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 am a buyer. I like to own my books. I like to look at them, I take a lot of pride in having so many, especially at my age, and I love that I can re-read them at will. Well, when I’m with them; they won’t be moving in with me again for the next year at least and I’m not sure when I’ll be living in a permanent enough place to deem it worth it to drag them all out of my parents’ house. Still, I know that they are there and waiting for me. I just don’t feel the same way about library books. I borrowed Sharon Kay Penman’s Welsh trilogy from the library and I have wanted to own it ever since. I bought a ton of fantasy books that I had previously borrowed from the library. The thing is, if I’ve read it and enjoyed it, I want to have it. So the library makes my “condition” worse in that now I’ve read the book, I want my own copy, but I’m not likely to read that copy for years.
I have recently “re-discovered” the library. It makes sense right now; I do not have a job and I’m living on money that I set aside for this specific purpose. I’m spending as little as possible and books don’t fit into my budget right now, even though I walk past five bookstores each day. Yes, five. It’s torture, believe me, so I console myself by going to the public library. The problem is that I know I’m going to want a number of these books and I’ll be spending money on them someday – but as long as I can put off that day until I have a reliable income, I will do so. Books are my main entertainment, so if I see one that I am particularly eager to read I will still buy it (especially when it’s 50p) but I am not looking on purpose.
On an unrelated note: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson finally came in the mail! Woohoo! Just Old English translation is standing in my way now.