Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bookstore or Library?

An interesting discussion I recently had (with myself) was whether I would prefer to go to the bookstore or library. Both are basically the same thing, but with one you keep the books and pay money, and the other they are free, but need to be returned.

As a self-diagnosed book addict, I am certainly guilty of the 'blind buy'. I have bought many a book based on their blurbs alone. I'm not sure how many of them I would've happily bought if I'd borrowed them first.

Generally, I live by the motto of 'Read first, buy later'. Borrow a book from the library or a friend, and then if I like it I will allow myself to purchase it. The problem with this method? While neither a bookstore or a library is good for my wallet, libraries tend to hurt it more. How can that be so, you may ask, when everything is free?

Well, that's exactly the problem. When everything is gratis and my local library's book limit is an astounding 75 at a time, I'm bringing home a butt-tonne more books than I would it I visited my local store. When I shop for books I'm very aware of how much I'm spending on them, but when I can pick out as many as I want with no cost, that's exactly what I do. Hours later I emerge with as many books as I can carry (and a hope that maybe I won't enjoy most of them- therefore saving my budget).

For the most part, after a library visit I tend to end up with a painfully long list of books to buy, one that causes me to wince every time I look at it. I know I'll get plenty of use out of any book I buy. As a person who can happily read and re-read a book to the point of borderline obsession, there's no question of it gathering dust or causing 'buyer's regret'. At least not until I see my bank balance.

Which of course brings me back to square one. Where do I go for new books?

Which do you prefer to visit for your book fix- a bookstore or a library or maybe a friend's bookshelf? 

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