The embargo on book acquisitions was a complete and utter failure. The experiment lasted about three weeks, I think; fate and my own nature conspired against me. First, there were the financial difficulties of Borders, our hometown megacorp (well, mini-megacorp) and bookstore of sentiment and memories for me. When, after so many years of seeing the writing on the wall, and even of watching it being written, Borders officially announced bankruptcy, I felt, of course, sad. Out of sorrow and pity, I found it necessary to go in and buy a bagful of books I didn't need as my own souvenir and small contribution to our local economy. Clearly it didn't work, because the following week Borders announced the imminent closure of their Arborland store. Well. What followed was weeks and weeks of liquidation sales with ever-decreasing prices, which naturally led to the regular influx of more bags of books. Since I had already broken my book non-acquisition vow, there didn't seem to be any point to avoiding the weekly Friends of the Library used bookstore, so that regular influx started up again too. And then there seemed to be no point to holding back anymore at all.
The wrinkle is this. At the same time I implemented the ban on book-buying, I implemented a similar ban on shoe acquisition. The motivation in that case was somewhat different. Although I love shoes and own many pairs, I do not suffer from/am not blessed by the same compulsion to acquire. My book buying resolution was prompted by capacity overload; I simply have run out of shelf space. (You may be asking, where are the new books I acquired despite the ban? Um. Well. They are neatly ("neatly") stored in bags and stacks on the floors of my office, bedroom, and in the basement. Sorry, Henry.) The shoe ban, on the other hand, was inspired by lust and greed. When we were in Nevada in December, I fell deeply in love with a pair of Lucchese ostrich cowboy boots. In the normal course of my life, I cannot possibly justify spending $400 for footwear. It was therefore necessary to devise a plan whereby I reasonably could spend such a sum, and hence the ban on shoe purchases. I have, in this case, emerged triumphant from the ordeal; it was grueling, but I did manage not to purchase a single pair of new shoes during the period between New Year's and my birthday. I now deserve to be crowned with laurels (the laurels in the form of boots, and the crown of course being on my feet.)
So what does this say about me? A) I am so intellectual that I can more easily deny myself fashion footwear than mental roughage. B) I am so shallow that I am motivated by the promise of a fancy reward than I am by keeping my family's living space comfortably uncluttered. C) I'm a sucker for a sad story like Border's. D) Please, go ahead and speculate. I'm out of ideas.
If you stop by my house anytime soon, you will find me reading through my stacks of new books, elegantly shod. Ride 'em, cowboy.