I love books. Apart from the food court, I will most likely be found in a bookstore. I’ve always found that the worlds contained within books is more fascinating than my real life!
But I don’t buy books.
Okay, so slight correction, I buy books but very rarely. Compared to most bookworms and bookstagrammers, my bookshelf is sparse. While I will spend time wandering around bookstores, I’m less likely to actually buy anything. It’s even more rare for me to preorder a book that hasn’t even come out yet.
But why? Why do I refrain from hoarding all the books?
As an immigrant, my parents weren’t able to buy me a lot of things. I grew up wearing clothes that were never quite right, owning bags and things that weren’t “popular.” I was old enough to appreciate all of the things that they did spend money on, actual necessities. My parents never treated themselves to a night out because they were trying to build a comfortable life for me and my sister. As such, they never bought me books. Physical books (no ebooks then) were, and still are, a luxury. So to get my reading fix, I would go to the library. My parents were more than happy for me to get a free library card and read as many books as I wanted (as long as it never affected my studies, which it obviously did, since all I ever did was read … but that’s for another time).
But seriously, when a new book comes out, the first thing I do is go to the library and put in a request for it. Chances are the library has already purchased it and I can put a hold and get it ASAP! This has always seemed like the most economical way to read. Even now, I am a poor Master’s student and I have to penny-pinch; the library is a great way for me to read books but not blow all of my hard-earned cash. Another benefit is that you can borrow multiple books at a time! Not everyone can buy multiple books in one go, so this makes the library a great option.
Biggest bonus of going to the library? If you don’t like a book …. YOU CAN RETURN IT! That’s right! Most retailers don’t allow for exchanges of books, or if they do, it has to be within 14 days. But with a library, if you don’t like the book, you just drop it in the return box and forget about it! It’s a win-win for everyone.
Another reason why I don’t buy books is that I’m rarely in one place. Except for my high school years, I have never been always at home. I like to travel, and sometimes education takes me to a different place. Trying to bring all of my books with me is just not feasible. Right now, the few books that I do own are in a big brown box in the basement, and no one is reading them or giving them any love. But just imagine if I had whole bookshelves worth of books! They would sit on those shelves, gathering dust!
One of the biggest reasons I am picky when it comes to buying books is that I rarely reread books. There are some books that I will go to multiple times like the Harry Potter series or the Narnia series. But for the most part, I finish a book and am done with it. When I buy a book, it means that this is a seriously good book that I plan on rereading multiple times. I never want it to leave my side. I WILL SLEEP WITH IT AT NIGHT! You get the point. If I’m going to spend $20-$30 on a book, it had better be worth it!
Also, now we have e-books. Many of my problems are simplified because of them. E-books are cheaper than physical books, and much more convenient for travel. I am still picky with my e-books in that I will only buy the ones that I know I will re-read, but I don’t feel too bad if I don’t end up rereading, either. The only negative of ebooks is they don’t look great in bookstagram feeds … but I’m working on that!
Of course, I want to support authors. I understand that the way they make money is by getting their books sold. I don’t want anyone to feel like I am telling them to stop buying books! And like I said, I do buy books on occasion. But I only buy the books that I feel are worth buying. These are the authors whose work I love, and I show my support by buying their books and rereading it FOREVER.
But enough about my habits … what about yours? Do you buy books right away?
Are you a fan of pre-ordering? Or are you a careful spender?
Let me know by commenting 🙂