Thursday, November 13, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: 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?

This is a hard question to answer... I would rather argue the side of libraries over bookstores. But I do buy reference books that I am going to refer back to over and over. I also buy the classics... usually just the Penguin edition, but they are nice to own. And I love buying children's books because kids will read a book hundreds of times over.

But I go through books pretty fast so I'm lucky it's a free hobby, thanks to the library! I know people will say that they buy books to give back to the authors, but libraries also buy books. I have requested my library to buy several books that they didn't own, and so far they have purchased every book I've requested. When a new book becomes popular, like an Oprah endorsement or the Booker prize, they order at least 50 copies so there are plenty in circulation. And they work really hard to turn children into readers and those kids do grow up and eventually purchase books like any reader does.

If you are thinking about Christmas shopping and you have kids on your list, buy books!


  1. I also love buying childrens books. They get used and used and used in this house!

  2. I'm a big fan of libraries, even though I buy most of my books at the moment. Free public libraries are one of our greatest assets in this country. It's good you recommend books for your library to buy - you're helping out the librarians and the other patrons, and the authors as well.

  3. Good point about library purchases. Here's my answer.