August 22, 2013 • Cee • Discussion

three c's

I am pretty horrible at making decisions. 

I can’t make one quickly even if my life depended on it. My friend, who also shares the indecisiveness trait, and I take forever to decide on where to go. We always have to plan in advance or we will never go anywhere. When I’m in a restaurant (usually one I haven’t been to before), I’d spend ten minutes freaking out about all the choices the menu presents me and what-feels-like-an-hour-but-it’s-actually-been-another-fifteen-or-twenty-minutes to finalize my decision.

(This is an accurate depiction of what it looks like in my head.)

Bookstores are the worst for me. Don’t misunderstand me, I love bookstores. It’s the best place in the world, but there are SOOO many choices. How am I suppose to choose which book I want to get? I swear the gods, buddha, the devil, or all of them (???) are conspiring against me when it comes to books. I want to buy everything, but I can’t because I’m poor. :(  (If only I had all the money in the world.) 

Here is what always happen when I go to a bookstore:

  1. I go to the (used) bookstore because I’m feeling bored or I just want to see what’s on the shelf. (But let’s be honest, I go there because it’s the closet place to heaven.)
  2. I browse the literature and the YA section, carefully searching for books by my favorite authors or by authors I had always meant to read.
  3. I find a book (or four) that I really want. I look at how much it is. Cheap or expensive, I make a pros and cons list in my head – reasons why I want the book (“I need to read a book by this author,” “oooh, it has a pretty cover,” “it’s a(n) book/author I need to have in my own collection of books,” “I want it, plain and simple”) and reasons why I shouldn’t get it (“you don’t need it” and “YOU DON’T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY TO THROW AROUND”). Tough decisions.
  4. I continue to walk around the store, still holding onto the books I want, as I run through all the reasons again and again in my head. I don’t want to get buyer’s remorse. (I hate feeling that.)
  5. I set the books down and take out my phone. I type out, “HELP. [Insert description of the book.] IDK. SHOULD I GET THIS BOOK? AHHHH. TELL ME WHAT TO DOOO” and send it to a couple of my friends, hoping they will tell me what I should do (and I mean tell me not to get it). But my friends are usually assholes and take forever to text me back, and that makes me soooo antsy. WHY U NO TEXT ME BACK IN THIS BOOK CRISIS I AM IN? And when they do text me back, it’s always “GET IT,” enabling me, which is THE WORST. I DON’T NEED BOOK ENABLERS. I NEED BOOK DENIERS. 
  6. I then ponder why I make friends with bookish people. They are no help in my time of need. 
  7. After nearly three or more hours of pondering and wandering around the bookstore, I finally make a decision.


That’s right, it takes me over three hours to make a decision on whether to buy a book or not. So if we hang out and we end up in a bookstore, I hope you’re cool with spending half your day in there.  It’s what I do. 

The only thing I can come up with that can help me with my indecisiveness (or just avoid it) is to not go to bookstores. Simple as that, right? NO. It’s not possible. I love bookstores. I, nor you, can force myself from never going. It’s home to my heart.

How do you make decisions when it comes to buying books in a bookstore? Are you an indecisive person like me who takes hours to actually decide? Or are you the type of person that can buy things very quickly? How do you deal with your indecisiveness? 


21 Responses to “THE THREE C’S: CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH CEE | Indecisiveness In A Bookstore”

  1. Book Blather says:

    Well I usually go in with a specific book in mind, or limit myself to one section of the store. I try to avoid cookery because those books are agony for me – I take FOREVER to decide! When all else fails I ask random people lurking nearby if they’ve read it and what they thought… Sometimes I nip home to check out reviews on goodreads. Yep, I’m pretty indecisive too.

    • Cee says:

      I applaud your self control and your friendliness! I am too shy to ask people if they’ve read the book I’m holding. (I’m 97% sure they wouldn’t have.) But I do the same thing, check reviews on goodreads, but I wish I had proper internet on my phone so I can do it at the store. I hate going back and forth, and I have a weird fear that somebody will snatch the books off the shelf before I can come back and purchase them. Lol.

