Bookworms Explained #3: Why do we spend tons of money on books…that end up gathering dust?

Welcome to what will hopefully be a fairly long series of posts, where I attempt to explain the behavior and thoughts of a bookworm. If you’re a fellow bookworm, leave a comment at the end and tell me your thoughts on the topic. As something I will say, all bookworms have many similarities but we’ve also got our differences. There’s always the odd exception to the rule. 

Hey fellow bookworms and maybe some non-readers. You’re all welcome here, as today I explain why us bookworms spend a shit ton of money on books. Now I don’t know if you’ve read the last post, which is HERE, where I explained our habit of playing hide and seek with our floors. It’s great fun. But a friend of mine (plot twist I have friends) pointed out how I hadn’t explained why we spend so much on books, that usually get read once. So here is the post where I explain why we outgrow shelves then bookcases…then our room. Then eventually the whole upstairs and downstairs and you get the picture.  So enjoy, and remember to let me know your thoughts in the comments!


For us reading is a hobby, we do it because we enjoy reading, we enjoy losing ourselves in another world. And often we do it to escape reality, our reality that may not be that great. Books provide us a safe escapism – that people also get through drawing, playing an instrument, listening to music, writing and so on. We relate and connect to the characters which are fictional and do not exist. (We are ALL aware of this, we just hate people pointing it out to us, so let us imagine.) Now with this born in mind, we buy books to read and then when we’ve finished they tend to go on our bookshelf. There they will often sit for the rest of time, as we refuse to unhaul them (which is a thing that I’ll explain in a later post but for now it’s basically when we get rid of books…and cry usually) and we don’t have time to reread them. 

However, we can look at them and sometimes we may pick them up again to reread little sections and revisit an old friend of ours. Also we love pretty covers and owning books gives us a sense of pride, at least for me it does. Owning books I’ve read is a bit like owning a medal, we’ve read that book and now it sits on our shelf with pride as we say we’ve read it. (and usually ignore the other 80% of books we own that remain unread, shush you didn’t read that here hehe)

Now I’ve had people ask me why I don’t just get rid of some books, it’s not like I’m going to reread them ALL. Cue the internal panic and paranoia of ‘I may reread them all at some point and I can’t just let them go they mean too much’. What I mean by them meaning too much, is even the books we didn’t care for, they taught us something and some where there at key points in our lives and hold sentimental value to us. Like photos carry memories, a book carries a story and it carries the memories of us when we first read it as well as the feeling of visiting a familiar place like going home.

A book for us is a friend, it’s a portal to another world and it also looks pretty on our shelf and it’s part of us. When we read a book, we discover a part of ourselves through reading it (if it’s a good book) we also learn something and fall in love with the world, characters and wish we could just live there if only for a while.

So why do we spend money on books?

Well…why do girls spend money on make up? Being a girl, I spend more on books than make up. Firstly, I don’t know how to use half of the make up available to me and secondly make up doesn’t last. Eventually whatever you bought make up wise is going to run out, and you’ll have to buy more make up. Books…they last if you look after them and make sure they’re not directly opposite a window as the sunlight will bleach the spines and pages. A book can be reread tons of times, make up can’t reused loads of times it runs out and you spent all that money for something that wasn’t going to last forever. Also the feelings you got from reading that book will last a lifetime and more, the make up well that particular look you created doesn’t last does it? 

Why spend so much money on video games? Similar principal in the fact once you’ve completed it fully, you’ve got nothing else to do. That excitement and journey is over unless you do it all over again, which most people won’t as they’d rather buy the latest release.

I guess it comes down to what each of us value. What each of us enjoy collecting and enjoy doing. We know how much we’re willing to spend on certain things in our own mind, and for non readers it’s always going to be hard for them (for you if you’re a non reader reading this) to understand why we spend in your eyes a ridiculous amount on books. 

Another example would be the amount some boys/men will spend on jewelry, designer clothes, bags, shoes and so on for their partners to show their love and make that person happy.

Now to me, spending £100 on a pair of shoes is pretty ridiculous, I mean they’re shoes! Yet to that person they may really love those shoes and be glad to have them or the necklace means something to them. A book to a bookworm, means and symbolises something to us. What’s amazing really, is no two bookworms will see the characters in the same book the same. We all imagine the same set of characters differently, but we all get similar feelings, emotions from reading the book. We all share the same unified feeling of being misunderstood by those we love, care for and call our friends and family and whilst we take the time to understand them…they usually don’t take the time to understand us. The bookworm part of us that makes up a large part of who we are but it’s not the only part to who we are. 

So like you, we choose to spend money on books, on the things that make us ridiculously happy since its paper and ink…or just words on an electronic screen. Like you, we create memories but we’re creating them whilst reading too and like you…we frame them (put them on our shelves.) But unlike you, we can physically go and revisit that memory. You can’t revisit that point in time that was in the photo can you? We can revisit the book, with those memories and those characters. As for why we love rereading books, some of us do and some don’t…but you’ll find out about that another time. 


That’s it for now, watch this space next Friday for another edition of Bookworms Explained. Thank you so much for reading, and please leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts on this topic. Are you an exception to this and don’t spend a fortune on books because you can’t afford to? Or for some other reason? Let me know your thoughts please and once again, thank you for reading.


17 thoughts on “Bookworms Explained #3: Why do we spend tons of money on books…that end up gathering dust?

  1. A lovely big post of yours ! ❤
    I do reread mine, or atleast thoses I loved! heheh .. but yes, it's both a pride & confort. like that feeling when you enter a bookstore/library ; no more stress, just .. a good feeling. you are home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • exactly! There’s nothing more comforting than walking into a library/bookshop and feeling right at home. Likewise I do reread my favourites maybe not the whole book but certain sections, glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also never get rid of books. (With an exception for collecting first/special editions; if I decide to get rid of my “regular” copy then I donate it to a local charity.) I love seeing full bookshelves and, even if a book wasn’t good, each spine still represents a memory! There’s probably a little bit of bragging involved also, in getting to show off all the lovely things I’ve read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yasssss. It’s why I keep all of mine, unless I know for a fact I won’t reread them anymore otherwise I protect them with my life. Bragging rights comes with the bookworm life though – I mean we all do it at some point subtly to others haha


  3. I have been called a book hoarder. I collect both books I’ve read and liked, even if I read them on my ereader, and I get ones I plan on reading. Most of the time the ones I haven’t read have been bought because I plan on going to a signing and want everything that author has signed. It makes it really hard for an unhauling to have any effect because almost all of my books have been signed and addressed to me. I’m sneaky that way, it’s what I keep telling my husband!! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great method! I think when I end up living on my own I’ll probably get worse with my book buying, at the moment the only thing that’s stopping me is I’m down a bookcase and I have no room.

      Like you I buy books I plan on reading, and book I’d read from the library so I can physically own a copy (I only do that if it was a really good book though haha) Thanks for reading 🙂


  4. Nice post Chloe 😊 I am such a big book hoarder. I guess I have more unread books than the books I actually read 😂 We definitely feel pride in showing our books, aren’t we?
    I also want to collect different pretty editions but I am afraid to collect multiple copies of same book 🙈 but all of those are so beautiful 😍
    I hardly re-read books because I keep thinking why reading that book again when I have a huge pile to finish 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

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