pick up book 1 and read it. Once upon a time it interested me, now, not so much. I doubt these stay on my shelves much longer.
This is another book I felt pressured to buy – not by anyone or social platform in particular – just this inner needing to own it. It’s ridiculous since I’ve only read the first book in this series, so why did I need A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs? Why did I need a first edition, Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition? I don’t know, but when I bought it, I knew I needed it, so I spent the money. Will I read it? Honestly, I don’t know. At this point, I’d have to re-read Miss Peregrine’s seeing as I remember nothing from that book, but I also have no desire to do so?
Twitter definitely made me order these, and maybe some nostalgia from when I read the original trilogy, but I definitely didn’t need to buy exclusive first editions of Restore Me and Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. I remember nothing from the first three books and would really need to re-read them before diving into these new books. I’ve also heard not great things about these books, so the desire to read them is even less now. I know in part, that I bought them so I could have the complete set, but did I really need to buy them when they came out, with no intentions of reading them any time soon? Nope. I look at both of these books and feel nothing.
Finally, we have Roseblood by A.G. Howard. This came in one of the first Owlcrate boxes I’d ever received, and I was excited. I loved her other books, but this one ultimately didn’t work. I wasn’t a big fan of the story, and a Phantom of the Opera retelling/adaptation without actual music…it doesn’t really work. I don’t remember much of this book, it didn’t make a lasting impression, and if I remember correctly, I wasn’t a big fan of the box it came in. I look at it on my shelf, and I feel nothing for it.
I’ve gotten a lot better at actually weighing my need vs. want for a book. I’m less likely to just buy a book because I feel like I need it. I take recommendations for new reads from people, and sometimes I outright buy the book. Others I let it sit in my cart for a bit. I try to buy books I know I’m going to read.
I do think some of these books were influenced by this culture blooming in the book community around Exclusive Editions, Special Editions, Rare Editions, First Editions. I think it’s very, very easy to get caught up in the frenzy and suddenly you’ve bought a bunch of books, because you need those boxes marked off.
I’m guilty of this – but somewhere along the line the book community became a little less about sharing our love for reading, to who can have the most copies of a book, the rarest copies of a book, every edition and version ever printed. This is just my observation and this pressure to have those things, those rare, exclusive first editions made me spend money, that I really didn’t need to spend. Hindsight is 20/20.
I think I’ve rambled enough, so I’m going to end this post here. Are there any books you’ve bought that you actually regret buying and spending money on? Let me know in the comments.