Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Rent or Buy?

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message 1: by astrangerhere (new)

astrangerhere Do you spend every spare penny on books? Do you wear out your local library card? Do you prefer one over the other?

I'll answer my own question to get the ball rolling. My partner and I have very limited space and most of our bookshelves are already stacked two deep. We also have the luck of living in a unviersity town where we have access to 8 campus libraries. As such, I am much more apt to check a book out than shell out for it. If I just must have a book, I always check my used book stores first. Its not that I can't afford the books, I've just never been inclined to pile them up. Thoughts?


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments I use my library card often enough, but what I really like is the continuous used book sale at my local library. They sell all their used hardcovers for $1 and paperbacks and kids books are .50 a piece.
Many times the librarians have just gotten rid of their extra copies of a bestseller (they buy like 30 to start with for the demand and then scale back to 3 or 4 after most have read it) and you can get a bestseller from only a few months ago for a buck! I have books all over my house in piles, on shelves, in boxes in the basement. It is hard for me to part with them if I thought it was a good book. Plus so many I pick up at the sales because they look interesting, or I've always wanted to read them, I just don't get to them. I read a lot of kids books to my baby girl, so I don't get in as many novels as I used to. I think if you can give them away to people that is always a good thing!


message 3: by Eva (new)

Eva Both.

I use my library card so much the local librarians recognize me. I live in a big city, so that requires quite a bit of usage. I usually have two or three books out at one time (although right now it's seven) and I usually have quite a few holds on books that have waiting lists (again, right now it's seven). I like reading books people have read before. I get a kick out of finding little underlines or margin notes. Sometimes you even find little stains, like the book was so good they couldn't put it down even while they ate and some food ended up in the book. I like a book with character like that.

On the other hand, I am a bit of a pack rat/collector. I collect movies and books avidly. In fact, today I just shelled out $46 for books. I had to replace some Jane Austens that are falling apart and I picked up a few new books too. I also love being the first to read a book. The first to crack the spine and accidentally crease the pages. I just don't understand a house without books. I have to have them. If I go to someone else's house and don't see any, I just assume there's a room somewhere with all the books. Because as someone (I think it was Cicero, but I'm not sure) once said, a room without books is like a body without a soul.


message 4: by Napagirl74 (new)

Napagirl74 Mostly I use the library. I have two very good libraries near by me. I love the ability to search at home on my computer for a book and then set a hold from the library. They inform me when it is in and viola so easy. That's not to say I have not purchased books. I do, but often do not re read a book. I know this about myself so unless it is a really good book I part with it. Now don't get me wrong I own a good assortment, but try to keep it sane. I always donate my used books to the Friends of the Library. I also get a lot of books from family and friends who do not want them back so I will also donate those after I have read them.


message 5: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) Primarily I buy for a few different reasons.

First, I think I was spoiled as a child. Not by my parents, but by my local library. I grew up in a state capital and the local library happened to be the downtown main branch. At three stories tall, the selection was vast, waiting lists were virtually unknown and I'd never heard of inter library loans.

Skip ahead to a state university and a library system that put the one I grew up with to shame.

Skip ahead to today. My local library is tiny, barely larger than the children's section of the one I grew up loving. Chance they have something I want is tiny. They are not part of the greater metropolitan area library system so inter library loans are few and slow. Not that the metropolitan area library system is any better. The entire system may only have a couple copies of a given book. The books spend as much time traveling between branches as they do in readers' hands.

I have to admit, I morn the loss of the library of my youth.

Second, I'm a creature of varying moods. What I want to read today is not necessarily the book I want to read next week. This is another reason why libraries can't really cut it for me anymore. By the time its my turn with the book, I likely don't feel like reading it anymore. :)

My bookshelves have been bulging for years now, so I've been primarily focusing on buying electronic copies of books (e-books or download audio books).

Personally I enjoy rereading books. It's like visiting with an old friend. :)


message 6: by Cecilia (new)

Cecilia (cissygold) I use to buy books at the drop of a hat, but now with the economy I have put my library card to use. It has been a wonderful experiance not just for me but also my daughter.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

astrangerhere wrote: "Do you spend every spare penny on books? Do you wear out your local library card? Do you prefer one over the other?

