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?
I tend to find that much as I love the “free” factor of libraries, I still wind up paying something, as I’m guilty of returning items late more often than not. When I buy a book (this applies to movies as well) I now HAVE the book, and am not constrained to a specific 2-3 week timeframe in which I absolutely MUST finish the book…thus, more freedom to read (or not read) as my schedule allows. Just yesterday I finished reading a book that I began reading eight or nine weeks ago–I was able to read several other books that gained my attention, and then return to this, and no late fees involved.
There’s also that notion of having the book and then being able to–upon choice–bestow it upon someone else. Marley & Me might be a great book and a strong recommendation to a friend–but is she going to remember to look for it? By buying the book, I can put it in her hands myself (the strongest display of recommendation I can think of for anything).
As my schedule tends to be all over the place, and reading is broken amidst books, comics, and graphic novels, I rarely know when or where I’m going to have what amount of time TO read. If I was on a waiting-list at a library for the new Grisham Novel, I might get it when I’ve just started another book, and by the time I get to Grisham, the book’s overdue.
Additionally, owning a book allows for re-readability and reference. If I read something and return it, I don’t have the book on-hand to go back through to catch stuff I didn’t catch on first read, and I’m unable to refer back to specific packages if I decide to talk about it to others (particularly in terms of writing about it).
On the guilty side, I’m sure I also fall into the trap of “collecting.” Not for value, mind you–but the enjoyment of the hunt, of tracking down (or in case of the newer books, building) a series (combine this with above-mentioned reasons, too).
Why buy? Because I’m probably going to wind up shelling out money anyway, and this way I have more convenient access to the volume, as well as the ability to pass it along directly to others of my choosing.