Thursday, November 13, 2008

Booking Thru 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?

Oh boy. As a librarian, this is an embarrassing question for me to answer but honestly, I hardly ever borrow books. I buy books, because I want to read them. I don't borrow books for my own reading because I am a terrible library patron- I keep books out for so long, and end up owing so much in overdue fees, that I figure I might as well just buy. When I was a teenager I practically lived at the library and had no money so I borrowed all the time- only to have my card taken away twice because my record with them was so bad. One local public library has taken to making automated collection calls to naughty patrons and let's just say the first time I got one of those was the last time I used that library.

The only time I borrow books now is when I have to preview them for my job. I have become a prodigious user of interlibrary loan since I've become a librarian, because the service allows me to look over books I'm interested in buying for my library. I've become very, very good about returning these books on time, because I don't want my professional resources taken away!

8 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

Nothing embarrassing about that! Booroowng is not so bsad when it books! For that matter, begging is ok too!

*grin*


Must buy!

mattviews said...

I'm always buying books. I buy them because I want to have them, period. I like to maintain a history of my reading over the years. There are so many good literature out there that have been overlooked by readers that after the first, or second printing they will go out-of-print. I'm always buying and preserving what I enjoy reading.

I always feel that the free library copy is not the same as my own, especially books and authors I really like.

Smilingsal said...

I remember when I worked in the librry as a clerk, I seemed to want even more, more, more. Here's my answer.
http://bookcritiques.blogspot.com/2008/11/booking-through-thursday.html

candyschultz said...

I always buy. When I was a child we visited the library regularly. I like to reread books, some like Harry Potter and Tolkien, I reread on a regular basis. I have almost four thousand books now a quarter of which are cookbooks. Cookbooks are usable and I went to culinary school so I love them. But I buy the others because I have had difficulty in finding them in the past. If I make a note of a book I want and it is a year or two before I get to it then it becomes difficult to obtain. And I refer back to nonfiction all the time. The more nonfiction I read the more I read and reread. I also just love having masses of books around me.

Kathy said...

I'm like you Marie I prefer to own my books I read. I would say about 80% or more of the books I read I have bought.

Mae said...

When I was around 16, my local library sent me a letter threatening to sue me. I had a pile of books out (maybe around 10) and they were late so I figured, rather than cough up the fine, I'd just keep the books.

While I think the threat of a lawsuit over library books is a bit extreme, I did learn my lesson!

Jennie said...

I buy books because I want to be surrounded by good books. I want a personal library made up of great literature! However, my budget doesn't allow me to buy everything I want, so I do go to the library. Since I discovered BookMooch last year, I've been giving books away pretty even to what I'm receiving.

Shana said...

Marie, that's interesting. I guess I did assume that most of the books you're reviewing were borrowed from the library :)

Do you think the library fine system is slowly going away? I've heard so many people say their libraries don't do fines any more.

Shana
Literarily