I'll answer my own question to get the ball rolling. My partner and I have ve..."


Budgets play a large part in this question, but I'll just talk about my preference rather than my habits:
I prefer to buy. I want stacks of books around. I love talking about a book and then being able to lend it out. I want to build my personal library. I won't do electronic, because I love the aesthetic of books: the feel, the smell, the look. I buy used 99% of the time.


message 8: by Badlydone (new)

Badlydone I buy or borrow, depending on the book. I like to read British mysteries, classics and nonfiction. I tend to buy the classics and nonfiction, but borrow the mysteries from the library as I tend not to read them over again once I know who the villains are. Except for Agatha Christie. I can read her books over and over even with the knowledge of the culprit.

Also, I try to buy from the semi-annual library sale if I can. Cheap books and it benefits the library.


message 9: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1350 comments I've had a library card since i was five years old - the age you had to be before they'd assign one - and probably one of the densest check out histories on record. My current library has an online reservation system and a DRIVE THRU window. Best system on the planet. Drop off a couple, pull up, pick up another 6 or 7. My tax dollars at work for me.


message 10: by Connie (new)

Connie Faull | 611 comments Eva wrote: "Both.

I use my library card so much the local librarians recognize me. I live in a big city, so that requires quite a bit of usage. I usually have two or three books out at one time (although ri..."


Ick - I use the library a lot too, however, the one thing I HATE is if there are stains or some gross unknown thing on a page. I always start to wonder - is that a food particle or is it a booger???

(but I still go to the library for books that I don't want to buy on Kindle or that the library doesn't offer in ebook format.


message 11: by Adris (new)

Adris (adristl) I lost my city library card-I know, tragic-so I buy my books. But lately I've been broke, so I either borrow from friends, check them out from the school library, or get them from the internet (shh)


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Why don't you just go to the library and get your card replaced?


message 13: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy (kazurious) | 6 comments Both.
I always have 3 or 4 books out from the library at any given time.
Usually have to shell out for whatever titles my book club picks.
Favorite way to get books?
Used!
Library book sales or a visit to a great used book store about an hour's drive from here.


message 14: by M.K. (new)

M.K. (mkjorgenson) Mostly I just use the library: it's cheap (not exactly free as this girl has a problem with due dates...), it keeps clutter at bay, and the selection seems endless.

But I think I'm going to have to move toward buying: my husband and I plan to homeschool our kids and the first one's on the way. The elementary school PTO where I currently work gave all of us on staff some money to spend at their book fair, so my first purchase for baby was a beautiful copy of Charlotte's Web, with lots of kids books and classics to follow!

Reminds me I need to check the dates for my library's next book sale...


message 15: by Greg (new)

Greg | 48 comments Most of my book collection I've purchased from between 50 cents and a dollar at flea markets. You can pick up 20 books for the price of a brand new one.

That being said, the selection can be very lacking at times.


message 16: by Caz (new)

Caz | 6 comments I mostly go to the library, or I get them for birthdays/christmas.
My local library itself isn't great, but its fairly quick at getting books in if you reserve them (a week max) and its only 60p - I'm from the UK - for them to get it in for you, which when an average book costs £6 means I can have 10 books for the price of one, and you can have up to 10 books out and each book is out for 3 weeks unless you get it renewed, so its good enough for me! x


message 17: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1350 comments Is it a bad thing to find out the librarians talk about you? I was picking up a new pile at the drive through Saturday & the librarian said "You're Donna? It's nice to put a face to the name." And I'm all "Sorry?" and she tells me they notice I almost always have a pile of books on the reserve shelf, but she'd never been working the window when I picked up before. They think I must be "some reader." What does it take to impress a librarian?


message 18: by Emma (new)

Emma | 279 comments Donna wrote: "Is it a bad thing to find out the librarians talk about you? I was picking up a new pile at the drive through Saturday & the librarian said "You're Donna? It's nice to put a face to the name." And ..."

