I bought something new.

I’m a member of a Book Club. A really awesome Book Club. I like everyone in it, and I’m honored to be a member. I LOVE my Book Club.

For the past two or three years, I’ve been getting the Book Club book from the library. They weren’t always that great, and I’d been spending too much on books.

But this month, the Public Library System let me down. It’s the first time it’s happened. I won’t go into the details, but after three weeks, I still didn’t have a copy of the book in my hot little hands. And our meeting is Tuesday. That gives me three days to read the book.

If I didn’t want to read this book so much, I’d just forget about it. But I’ve been wanting to read The Moviegoer for awhile. It’s famous for being the book that won the National Book Award in 1962 over Catch-22 and Revolutionary Road. It’s a Southern coming-of-age story. I can’t wait to read it.

So now, with the clock ticking, I had no choice but to buy it new. My intentions were pure. I tried to get it from the library. And then when it became clear I wasn’t going to get it from the library, I sent out an email to the group in hopes of borrowing a copy. But no one who had it was finished. So my choices were to either buy it new or not read it at all.

As my husband observed, “You take your Book Club very seriously.” I guess I do. So my 4th “fall off the wagon” is my Book Club’s selection for June: The Moviegoer. By Walker Percy. I don’t feel too bad about it.

If you want to check out my other slip ups, click here for my January search for gloves for the Jane Austen Ball, here to hear about my purchase of a Congratulations card for a co-worker (does that really count?), and here to read about how I purposely leapt off the wagon by purchasing books by my friend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

So that’s my confession. Do you have anything you’d like to confess? Tell me about it in the Comments section.


  1. Non Consumer Girl says


    I bought some new towels the other day. They were a quality brand, a lovely light blue colour and so fluffy.

    And they were 40% off.

    There, I've said it. I feel better now.

  2. Kate Sommers says

    I bought chocolate macadamia nuts for a wonderful lady that boarded my Llama Oliver for me.He recently passed away and I wanted to send her chocolates as a thank you for taking such good care of sweet Ollie.
    I ate the first box (not the first time I've done this)and now I need to go purchase some more.
    I'm not part of the compact but it is getting to be a bad habit eating the chocolates that I plan to send to others!It feels wasteful and gluttonous!

  3. Angela says

    Non consumer girl- Hmmm, I think if I did the Compact more than a year, I'd have a really hard time buying used towels… Glad you feel better! I really do think the purpose of the experiment of The Compact is to get us to think about every purchase.

    Kate- I know about those macadamia nuts- and I can't blame you! They're delicious! We finished ours off in two days…

  4. hiptobeme says

    We bought fast food for lunch. I caved because I didn't want to heat up the house with the oven and we were on our way to the beach. Usually I pack snacks today it just didn't happen. Will have to justify it somehow in the grocery budget… I didn't pay, but still…

  5. Kate says

    I went to a mall for the first time in say 6 months. We didn't have time to shop used (special event the next day), so my daughter and I made a mad dash to the Gap. We had to think about how the clothes would wash up since they were new and all. Also there was the sticker shock of buying new. They want 30 bucks for this?

  6. WilderMiss says

    To even it out you could sell the book on Amazon afterwards or even donate it to your library (they obviously need another copy!).

    Not that I think buying one book is a big deal.

  7. Michele says

    I am still thinking of starting the Compact, In theory, on my birthday (which is this Thursday, the 18th) but there are a few items I have been budgeting for, for a very long time, that I will be purchasing in July. A new laptop is the major one… not very compact-y, but neccessary.
    I think I will really dive in totally after that (I'm comparing it to easing into the compact like one would into a cold swimming pool!). I'll keep you updated, like you requested.

    Now, after reading your post, I know there are some things I will be missing. New books and new music cd's. I'm sure everyone has that one thing they love to spurge on, and those are my addictions! I'll be posting about this on my blog, so check in once in a while to see if I had to go to treatment to cure the withdrawals! hahaha

    Congrats on the No Waste this week. That is another goal I am going to try, but since I am not home at least two, but up to four nights a week, things tend to spoil on me. This one will REALLY be a challenge. :-)

  8. calimama @ compactbydesign says

    Angela, don't forget about Paperbackswap.com if you decide the book was a good read but not worth owning.

    I also love my book club and try to get my books from the library. Last month the choice was not available (at any county or city library). Another member suggested I buy the book and then she'd buy it from me. I thought about this for a day or two but it still didn't sit right. Why buy a new book? Especially one I had no desire to own.
    I went to Amazon and found a used copy. I had to pay minimal shipping (and deal with the un-green-ness of that) but I was getting it used.
    When the book arrived it was the right title but the wrong author! I contacted the vendor and their solution was to refund my purchase price and shipping costs and let me keep the book as paying for return shipping would have cost them more than what they were selling the book for. I was floored. I had to give up the search after this one. Now I own a book I have no need (or desire) to read and I never did get to read the club selection.
    But I still went to get-together, I love to see the girls!

  9. Ellen says

    To even it out I was wondering if I could BORROW this book from you when you've read it–sounds like one I should read! I'll take this post as a book review and go for it.

  10. Angela says

    hiptobeme- Glad you got that off your chest! I think fast food is fine once in awhile, when you didn't have time for something else. That's the point. What's sad is that some people now consider it a real meal.

    Kate- it's funny how foreign a mall seems, when you haven't been for awhile. Again, nothing wrong with once in awhile, in my opinion.

    Wildermiss- I think I will probably donate it to Ellen!

    Michele- I think easing into it is a good idea. And yes, books are one of my splurges. But it's not too hard to buy used or get it from the library, usually. Actually, sometimes when I really want a book, I buy it "used" on amazon and it can be almost like new.

    calimama- I have actually had more problems buying used than borrowing from the library. I've never gotten the wrong book, but they often take too long. this is the first time I've had the library fail me. Not too bad a record.

    Ellen- yes, I will definitely let you borrow the book!

  11. Anonymous says

    You should check out PaperBackSwap.com next time. You swap books for free basically. You pay to ship to others, but then they pay to ship to you, and no one has to buy new books.

  12. Angela says

    Anonymous- Usually a used book would take longer to arrive- this is the first time I've had trouble with the library system. They're free, and usually faster than buying a used book.

  13. Marie-Josée says


    I love reading your blog. I am considering joining The Compact and ready about your experience is giving me a lot of food for thought.

    With respect to your book dilema, i.e., note that most public librairies have an interlibrary loan service. I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada a French speaking province and regularly borrow books from the Ottawa Public Library in Ontario. I borrow books pertaining to health, namely alternative health, and they either don't get translated into French, or it takes years !

    Interlibrary loans are mostly free. I absolutely love this service!

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