My dohickey

Everyone has their thing. That one thing that you always go back to or just can’t pass up. For some people it’s clothes, or shoes, or left handed flange tighteners, or whatever. Mine is books. I bought some more today even though I have scads – at least a bookcase full – of waiting to be read books already. “But these were different! They’re nonfiction, and on subjects I’m really interested in!” Yeah. I had coupons. I had been doing well only buying from used bookstores where I had credits but the coupons came in the mail the other day… 20% off. Two of them. Ridiculous. So, I’ve decided that I’m taking it out of my allowance and I’ll just have to live with the consequences.

I told you that we give ourselves an allowance every pay period, right? A set amount of money that we can each spend any way we want without consulting each other or feeling guilty about “wasting” it. I’ve been saving mine for a while and this time I’m just going to have that much less to save. It’s worked well for us so far. I feel like, when I buy my husband a gift with my allowance money (his birthday was a couple of weeks ago), I’m spending my money on it, not just giving his back to him. Also, it lets me squirrel away as much as I want without being teased or told that it’s too much, that we need something to live on.

My books have become a family joke though. At one point I had over 1000. I just got rid of around 300 and now I have sad, empty shelves. Must fill them! No! Must resist! I have plenty! I have started putting pictures and knick nacks in some holes so it looks filled still. Fool the eye. Smart, right?

When I got rid of the books, I traded them to used bookstores for credits so that I can get “new” books for “free”. I’ve done well sticking to that and getting my book fix at those stores, but I backslid today. Ah well. No one is perfect. I shall renew my pledge to no longer buy new books (to save money and the environment), and trade for what I want instead. If there is a must-have new book by one of my favorite authors, I can buy it digitally (thereby still saving trees at least).

Maybe I should declare a moritorium on book buying until I’ve made at least a dent in what I have already accumulated. That’s a hard one. It’s one of my only true hobbies, trolling the aisles of the bookstore. Maybe I’ll finally get around to doing one of the hobbies I habitually start and never finish. Yes. You heard it here first. No more book buying until I have gotten through at least 1/3 of what I have now. By that time it should be easier not to buy as much. I have been in an acquisitive mood lately because I’ve been exploring the wonderful world of hobby farming. If I’m curious about something, I buy books about it. Several, so that I can get a rounded view of the thing. But I have a dozen books on money, homesteading, and the environment that I haven’t read yet. It’s time. I have enough.

So, what’s your dohickey? What can you not pass by? Office supplies? Sports equipment? Plants? Even the most frugal feel the tug of something. What’s yours?

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9 Responses to My dohickey

  1. bmary says:

    Plants are my weakness! I was a good girl however and did cull a few that were not doing well, and I didn’t immediately go out and replace them! I do though, always have to at least take a look when I see them in the store.

    • I knew you hoarded plants from your blog, that’s why I put that in there. 🙂 I can’t pass books when I see them – bookstore or bargain bin at the supermarket, I have to at least look.

      • bmary says:

        Hahaha! I figured! I totally understand. We all have to have our vices, otherwise it would be dreadfully boring! 🙂

  2. MansWhirld says:

    Books used to be my dohickey, but I ran into trouble finding enough time to read anything more than a magazine article. As I grow my skills working with wood, my new dohickey is hand tools. Not the plastic, electric tools of today, but the old fashioned hand tools of yesteryear.

    • Oooh, that sounds fun. I want very much to learn useful crafts – they’re as much art as anything – but I am hopelessly unskilled. I can rebuild an engine or write a short story but I just can never seem to find the motivation to finish a longer project. Much less become truly skilled at something. I greatly admire those who can though. As far as reading, now that I no longer have to read “literature” for school (read that “mostly dreck with bad endings”), I am enjoying reading books again.

      • MansWhirld says:

        Time is the enemy of most hobby crafters. It is darn near impossible to make a living at it, but making a living outside the craft makes it darn near impossible to get time for the craft 🙂 I have some big project ideas, but for now I work on small projects that I can break into short periods of work. I mainly make small wooden toys for my toddler son and he seems to enjoy them. Watching him play with the toys I make him gives me so much more joy than watching him play with toys I buy for him.

      • Wow. Those toys may well become heirlooms. I would love to make something as lasting as that. The satisfaction you must feel must be amazing. I do need to get up off my behind and use some of my time to learn new things. Here lately I’ve been reveling in reading about hobby farming and homesteading and the like, but I’d be better served learning a skill. Hmmmm… you have inspired me, now to figure out what I can do…

      • MansWhirld says:

        I’m not sure if your interest is in woodworking, but if it is, here is my recommendation: Before trying to build anything, get a few samples of different kinds of wood. Different types of trees, logs, sticks, small scrap pieces from big box stores, whatever you can find. Feel them in your hand, take a whittling knife and just cut into them gently. Feel how the different woods respond to you. Then I’d just practice cutting straight lines and drilling straight holes. It may sound corny, but those are some of the woodworkers biggest problems.

      • Thanks! I don’t know if woodworking will be my thing or not, but it sounds fun to try that anyway. It can’t hurt to learn to do those things well, after all, any diy’er needs to know how to drill a hole and cut straight. That’s really helpful!

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