As someone who worked in a library for five years, I can tell you that there is constant chatter about the patrons! There is usually nothing better to keep our interest, so we imagine what their lives are like, etc. It is usually good things unless you are some really odd, eccentric cat lover. And especially those people who always seem to have their own shelf on the reserve shelves, you can't help but remember their name-so don't feel like they sought you out. I actually found regularity like that comforting, something to depend on when I went to work. Make 'em talk!


message 19: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1350 comments Thanks Emma, but now I'm NEVER going there straight from the gym again!


message 20: by Connie (new)

Connie Faull | 611 comments Emma wrote: "Donna wrote: "Is it a bad thing to find out the librarians talk about you? I was picking up a new pile at the drive through Saturday & the librarian said "You're Donna? It's nice to put a face to t..."

Why is owning cats so weird and eccentric? I know people who own several dogs and they don't get some weird stigma attached to them? Just wondering. I happen to own 3 cats and I'm sometimes embarrassed to tell people because of this judgment.


message 21: by Donna (last edited Mar 24, 2010 12:25PM) (new)

Donna | 1350 comments Connie, I'm thinking Emma meant weird cat owner in the 40 cats and no litter boxes sense, not cat owners in general. And for the record I don't own any... And I'd have a dog if my life situation allowed it... And now I also have to make sure the passenger seat isn't piled with crap when I go to the drive up, too. Oh, the pressure.


message 22: by Emma (new)

Emma | 279 comments Connie wrote: "Emma wrote: "Donna wrote: "Is it a bad thing to find out the librarians talk about you? I was picking up a new pile at the drive through Saturday & the librarian said "You're Donna? It's nice to pu..."

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply there was anything wrong with being a "cat lady", I am a little flippant with my wording. But Donna is right, I did mean it a more exaggerated sense. Where my library is, there are many endearing people that we loved to follow, but it wasn't usually for negative reasons. I just simply meant to imply that if you are not the one who smells like they haven't bathed in a month, the talk about you is most likely positive and stems from interest or wonderment (they probably secretly wish they were your friend).



message 23: by Bj (new)

Bj Hunter (bjhunter) How lucky you all are to have such nice libraries. I live in a rural area close to a small town and our library has a terrible selection. They just got the Twilight series because so many teens were asking for it. Just got it! Geesh.... So needless to say I have to buy all my books or trade through paperback swaps.


message 24: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1350 comments I think our library is feeling the effects of the economic down turn. I've noticed that there are plenty of new books from best selling authors, but not necessarily lesser known or niche writers. Or maybe fewer people are donating... And just at the time there are probably lots more people taking advantage of them because "it's free." Glen Beck, you idjit, it's called your TAX DOLLARS at work. Sorry, guess that one's been stewing in there a while.


message 25: by Emma (new)

Emma | 279 comments The library in my town has recently had to make a $300,000 budget cut and this included jobs and budgets for materials. What I found out was that libraries that are beginning to feel the effects of the economy (they are two years behind the federal economy) and allocating more of their budgets for their audio and technological sections than print materials. I find this really sad as there is nothing like the printed word when it comes to reading. Libraries are too valuable to be forced to make cuts.


message 26: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (kristina3880) I take my children to the library every Saturday, so the library card is what I utilize most often. I select online what books I want so that I can hang out with my kids in the children's section and still be able to grab the books that I want to read. I have loved the library every since I was 6 years old. I just want my kids to enjoy the same experience I received from my parents.


message 27: by Donna (last edited Mar 26, 2010 03:50PM) (new)

Donna | 1350 comments Emma wrote: "The library in my town has recently had to make a $300,000 budget cut and this included jobs and budgets for materials. What I found out was that libraries that are beginning to feel the effects of..."

