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?
Our public library is very inviting – it’s walkable in good weather, has a big bright children’s room, a separate “teen/young adult” corner, beautiful artwork on display, educational programs for all ages, etc. It is a pleasure to walk through the doors and spend time there.
We usually visit library twice a week, a regular story-time for my preschooler on Thursdays, then a weekend visit with all the kids going in order to return books and select new ones. We make use of the inter-library loan system to request books that aren’t at our branch. I tend to borrow books that are “how to”s or other references.
Yet despite our frequent trips to the library, we have hundreds of books on the shelves in our home; some received as gifts, but most purchased (by me, I’ll admit). A book is a gift I give myself, and a gift that I’m willing to share with others who might enjoy it; my friends typically take good care of borrowed books, so I’m happy to loan them out. Many of the books I read are new releases, and I don’t have the patience to wait for them to be available in the library system.
Yes, there is a cost to buying a book, but I consider most books a small investment with a big return. I don’t have a lot of other indulgences (I don’t like to go to the mall, I rarely go out for coffee or drinks with friends, I actually use coupons and stock up on sale items at the grocery store!); books are my vice.
To read more answers to this question, visit the Booking Through Thursday blog. Why do you buy books?