  2. Maryam says:

    I feel as if I’ve just read a post written by another me. Haha! I can never decide what to buy when I go to a bookstore. The one I frequent has drag-along-carts that I fill up and then enter into a full-blown debating session with myself and my wallet.

    • Cee says:

      Ha! Let’s commiserate together! I wish my bookstore has drag-along-carts. I have to carry the books in the crook of my arm, which gets really stiff and uncomfortable after three hours.

      Strangely enough, I never really had debates with my wallet. Probably because I’m arguing between “I want ittttt” and “you don’t need it.” ;D

  3. I’m pretty indecisive as well. There’s just too many choices! I’m not sure how I settle. I usually end up with a stack of like ten books and then I sit there near tears trying to decide which ones to put back. I always end up buying more than I need. That’s pretty much why I don’t allow myself to go into a bookstore unless it’s a birthday or some holiday where I won’t feel bad about spending money on myself. I want them all!

    • Cee says:

      Ha, it’s like all these books want us to take them home, but we don’t want to disappoint them. I don’t go to bookstores as often as I want to because I’m pretty sure I’ll be on the verge of tears or a mental breakdown after consistently trying to make a decision that I can’t make. Lol.


  4. Jenna says:

    I don’t really like shopping so I’m usually in and out. I’m also really good at sticking to a list. I go for a specific item(s), whether it’s a book, a pair of shorts, or a bottle of shampoo. I get what I need and go. I’d rather spend my time doing things I do enjoy, like reading or watching tv or taking a nap.

    • Cee says:

      I applaud you! When I go out, I never have things I need to get (which, if I think about it, starts all my problems, lol). There’s something different about book shopping than clothes shopping to me. I can’t be in a clothes store for more than an hour because I don’t have the patience to look through the clothing racks and I become bored easily. However, hunting for books is fun for me (even though I’m usually on the verge of panic when trying to make a decision). It’s because I like being surrounded by books. It feels like a safe haven. Ha.

      I do have to admit, watching TV and taking a nap are really great things to do.

  5. You sound exactly like I do! I absolutely hate getting buyer’s remorse, so I have to carefully plan and research every purchase. If my family would let me, I would spend three hours deciding on a book. But, since they don’t understand my predicament, I have discovered a book buying method.
    1.) Take pics of the books you want, but aren’t sure of yet. LEAVE THEM ON THE SHELF. They have not been deemed worthy yet. Then, when you get home, go on Goodreads and look up what your bookish friends think.

    2.) The next time you go to the store, go in with a plan. I know it’s hard to stick with it, but be strong. Find those books you researched beforehand and grab them. Quickly run to the cashier and pay for the books, making sure not to look at the other pretty covers screaming “Pick me! Pick me!”

    3.) Put blinders on before you enter the store. It will help cut down on all the temptation.

    4.) Realize that nothing will help with this obsession. Buy ALL THE BOOKS!

    I hope I helped at least a little.

    • Cee says:

      Yay! That is a great method!

      I have no self control though. I fear that somebody will have purchased the book by the time I return to the bookstore like a week or so later. I can’t have them take my precious baby away! ;D THEY ALL WANT A HOME WITH ME.

      Yes, every method will lead to “buy all the books!” Lol.

  6. annie07 says:

    I’m really indecisive as well! Which is why I’ve gotten in the habit of only taking with me a certain amount of money to the bookstore to prevent overspending. If I were a billionaire, you can bet I’ll be buying every book in that darn bookstore.

    • Cee says:

      I do the same too, taking a certain amount of money, just to be prepared in a case of emergency, but I always end up spending the money. :P I LOVE BOOKS AND THEY LOVE ME. I can’t bear to disappoint them by not bringing them back home with me. ;D

  7. Oh your poor friends, haha. While I can be very indecisive (I will walk around the bookstore for an hour, easily), I always end up with the same decision in the end: to not get it. It’s weird. If I go into the bookstore with a book on my mind, I’ll grab it and go because I know that if I spend any longer in there, I’ll end up holding half the books in the store. And if I go into the bookstore to merely browse, that’s the worst. Because I will look at EVERY book, holding the ones I’d like to get, spending much longer than I should in there. And by the time I think “enough is enough,” I end up putting ALL the books away in order to not end up spending more than I should or feel buyers’ remorse.
    So then out of the books I was holding in my arms that day, I’ll choose one or two that I really want. And the next time I go to the bookstore, I’ll have that book (or two) in my mind, go in and get it and run away fast.
    It’s a weird system, but it seems to work for me.

