When confronted with the prospect of going to the bookstore or library, my reaction can be summed up in one gif:

That being said, you can imagine how chaotic it is to step into a bookstore with someone who’s flailing around, picking up every book, and stroking the cover (true story). For a book lover, stepping into a library or bookstore with literally hundreds of, thousands of options, can be overwhelming!

Here are three ways you can combat Bibliophile Meltdown and shop (or rather, borrow) smarter:

1. Set a book limit — How many of you are guilty of walking out of the library with your borrowing limit maxed out? How about walking out of a bookstore, riddled with guilt as you think of your massive to be read pile at home, while you cradle a stack of 5 new books in your arms? Been there, done that (this week, actually). Keep your TBR stress at a minimum by setting a book buying limit before you walk into the store that aligns with how many books you can reasonably read at the moment, or how many unread books are sitting at home on your shelf.

2. Do your research — Indecision can strike at the worst moment. Don’t let it catch you off guard by doing your research before you get to the bookstore. Knowing what books you’re after, as well as checking out reviews, can help curb impulse buys and even general frustration (I’d like to think there’s research that’s been done on this, but I can’t find any. This is pure speculation based off of how many times I’ve stood in front of a bookshelf, cursing and frustrated at how many options are before me.)

Personally, I love checking Goodreads to see what my friends think of books, and read up on the most recent reviews, as well as trace similar titles.

3. Make a list — Don’t let all of that research go to waste! In case you can’t remember which books out of the hundreds you looked up on Goodreads, or can’t recall which your local library has in stock, jot down your book picks on a list that you can keep in your purse. I like to keep my check out list in my Filofax planner for easy access!

And so you don’t have to keep your book list on any ol’ scrap of paper…I made a library card-inspired book list just for you! Never forget a book title or author from your reading list again. With two sizes — a full 8.5″ x 11″ sheet and Personal size Filofax insert, these free printables will surely come in handy.

Get your free printable when you sign up for my newsletter! It’ll be in your inbox in a jiffy.

How do you keep your book shopping under control? Share your tips in the comments below!