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!