BTT: Why Buy?

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?

To be totally honest, my book buying has dropped precipitously in the last few months.  Between BookMooch and review copies, I already have far more books coming into my home than I can handle.  If I were actively buying a lot of books as well, I’m pretty sure my bookshelves would go plummeting through the floors.

That being said, I’ve always been a buyer instead of a borrower.  Part of the reason is that I generally do like to reread my books, so I want to keep them around for future rereading as the mood strikes.  I suppose that I could go back to the library and check the book back out, but generally if I want to read it, I want to read it right away.  I have a tendency to be somewhat of an impulsive reader.  I need to be able to look at my shelves and just choose something to read right then and there, especially if I have just finished another book.  In addition, not knowing what I might want to read next would probably lead to me checking out a lot of books from the library then returning most of them unread, because I wasn’t ‘feeling’ it at the time.  Then I’ll probably want to read those same books a few days after they’ve been returned.  If I remember to return them on time at all, that is.  That is definitely not one of my gifts.

Are you a buyer or a borrower?  Why?

13 comments to BTT: Why Buy?

  • I’ve gotten so I don’t like the time constraints placed on me by the library.

  • 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’m definitely a big buyer. I read based on mood and impulse, too, and I like to have a large selection to choose from at hand when it’s time to pick my next read. And I’m terrible at doing much of anything on a timeline. I want to read when I want to read not when I feel like I ought to because the book is due back at the library.

  • I’m not much of a rereader. I’m more of a library guy but like Kathy, I’m not a fan of the due dates.

  • charley

    I will buy a new book for myself if I think that I will re-read it or pass it on someday. For example, I just treated myself to The Hobbit to round out my Lord of the Rings trilogy.

  • I buy all my books :)
    And I like it that way … owning it – is a difficult obsession to nurture! but i do it :)

  • I am an avid supporter of the library system, and most of my reads come from there. On a weekly basis I request a handful of books on my list, and the library delivers the ones that are not on hold. Herein lies the problem, however. If it is a new book, it is not unheard of to have several hundred people on the wait list before me. One of the main reasons why I buy books is because I can’t stand to wait. Another reason I buy books is because, even though I’m not a big re-reader, I like to collect the series (Harry Potter, Twilight, the Prey series, the Sue Grafton alphabet). I also must have a few new books on the shelves just in case I run out of something to read from the library.

  • I would agree that recently I have not had to buy books, what with ARC’s and other sources. But…that has not slowed me a lot. Which explians the pile, a true pile, of the TBR.

    Libraries are a wonderful resource, that I use on occasion, but I do love to have my copy, in the time I want it, in my hands.

  • I buy books because I’m an addict. I love the smell and feel of new books — and, well, I guess I explain my problem better here:

  • I use the library as a way to see how good a book is. If I like it, I’ll want to reread it, so then I buy a copy.

  • I am generally a buyer. I will occasionally take a book out of the library, on a whim, but I prefer to own them. What i use the library for is audiobooks. Books on CD are extremely expensive, but they keep me sane on my long commute.

    My problems with the library are logistical. Right now, a book I wanted to read – and that I waited quite some time for while others were listening to it – is sitting at the library, about to be sent on to its next listener. I am away on business and since I can’t retrieve it personally, they won’t hold it for me. I also have 3 audiobooks sitting on a shelf at home. While I was away, I was able to renew 1 of them, but the other 2 are on hold, so I can’t renew them. However, 5 cents a day is a small investment to hang on to them a little while longer. I’m sorry it holds things up for the next reader, but I think I should be allowed at least one renewal.

  • I’d rather borrow from the library. Nowadays, so many books are over-hyped by the publishers that you buy them, read them, and they are so disappointing them that you just can’t tolerate them sitting on your bookshelf anymore. I have on numerous occasions donated books I bought to the library, just because they were sooo bad.

    Another reason, why I like the library is my librarian really knows me and my reading tastes. He sometimes keeps a few books aside for me, and I tend to really enjoy the books he recommends.