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?
I’m a buyer for sure, of both new and used books. I buy when I can’t wait to read a new release. As I’ve mentioned, I’m an author groupie, and I keep up with release dates. (Buzz Girl (link on right) has been on break too long!) No getting in line at the library for me. And oh yeah, buying supports writers. There is that.
I patronize a local independent bookstore as much as possible, but I also take advantage of Borders’ coupons. Most of the new hardcovers I purchase are 30 to 40 percent off.
Every other week or so, I hit my favorite used bookstore during lunch (photo at left b/c I don’t think Irv has a Web site, which would be no surprise). There, I need gamble only a few bucks on a book I know nothing about, and I’ve found some real gems that way. In fact, that’s how I came to read Nanci Kinkaid’s Verbena, among other discoveries. I also trade books for credit, which helps the budget and clears some always-scarce space on the shelves.
Audiobooks are another story (bad pun alert). They are so expensive, so I rely on the library for them almost exclusively, although I did purchase Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and one or two other non-fiction titles.
On the subject of book buying, I found a new blog today that encourages buying books as holiday gifts this year. Several years ago, a group of friends and I exchanged book wish lists for our holiday gifts, since we often bought each other bookstore gift certicates or cards. Having a list forced us to do some research if we weren’t familiar with a title, and of course we could buy the book we’d personally most like to read, and borrow it later. That worked out well, and we should try that again.