    • Cee says:

      On a good day (and I mean when I have self control on that particular outing to the bookstore), I am able to resist the pull of the books calling out my name like you. If I don’t get it, I get a subtle case of buyer’s remorse like I lost an opportunity to purchase a book that I had fell in love with at the book

      I frequently find books that are kind of rare to find in a bookstore, which sends me into panic because I have to make a decision. “I promised not to get anything, but oh my god, this book. I can’t find books anywhere. And it’s much cheaper here than online. What to do?” Luckily, I come out with one or two. :D

      I can’t resist the lure of the bookstore stacks, so I applaud you on being able to run away fast.

  8. beckyday6 says:

    Love this post, I am exactly the same! I actually enlisted a friend to be my book conscience but uh, it didn’t work because I just ended up going against her. :P

    • Cee says:

      Rebel! I feel that will happen to me too if I had a friend act as my book conscience. I’ll probably wear her down until she gets completely frustrated and screams, “Get it!” It works against us. Probably because our mind is already set, but don’t want it to be? Ha.

  9. Charlotte says:

    Haha! Although bookstores are almost my second home, I don’t think I could spend 3 hours just to make a decision. I am impulsive so whenever I saw a book written by my favorite author or if the synopsis was interesting enough then I just go ahead and buy it.

    But if my money is limited, I usually stay away from bookstores or I plan ahead on what to buy so I wouldn’t end up buying something out of mere whim.

    And maybe you have to befriend my friends, Cee. They’re great book deniers. My other friend is sooo notorious that she always lectures me about spending money for a worthless Y/A book. So if you’re on the receiving end of those words, you’d pretty much stop going to bookstores and buying books.

    • Cee says:

      Lucky. I have to make sure I don’t end up regretting my choice to buy the book, hence, the three hours in a bookstore, trying to decide. Lol.

      Maybe I should! BUT I would gasp dramatically and glare at my friend if she lectures me about a “worthless YA book.” (I’m pretty sure a fight will ensue or just a silent treatment on my end to the friend. Lol.) All the ones I hold in my hand are all precious. ;D

  10. “My friend, who also shares the indecisiveness trait, and I take forever to decide on where to go. We always have to plan in advance or we will never go anywhere.” <– Me too! With my friend. There are like 4 established places we can go when we can't think of what we want to do/didn't plan ahead. Used to be Borders/B&N, Coldstone's, the mall, or Denny's lolol to discuss books or just somewhere nice and cold outside of her house. INDECISIVENESS IS THE WORST.

    "I make a pros and cons list in my head – reasons why I want the book" <– Hey, you have more control than the rest of us. Me, it's just like, 'I want the book. It looks good. Yeah, I'm a book buying ban, but oh well, here's an exception.'

    "WHY U NO TEXT ME BACK IN THIS BOOK CRISIS I AM IN? And when they do text me back, it’s always “GET IT,” enabling me, which is THE WORST. I DON’T NEED BOOK ENABLERS. I NEED BOOK DENIERS. " <– Twitter. Tell Twitter that you need book deniers. Forget the texters who will encourage you. The rest of us on book buying bans will list the reasons why not, if you need 'em.

    I love spending half the day in a bookstore :). It's why I miss Borders being so nearby… and then the nearby Barnes & Noble was shut down and it was like a kick to the chest.

  11. Ok, I’m in love with this post! I do the exact same thing…except texting my friends for advice. But that’s probably because none of my IRL friends are bookish people and they would probably say no. So I just have to search Goodreads (while I’m still in the store) and then base my decision on that.

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