Are you a gift certificate hoarder or spender?

I bought myself a Nook a while back and, while I’ll never give up “real” paper books, I have to admit I love the gadget. It’s light and I don’t have to fumble to turn the pages when I’m reading in bed.

My two favorite things about the Nook, though, are the backlight so I can read with the lights off and the fact that I can sync it with my iPhone so I’m never, ever without reading material.

I just figured out the iPhone thing and got so excited that you would have thought I had discovered electricity.

I guess my friends and family know how much I liked my nook, because I got close to $200 in Barnes and Noble gift certificates for my birthday. I was thrilled. I mean, there’s no better gift than book gift certificates.

I promptly added the certificates to my Nook account and bought a book. Yes, a single book. Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman.

Before I had the gift certificates I was allowing myself to buy one new Nook book every pay day, which is every two weeks. I actually thought two new books a month was quite a splurge.

I decided I would just stay on that plan with the gift certificates. At two a month, they should last ten months or so. That’s almost a year of new books!

This plan is driving my mother absolutely mad.

The other day I said, “My next book purchase is going to be Hemingway’s Girl by Erica Robuck.”

She said, “Why don’t you just buy it now.”

“I don’t get paid until next Friday.” I answered, staying true to my budget plan.

“You have gift certificates.”

“I know, but I can only buy one every two weeks anyway.”

She shook her head in disappointment. “You are no fun. I would have spent the whole amount all at once and gotten a ton of books.”

She’s a gift certificate spender, I’m a hoarder.

To me, the joy of a gift certificate is not using it to buy one big mass of books. I like to dole it out slowly, seeing how long I can make it last.

I even made a spread sheet so I can keep track of what I’ve spent, what I purchased and how much gift certificate money I have left.

I also plan which book I’m going to buy, contemplating it for days on end before making my decision and then spend several more days looking forward to the actual purchase.

It’s like Christmas, the anticipation is the best part.

If you spend it all at once, all you have to anticipate is reading the book, which is admittedly the best part but I think I enjoy the reading more for all my deliberation and expectation.

No, hoarding is definitely the way to go when it come to gift certificates. Especially when there’s a spreadsheet involved.

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