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Booking Through Thursday - Book Buying?

Deb at Booking Through Thursday asks:

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? 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?

I used to be a die-hard library user and would rarely buy books. But something shifted this last year -- as my reading increased (thanks in part to LibraryThing), my book lust did too, exponentially and so, of course, did my TBR pile.

Why buy? I LOVE being able to finish a book, walk over to the bookshelf, ponder what I want to read next and just pull it off the shelf. Great books, no waiting! That said, I buy almost all my books used, most of them from Goodwill (charity store) for a couple bucks each. If I can't find what I'm looking for there, Powell's is just down the street and they have tons of used books.

I also get a lot of free books -- some mooched from book pals around the world and some ARCs (Advanced Reader Copy) from publishers - Shelf Awareness is a great resource for finding out about freebies from publishers. I'm also a moocher as well as a moochee - I love passing on good books to friends. The ones I keep are usually the hardcovers and/or the ones that are really special to me and that I'm sure to re-read.

And -- I still love my library. At any given time, I usually have ~20 books, DVDs and CDs checked out or reserved. We have a great library system here in Portland, a beautiful central library building and lots of good neighborhood branches (that's ours in the photo at right). I support our library through my overdue fines (ahem).

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11 comments:

BooksPlease said...

I love my library too - but still buy lots of books - both new and secondhand. As for overdue fines we can renew books online - but I still forget sometimes!
My answer is here.

gautami tripathy said...

Buying and owning books is necessity for me!

Must buy!

Smilingsal said...

I both buy and use the library. Here's my answer:
http://bookcritiques.blogspot.com/

Terri said...

Margaret - we can renew online too, but if someone else has it on hold, I can't renew and then don't always get it returned in time. They even send emails to remind me when something is coming due. I consider my fines cheap rent for books!

Sheri said...

I like going to pick one out, too. But, lately, because of all challenges and ARC's, I have the "to reads" on my desk and only the completed's in the shelves.

My sister likes David Sedaris. I haven't read it yet. Do you like it?
My post: http://anovelmenagerie.com/ghost/2008/11/13/why-do-we-buy-books/

Callista said...

I love the library too!

PS. I looked at Shelf Awareness but I'm not sure I understand what it's about and especially how it relates to freebies from publishers. Maybe I'm just too tired?

The Social Frog said...

I also enjoy walking over to my bookshelf to put a just read book away and grabbing a fresh new one to read!

Amy(The Sleepy Reader) said...

ARCs have been keeping me pretty busy lately too but I am a big library user!

Mary Beth said...

With the ease of half.com and amazon used books, the web is a great place to get used books, too, especially if you know the title you're looking for. Then you get little presents in the mail - something guaranteed to brighten my day:)

Book Lover Lisa said...

Oh, you are so lucky to be in Portland near Powell's. I have heard wonderful things about the library system there, also. We lived in Vancouver, WA - they also had a great library system and (most importantly) no late fees or fines, and no limit on amount of books checked out!

Tina Kubala said...

I miss the library systems that are, in my experience, common on the west coast. Even when I lived in Hawaii, you could check out books on any island with your same card and return at any local. Here in Rural Missouri, each library is separate and if you don't live within city limits you have to pay $10 a year for your card. I don't mind the money so much. The sad thing is not being able to order a book from the next town over.