Impulse Control

I’m a little curious: do any of you have a problem with impulse buying?

For me, it’s one of my many personality flaws. When I get a notion that I want to own a book, CD, videogame, or anything else for that matter, I feel compelled to go on Amazon or to a physical store and buy it right away. Services like iTunes and Steam, where gratification is nigh-instant, have only exacerbated this problem.

I was thinking about this because of my recent fascination with the Kindle and Nook eBook readers. Although these devices carry huge benefits for avid readers, especially those who travel or commute regularly, they come with one major drawback for the impulse buyer: you can buy and download books whenever you want.

Although I am reading more frequently now that I’ve finished college, I can easily imagine this feature getting me in trouble. I’m constantly hearing about books from friends, colleagues, and podcasts that pique my interest, and usually my solution is to place them on an Amazon wishlist for later purchase. However, with a Kindle or a Nook I could simply hop onto a digital bookstore and purchase them immediately. That would not be good given my looming unemployment.

And of course, there’s no way to sell your eBooks once your done reading them (especially if you didn’t like them). That’s been my biggest complaint about Steam, where I’ve sometimes purchased PC games I didn’t enjoy. Buyer’s remorse comes at a premium in this digital world.