I hear you on the physical copy thing, it took me years and not having a home to value ebooks like I did a real book. Scribd isn’t as good as it used to be, though it tends to have a few things kindle unlimited doesn’t, you might consider getting kindle unlimited to cover some of your other book needs.
Now that I’m into the ebook thing, I’m kinda of glad, it’s much easier to return a book that I bought that wasn’t worth my time to amazon, or if I got it on kindle unlimited at least it didn’t cost me anything.
I now have a home of my own and could get away with books, and plan to purchase at least one physical book in the upcoming weeks that I’m drawn too, but come the second week of December I will be stowing my stuff away from my children’s prying eyes again.
In the last I always put everything I had for magic into an old leather trunk thst was my moms, now that has been left behind too, so I’ve saved a couple of boxes from moving- the box my new dishes came in, etc so that when they are tucked away nearly at the top of my closet my 14 yr old daughter won’t be curious about what’s inside, she’ll assume she not only can’t reach it because mom can’t, but that it’s an empty box mom saved just in case.
Right now I’m tossing it all into a flat box from the bottom of my Seagrams 24 pack and shoving it under my bed when I have company, but my daughter is nosy, so I know that won’t cut it long term. My son would think it was all cool and would want to watch and learn but now is not the time in my life to have those discussions with either child lol.
My point was, there are other options so you don’t have to hide things so hard, and maybe at least reading the books online or in ebook version could cut down on how many you buy.
And I get the buying books over things you need thing. I’ve not really done it specifically with books, but I’ve bought things I didn’t need that boosted my mood instead of things I actually needed when money was tight- more times than I can count in my 34 years.