Tuesday, 24 November 2009

BOOK DISCUSSION: Library vs Buying Books

I am a self-proclaimed library addict (and proud of it). I belong to 2 separate library systems in our area and I'm known by name in both. :) I regularly have over 40 books out at a time (this number includes the mountains of books that my kids take out too). Makes it difficult sometimes when books are due but I have a system at home that helps keep track of all of our Library Booty. I like to believe that my family helps increase the stats in our local libraries! :)

Do I like to buy books? Yes ... sometimes. Although, I find it much easier to try new authors or new genres if I don't have the thought in the back of my head that "I just spent $36 on this book, I hope I like it!" I made the mistake several times a few years ago when I would buy books suggested by Oprah. It took me a few times to realize that she and I don't have similar book tastes so I ended up hating the books that I had bought ("Drowning Ruth" was one of said books). Oprah tends to have fairly depressing books (or did in the beginning of her Book Club).

I find that I'm much more willing to try a new book/author when I use the library. If I don't like it after 50-100 pages I just start a new book. No hassles. I have often just walked the library and picked up books based on the covers (usually at times like these my kids are getting antsy and want to head home from the library with their stash of books). I have found several good reads this way but I would NEVER do that in Chapters. Too much money at stake.

I also love libraries for their audiobooks. I rarely listen to them but my kids love them. The boys will often listen to Geronimo Stilton or Artemis Fowl at night while they try to fall asleep and Missy Moo will listen to "Charlotte's Web" or other girly audiobooks. I would never spend $40+ on an audiobook from a bookstore, but that's just me.

I do love buying books that I have read in the past though (probably because I already know that I like the book). I love to re-read my favourites. I've re-read the Harry Potter series at least 4 times and have recently re-read "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon.

I also love collecting series of books and love browsing book stores to see if I can find the books at a discount. I am currently collecting: "The Women of the Underworld" series (Armstrong), the Twilight series, "Lake in the Clouds" series (Donati) and the Stephanie Plum series (Evanovich). I am a bit of a book snob and prefer either hardcover or trade paperback (not mass paperbacks). I do adore seeing my favourite books on my book shelves. :)

What do you prefer? Are you a Library Connaisseur like moi? Or do you prefer to buy/collect books on your ever growing home libraries?


Nix said...

I feel exactly the same way. I love my library! I now only buy books that I've read previously and enjoyed enough to purchase. I especially look to buy books that I hope my daughter will enjoy when she's a bit older (twilight series, harry potter series, etc). I also completely agree about not having mass paperbacks, it's all hardcover all the way for me.

Laurie said...

Me too, Nix! I bought "The Secret Garden" and the first Little House book when my daughter was first born and cannot wait to read them with her.
I also love going to a local used book fair. I plan to bring a lot more money next year so I can buy oodles of books. :)

Farmer Giesen said...

Well, since I've shoppped alot at Chapters with the Baking Bookworm (and enjoyed many a bevvie at Starbucks) we are both of the opinion that the "Bargain" tables at Chapters ROCK. Not only can you get 4 books for $10, we don't feel that HUGE guilt that we would have had we spent full price on a book.

Next time there's a sale, bring your IRewards card and your debit card and it's a date, Bookworm.

saskmom said...

I am pretty much only a library junkie. I can't justify buying books as I never reread them and they lose most of their value after being bought. I used to be bad when my kids got Scholastic book order forms. I remembered them fondly from when I went to school and ended up ordering about $70 worth at a time. I find that we rarely reread those books too and it feels like I am throwing my money away.

Beth said...

Glad to see so many library lovers here! As an employee of a public library since I was a teenager you can likely guess my answer to this discussion question. I only buy books, except when I have been given a gift card. I love libraries with a passion. At one point I had a card for 3 separate library systems. I've managed to narrow that number down to 2. Taking out books from the library allows me to try out books that I would not normally choose to read without fear that I am risking my money on something that is not a sure thing. And those books are normally the ones that become my favourites.

Anonymous said...

I'm addicted to my Kindle and buy all of my books electronically now. With apps that easily figure out the books I like, the recommendations feature has fast become almost unerring in directing me toward new titles that are right up my alley. Add to that the fact that every title is far cheaper than any bricks-and-mortar operation with a continously-growing catalogue of free or nearly free books, plus near-instantaneous downloads from the comfort of anywhere in the world I happen to be, and it's all gravy. I love the fact that I can carry my bookcase along with my music library everywhere I go. I love the digital age :)

NC said...

I am a library junkie with 3 different cards. I am too cheap to buy books unless I think I may read them over and over .. or take longer than the library will let me keep them. Atlas Shrugged comes to mind.

NC said...

OK. I just realized that I often use a third option ... borrow from friends who buy their books :)

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