Why Buy?

Booking Through Thursday

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 love libraries.  I’ve killed entire days in libraries.  In college, I would make it a sport to find the most hidden, inaccessible study desk I could, and then I’d just set up camp.  However, I generally buy books rather than checking them out from the library for a number of reasons.

First, I am king of the overdue book fine.  I don’t have a lot of time to read, so it usually takes me a while to finish a book, which means that if it’s a library book, I have to renew it, and I tend to forget.  It’s easier just to buy the book I want, and then I don’t have to worry about how long it takes me to read it.

Second, my wife and I share and trade books with our friends.  Because our friends live all over the country, we usually only get to see them once or twice a year, and under such circumstances, library books don’t really work.

Third, my interets run to the arcane, shall we say.  Even though I’ve been lucky enough to live near some really good public libraries, they rarely carry many books on certain topics that interest me, such as Serbian history, historical linguistics, or archaeoastronomy.  With the Internet, though, it’s easy to find books on those subjects.

But of course, the ultimate reason is that I just really like everything about books and can’t imagine life without owning at lease a few hundred.

5 thoughts on “Why Buy?

  1. Marina November 13, 2008 / 8:01 pm

    Wow, and I though I had it rough because my library is deficient in fantasy titles (well, for grown-ups).

    Here’s my post

  2. Tina Kubala November 13, 2008 / 10:03 pm

    My mum mails me books every couple months since she found the post office offers special rates for media. If it’s 100% books it’s very cheap to mail. You and your friends could share much more often that way.

  3. Nicole November 13, 2008 / 11:47 pm

    I agree about not living life without books. It’s amazing to me how many homes I walk into and don’t see books anywhere! BTW I’m walking into so many homes because I’m a pet-sitter. I’m not just randomly walking in. I swear! Really!

  4. lena December 8, 2008 / 12:35 pm

    I know exactly what you mean with overdue fees. 😦 I hate feeling the pressure to finish reading a book before the due date.

    Also, I’m from Bijeljina. Why the interest in Serbian history if I may ask?

  5. Matthew December 8, 2008 / 1:02 pm

    No one in America knows anything about the Balkans, except for Greece, and even if you ask them about the history of Greece, you’re likely to get something about Brad Pitt in Troy and their cruise to Mykonos.

    The American media coverage of what happened to Yugoslavia in the 90s was abysmal. It’s Europe, just like France and Great Britain and Germany are Europe. I just decided to find out about things on my own, and the more I read about the region, the more I was hooked.

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