Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 17 comments

To Borrow, or to Buy, That is the Question:

Hello everyone,

Today I want to pose a question to you: What is your opinion on borrowing a book versus purchasing a book? 

I myself have very mixed feelings. On one hand I really like to buy books and display them on my bookcase. In fact, I really have this vision of owning a room filled with books. Sort of like my own personal library. If you've ever read InkHeart, I'm envisioning something along the lines of Elinor's home, but not to the extent that it consumes the house. 

Despite wanting to own my own mini library, I have another very conflicting view that I battle when purchasing a book, which is wasting money. "WHAT!? A BOOK CANNOT BE A WASTE  OF MONEY, THAT'S BLASPHEMY!!" Woah, wait a second, calm down. There is no need to attack me with a barrage of hardbacks. The way I look at it is if my library has the book, why not just check it out and read it? Why do I need to purchase another copy, when I can get it for free at the library? Sure, I may want to reread it, but can't I just check it out again? I hear a lot of things such as "I'm bad at returning the books back on time" or "I'm very forgetful", but those don't apply to me. Some even suggest passing down their collection to their children. Well as of right now, I have no plans on having children and even if I do, who's to say they will have the same tastes as myself?  

On the other hand, I've already said I really like displaying the books I've read. Particularly the ones that I found most enjoyable. I just find it comforting to have a bookcase filled with books, I'm not sure why, but I just do. I've even debated about whether or not I should buy the Kindle version of the book versus the physical copy, but I guess that's a whole other debate. Maybe I'll post a discussion about that sometime in the near future, so be ready!

Just for clarification, I do justify buying books that are published recently. In most cases, the library will not have the have the book for a while and I simply don't want to wait weeks/months. This is especially true for the small town that I come from. Don't misunderstand me, I really enjoy our library, but I don't think it has the means to keep up with the vast number of newly published books. For one, they have to ensure they aren't wasting their budget acquiring books that no one will want to check out. So, I speculate they wait to see how the public reacts before deciding on if and when they should purchase said book. However, when I'm back on campus, it becomes extremely easy to justify purchasing books. 
  1. 1.  There are two very awesome used book stores within walking distance.
  2. 2. Our 10 story library only has technical books (one floor has some fiction, but it's not anything exciting).
  3. 3.  Going through the hassle of asking our library to obtain the book I want via another library is very time consuming and seems bothersome.
  4. 4. It's a big city and I hate driving in the traffic, so I'm not willing to venture out to locate a library.

So, I want to hear from you. What's your opinion or methods for justifying your purchases? If you mainly check out your books from the library, I still want to hear your opinion.  


Well my library never has any books I want. I live in a tiny town & they just don't have much of a buy buy buy!

Crystal @ Crystal in Bookland

I think it is ok to borrow books but for me it is important when doing that to leave reviews as at least that way you are giving back to the authors.
If you read a book you truly love I also think buying your own copy is something to consider as that way you are supporting the authors to enable them to keep bringing you more.

On a personal note....I only ever buy my books as I love the feel of having a new book (even on my Kindle) and knowing it is mine.

I was thinking about this the other day. I usually just buy books in series that I know I like, but lately I've just been buying whatever my friends recommend even if i know nothing about it. But it gets expensive so I might need to go back to the library lol. You can't beat a free book! I just get so grossed out when I hear about the whole bed bugs in library books lately so that why buying books has looked so appealing lately. -BookBFF Melissa

I love this topic! But down to business!

Before I moved I had a phenomenal library system that had all thee books! All the new releases, old classics, series etc. It was also 10minutes away from my fave used book store, and 5 minutes from B&N. So whenever I left the house I mixed it up a bit. I think, (and this is just me) that if I loved a book enough to even consider checking it out the library a second time, then I owe it to the author to show my genuine support and purchase said book. Not to mention I'm a HUGE re-reader! It's my cure to a book hangover, or reading slump, and sometimes I really just like revisiting the place that made my laugh out loud in public.

Now that I've moved to a really crummy library system I definitely find myself trolling and exploring local used book stores. But it's not just about, finding those new reads or revisiting favorite, I love when a person comes into my house and goes to my bookshelf! I love when the say "you've read all of these"?! I love that look of awe on their face and if I can slide one book off my shelf, that keeps that look on their face till they return it I feel like the fairy godmother of awesome books. But I've ranted enough! Fantastic post!

-Octavia of Read. Sleep. Repeat.

You make a great point, but aside of an avid reader and bookworm I do believe I am a book hoarder! I'd kill for a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast! (fuck the prince and the clothes... I want the library and the talking teapot!).

Also, since I'm reading mostly in English these days and the libraries over here don't stock books in English much that I know of... it's even hard to find new books in bookstores even! I just have to order from The Book Depository, Amazon, and to save space, I just use my kindle app mostly as of late, otherwise the whole apartment would be filled to the brim with books with no space for me!

Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

My thing is that I don't really re-read much. Sometimes I will, but other times I feel that there are just so many books out there that I should just move on. Though, I too love the reaction my friends make when they see my bookshelves. What makes it even more enjoyable is that they don't particularly like to read during their free time. It would probably be safe to say that it would be the last thing they would do.

So, when you say "that if I loved a book enough to even consider checking it out the library a second time, then I owe it to the author to show my genuine support and purchase said book", does that mean you always checked them out first or does that only apply to borrowed library books. I'm assuming the latter, correct?

I'm at least glad to hear that I'm not alone. I love the Beauty and the Beast reference, because I too would love a library of that magnitude (Mrs. Potts included :D). I guess maybe I should just view my library for what it is, a collection. After all, there are far worse ways to spend money.

Thanks for your feedback!

Bed bugs??? I haven't heard that! I've pretty much used a system to decide whether or not to buy a book. If I'm leery about it, I'll probably get it from the library or use a kindle sample. If I read it and love it, I'll just go ahead and buy it.. despite the whole "wasting $$ thought." Plus, if I have to buy the newest book in a series - because the library doesn't have it - I'll go ahead and purchase the older ones (if its only 1-2 books).

Thanks for your input :)

Me too, I love having a copy to shelve :D! I just can't seem to shake off the whole "but why do I need this?!?!?!?"

I appreciate your feedback!

Myself also being from a small town, understands your pain. However, I've been presently surprised at the selection our library has, which is why I find it hard to justify buying copies.

My friends are like that too! Obviously we are the only cool ones left within our circles!

And yeah, that goes only to borrowed library books. I really try to buy as often as possible. Unless I'm iffy on if I'll like the book, then it's library or for me!

Yes indeed! I'm just scared about the thought of moving my books whenever I end up moving wherever life takes me... many many many boxes won't be cheap to move around!

Good topic. As an author, I'm fine with anyone reading my books, no matter HOW. If someone wants to borrow a book and pay nothing, fine. Why? Because it creates a connection with the reader that I as the author would not otherwise be able to make.

As for digitally, you can borrow one book free on Amazon per month, and the author is STILL paid on the borrows if they are part of the KDP Select program (free to authors) and the reader has Amazon Prime. Typically, the borrow payout is about $2.00 -- far less than the typical purchase price, but it's something, right?

Another option (if you're not an Amazon fan) is to borrow from your library. Many libraries now offer digital borrows and even Kindles to check out! And of course there are second-hand stores and book clubs for borrowing also.

As an avid reader, I buy all my books online -- usually from Amazon -- using their free reading apps. I rarely purchase a physical book anymore -- mostly because I always leave it somewhere as opposed to my phone (w/ the free reading app) which is always beside me. Many are discounted or free, so that's a lovely option.

My thoughts anyway!

I had no idea authors' were compensated for each borrow on the KLL, that's pretty neat.

When it comes to purchasing eBooks, I'm almost "scared" in a sense. I have the Kindle Keyboard and I love it for many reasons. One of such reason is the simple fact that it's not touch screen. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone and all, but when it comes to reading, I want buttons. So, now that Amazon is moving towards touch screen, I'm starting to favor physical copies. Just in case something were to happen to my KK, I would hate to be stuck with a touch screen. Even the Kindle Paperwhite (non-touch) has a battery life half of what my KK or the touch Paperwhite has.

Thanks for your feedback, it's always great to have an authors point of view!

hmmm this is a hard one. I grew up being raised as a book buyer - my mom was pretty into showing support to authors by purchasing. She also is a little OCD and doesn't like that so many people have handled books from libraries. So that definitely plays into my reasoning for buying books.
Also I just LIKE books. I like how they look, it makes me happy to see all the books surrounding me in my space.
That said, being a student I am poor! I've always been someone that will just buy every book and may regret it later. I'm trying to only buy books that I either know I'll like (if I like the author or if it's been highly recommended to me or is part of a series etc) or if the cover is so beautiful that I won't mind owning it even if I hate it.
I'm *trying* to take out from the library first for every other book I'm interested in, and then putting it on a to-buy list to pick up or my home library when I have extra money if I really like it.

I *do* think actually buying books is important because that's how the author makes their living. If their book doesn't sell well it's likely their agent will drop them (unless you're like.. JK Rowling). As someone who has a foot in both the writing and acting world I try to show as much support as I can within the limits of my pockets.

If I was rich I would have a room solely devoted to books and I would buy every single one I could get my hands on! One day ;)

Great question!!!

-Book BFF Lindsay

I'm a student too, so I can relate with what you're saying. For new books I use the same method you described, but if it's used and/or on sale then I'll just go ahead and spring for it. I probably need to start using the library more .. at least when I'm home, college is a different story (for reasons above).
I completely agree, supporting the author is very important, especially if they're new or self published. That reason alone helps justify spending to a degree. Does your opinion shift if the author were well established or if the reader typically doesn't reread (mostly for mainstream books)?

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