Ever had a ok-ok buying ban? Maybe you haven’t heard of them – when someone decides to not buy books for a period of time, they claim to be on a ‘book buying ban.’

Text reading Are Book Buying Bans a Sign of Privilege? over a sunset.
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Sometimes I feel like declaring a book buying ban comes with a sense of privilege. Generally, the person who’s self-imposing a ban on themselves is declaring that they’ve too many books and must stop buying them as they can’t read fast enough to keep up with all their new purchases.

Maybe I’m wrong, but to me that’s a strange, privileged statement to make. Not everybody can afford to buy physical books on a regular basis. They’re fairly expensive and not a priority for everyone.

Financial privilege is so easy to spot in book communities online already. Just look at Bookstagram – plenty of people taking beautiful photos of their books with pretty props and often a very good camera. The bigger your book collection, the wider range of photos you can take without repeating the same covers over and over. The people with the largest collections tend to have the biggest followings.

I’ve never understood the idea behind book buying bans anyway – if you’re not going to buy books in the near future, just don’t buy books. Why does this need to be declared? Making a video about it seems over-the-top, especially when there are updates involved.

I decided to have a chat about it on my BookTube channel, because I just don’t understand them. I gave my side as a very-broke BookTuber and explained why books aren’t a priority for me, so I can go months without buying books without ‘banning’ myself. Because really, if you haven’t got the money, you haven’t got the money. You’re not banning yourself – you’re just living within your means.

Do you think book buying bans make any sense? I’ve never seen a video on clothes buying bans or music buying bans. I just don’t see their purpose. Let me know what you think.

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