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 bit all over the place. Nowadays new books coming into my house tend to come via bookcrossing - a good way to read books for the price of a few stamps, and also a good way to save trees.
I do use the library but tend to do so sporadically, and I find when I'm in there I grab stacks, which then sit around for months waiting to be read and are often returned unread. I think because I'm not paying for them I tend to take stuff I'm not sure of, or let it linger because I have book rings to fulfill first. I also find a lot of the books I want at the library I have to order in advance, it's when I go to pick these up I end up picking up a few that I notice on he shelves.
My book buying habit is improving all the time. I once only brought books and they had to be brand new, now I tend to buy in second-hand stores, library sales (10 paperbacks for £1), and in the privately owned section of Amazon. As these books are cheap I'm not discerning about what I buy and I know that when read they will get moved out of the house via bookcrossing.
I now try to only go into the bookshop when I have money to spend, or I am buying for a gift. I like buying books that are part of a series so I have the whole set, books from certain authors that I love or are classics I know I will reread. Having said that I sometimes get this terrible itch where I just have to spend some money - whether or books, clothes or shoes - then its the pretty covers and the 3 for 2 offers that kill me.
Ans just to say that I hate that supermarkets now sell books, they are usually half the normal price and you just end up chucking them in the trolley as you wander past, not really thinking about the 400 unread books you have at home already.