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Booking Through Thursday

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?

This is actually a complicated question. I get a lot of reading material from the library and I get quite a few ARCs. But I do buy books, and there are a number of reasons why I’ll do so. Sometimes I’ll start reading a book and fall in love with it so much that I know that I just have to own my own copy. For example, I checked out Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Grave from the library, but after reading just a few pages, I went out and bought my own copy. If I love an author’s previous work, I’ll go right out and buy the next book they’ve written. I also have a habit of buying a book based on its cover--Michael Cox's The Meaning of Night is one such book. Luckily for me, I liked it.

I don’t generally buy books online (I like to be able to feel and—yes—smell the book before I buy it), but sometimes if something is hard to find or not readily available in the US, I’ll go to Amazon or Amazon UK (an example of this is that I recently bought a couple of Elizabeth Chadwick novels online).

And sometimes, if I find myself waiting in a train station/ airport/ etc., I’ll go into a bookstore and browse around, even if I don’t really need to buy anything (usually when I take a trip I make sure I have enough reading material packed). In my current apartment in New York, I'd say I have about 200 bought books.


Anna Claire said…
I'm like you--I'll buy something if I've read it at the library and love it. I also like to browse in bookstores and occasionaly buy something that catches my eye.

Plus my Christmas list is at least one-half books.
Anonymous said…
I'm always buying books. I buy them because I want to have them, period. I like to maintain a history of my reading over the years. There are so many good literature out there that have been overlooked by readers that after the first, or second printing they will go out-of-print. I'm always buying and preserving what I enjoy reading.

It's not uncommon that I buy my own copies of books after I enjoyed reading the ARCs. :)
SmilingSally said…
It is a treat to hug a new book. Here's my answer.
That's a lot of books for an apartment! But I love having books around me as well. You're not the first person to say she likes to smell books before buying them. LOL. For some reason I like the musty smell of library books better (even though I never check out books from the library).
Amanda said…
I am always buying books! I love knowing that particular books are just waiting for me to be in the right mood...and pop! They find themselves on the very top of my TBR pile. I do like to browse in bookstores, but here in Australia we have terrible prices on books, so I keep my eyes out for bargins for that instant gratification, but I most buy from Book Depository (love the few shipping!), or secondhand (I have a favourite stall at the markets, or from ebay or abebooks)
Amanda said…
Oh and BTW....I had just been looking at Silent as the Grave and The Meaning of Night at the markets last weekend. Guess were I will be going next weekend!!
Danielle said…
Aren't Deanna Raybourn's books great? I try and use the library for new books that are still in cloth that I don't want to pay full price for. I often start reading a book that I borrowed but like it so much I end up buying it. I think I buy far too many books, and I get the odd ARE here and there as well.

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