Thursday, November 13, 2008

BTT: Buying Books

btt button

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 just a girl who can't say no. Or very rarely says no in any case. I do use my local library--a visit almost every week. I'd imagine at least 49 trips per year. But I do get a bigger thrill out of owning a book.

What makes me buy a book?

  • It's a favorite. Something I want to read over and over and over again. This means that chances are I'll have read it first at the library and then decided I "needed" my own copy.
  • It's a favorite author. There are a few authors out there whose books I'm going to be buying--likely within a week or two of release. Orson Scott Card comes to mind. Rick Riordan is another.
  • It's part of a series I collect. There are certain series that I've started. If a new book in that series comes out, I'm going to want it. I don't want to own an incomplete set of books. So even though I may not love, love, love it as much as the others in the series, I'm going to want ownership.
  • It's not available at the local library. Let's say--randomly--that I've got $30 to spend on books. I'm going to be checking the online catalog of my library. I want to make the most of the money I've got.
  • It's my favorite subject and/or my favorite genre. Examples: Holocaust; dystopias.
  • It's an incredible bargain. Show me a good bargain, a good sale, an almost once-in-a-lifetime price, and chances are I can't resist. Some of my best? Picking up a copy of And the Ladies of the Club for 12 cents. And though I know not all of my readers are religious, maybe you can still appreciate the thrill of picking up Bibles for 90% off. In some cases, I've paid as little 1.19 for hardcover, and 5.99 or 7.99 for leather. That is a THRILL let me tell you.
  • It calls to me. This is the most miscellaneous of reasons. It could be the cover. It could be the jacket-description. The blurb. The premise. The first paragraph. But there's something about it that says buy me, buy me.
  • It was recommended to me by a friend I trust.
  • It's a gift for someone else. You can't give a friend a library book :)
  • It's a replacement copy. It's a book I already own--but have already worn out.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


SmilingSally said...

I have an author collection. Here's my answer.

Shonda said...


We have the same reasons for purchasing books. I too cannot tolerate missing a book from a series! DVDs, yes, but books? NO!!! I cringe just thinking about it ;-p