Thursday, November 13, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Why Buy?

I’ve asked, in the past, about whether you more often buy your books, or get them from libraries. What I want to know today, is, WHY BUY?
Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?
If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?

Good question! My answer would have been very different just a few years ago.

Up until recently I was a big library buff, checked out tons and tons of library books. If I really liked something I had read from the library then I would buy it. Besides that I only bought design and art history books, reference type books. 

And then I don't know what happened, I discovered clearance sections or library sales or something and found myself with a bunch of fiction to read that I now owned. But I still checked out lots from the library and found myself reading those library before I ever touched my own books. One day I decided I should focus on all these piles of books I've somehow found myself with. It would be pointless to buy them and then read library books instead!

So that was working for a bit and then of course there were tons of new books I wanted to read and I had decided no library books so I just started buying them because I wasn't about to wait forever to read them (ha, but I am anyways!) And you all know the condition my book habit is in now. 

Oh how I miss the days where most of my books came from the library. I just plain miss the library too! What I have right now is so overwhelming it would just be plain stupid to start checking out books! I really hope and wonder how I can get back to that someday. I used to make lists of books I wanted to read someday but it's just so much easier to find them for a dollar or 50 cents and buy them! I rarely buy a book for full price, if I can't get it for under 3 dollars I'll use a coupon for Borders or order it on Amazon!

So I haven't actually checked out much from the library in the past year. I think the last thing I was checking out were graphic novels, because some of those I can definitely read just once and not buy! And they can be very expensive! I think a lot of my buying recently also has to do with I have a lot more money than I ever have had before (going from pretty much no job to full time job does that!)

What's your advice for me and my cycle of craziness? What's your relationship with your library like?


  1. Anonymous9:45 PM

    I've started buying here lately, too. It seems like I would put books on hold at the library and they'd all come in at the same time.

  2. Maybe a system of, read 1 library book, then 2 of your own?

    I've been having good luck with getting through my books by doing reading challenges. I find as many as I can of my own that will fit the challenge, and if I have to fill in, I can only use library books--no more purchases.

    So, I've been using the library a little bit more lately, but I too tend to rack up fines, or the books come in at a bad time, so I wind up renewing, or having to send things back unread.

    Good luck!

    My BTT post is here

  3. My book buying obsession has gotten pretty out of hand in just the last 3 years as well. I used to rarely buy books (didn't use the library a lot either but I still had enough books from when I did buy them). Now I just have tons to read because I can't stop buying. And now that I buy mostly used, I have twice as many because it's cheaper so I can get twice as much. I also long for the days when I wasn't so out of control. I've taken steps to reduce my craziness but I don't see any end in sight for now.

  4. Anonymous11:49 PM

    I go dumb in the library, too. I can't think of a single book name. What I bring home is totally based on what I walk by.

  5. I get a mind block in the library, not knowing what I should pick up!

    Must buy!

  6. I have pretty much the same relationship with my library, mainly because it's too small to have all the books I want to read. I buy graphic novels, though, because I reread those all the time.

  7. Anonymous12:55 AM

    i buy all my book - it is a need and a passion :)

  8. bermudaonion- Exactly! I'd have a pile and would get through like one before they were all due back!

    marina- Right now I'm reading a lot of review copies, i should use a system of 2 review copies and 1 of my own books! That is a good idea, to fill your challenges up with library books! And not buy anything more! Yeah I think I would usually take more back unread than read!

    amee- I know! How can you say no to a book for 50 cents to like 3 dollars, it's so much less hassle then trying to find it at the library! Maybe we can help each other, I'm not sure how though! I think half price books and library book sales need to stop before i do hahah!

    tina kubala- I do that sometimes too or I'll go in with a list, but what really gets me into the trouble is requesting books online and i think there is something like a 20 item limit on requests. I've hit that several times and would find myself with stacks of library books! Whoops!

    gautami tripathy- I've been known to just grab things with pretty covers!

    jessi- Oooh what kind of graphic novels do you like? I checked out Black Hole to read it once, that's one I don't think I'd read too often so the library is nice for stuff like that that i'm semi-curious about, not really sold on the illustration style or storyline. Some I just know I'll love though and buy them outright!

    veens- :D


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