Yes, that was something else. The new J.R. Ward is on order in an audio book, but not a book book. As someone who likes to imagine the voices in her own head (OK, that sounded wrong...) & often reads aloud (former speech forensics competitor, can't help myself) audio books don't work for me. I guess I'll be haunting the used book store till someone coughs up a copy.


message 28: by Rosabelle (new)

Rosabelle Purnama | 166 comments that depends on the book. I usually rent or borrow the books from author that I've never read before. But i like to have lots of books in my house. I usually buy the books that I think is interesting to read or that are highly recommended. And I also buy books from authors that I like.

I live in Jakarta, Indonesia where there is no library for English books, so I buy most of my books or borrow from a friend.

But I used to use up my library card when I was living in Melbourne for university.


message 29: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenofthebookworm) Both, i also use sites like bookmooch and readitswapit. I keep telling myself that I'm going to buy less books but the library doesn't always have the book that I want.
I like that I can use any public library in Edinburgh and if I reserve the book online, which I do so much that I know my borrower number off by heart, I can have the book delivered to the public library of my choice and take it back to any of them.


message 30: by Susanna (new)

Susanna (jb_slasher) Karen wrote: "I like that I can use any public library in Edinburgh and if I reserve the book online, which I do so much that I know my borrower number off by heart, I can have the book delivered to the public library of my choice and take it back to any of them."

I'm not alone! I know my number by heart as well! :)


message 31: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenofthebookworm) Susanna wrote: "Karen wrote: "I like that I can use any public library in Edinburgh and if I reserve the book online, which I do so much that I know my borrower number off by heart, I can have the book delivered t..."

I'm glad it's not just me, I find it funny that I can remember that number no problem but I can never remember my bank pin number


message 32: by Frank (new)

Frank Both.
If I am trying a new series or author then I will rent the book. If I like the series then I usually continue and buy the books. If I want to collect them all in the end I only have to buy that first book.


message 33: by P. (new)

P. (shimizusan) | 131 comments Right now, I use the library card.

I don't really like it, but I've got no choice. It's the only way to feed the beast without breaking the bank. But new books are my prefered thing - I just need some more space to start buying again :) Like the initial poster said, my shelves are stacked 2 deep. Today I returned 3 books and took out 6 more... it's a vicious neverending cycle :)


message 34: by Stacie (new)

Stacie Vetsch I find that I do both, but it depends on what I'm hoping to read. My local library is pretty small (as are libraries in surrounding cities as well). It is often several months on a waitlist before a bestseller becomes available to me. When I decide I want to read a book, I want to read it right then, not months from then.

The library is great when I've discovered a "new" author who already has a ton of books published. I can go pick these up at no cost to me and still read some amazing stories.

In general, I tend to buy more than borrow. I love having books on my bookshelf, but I also have the Kindle. I typically buy from the 2 area used bookstores and the library's semi-annual booksale. I will also purchase books from Barnes & Noble because I love the look and feel of the store. I often go with the intention just to "look around," but end up leaving with a few new books.

I guess it depends if I'm buying a fairly new release or looking to read a book that's been out for a while. The library can be great, but it can also be frustrating when area libraries are as small as mine.


message 35: by Rico (new)

Rico Austin | 5 comments Amiga Stacie, for an incredible Adventure, Mystery & Journey, please check out the epic novel "My Bad Tequila" and see why all the 5 STAR Reviews! Gracias & Enjoy, rico http://www.mybadtequila.com


message 36: by Ivy Sarah (new)

Ivy Sarah Moe (ivysarahmoe) I read too much to afford all of the books I go through (I'm a college student) so I use the library probably 98% of the time. I did actually wear out my first library card and had to replace it. I'll buy a book if there are dozens of holds on it at the library and I know I'll love and reread it (say, Jo Rowling, Charlaine Harris, or John Green books)


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I read a lot but I also buy a lot of the books that I read. I have to say that since I have gotten my Kindle books have been cheaper and I have been able to read the classics that I might not have read otherwise. I like being able to have the book to reference back to once I am finished with it. I write my own book reviews and I love finding quotes that I can decorate my room with, from the books that I love!


message 38: by Mare (new)

Mare (mare_1503) I used to rent, but I can't resist buying book. Specially when good massmarket paper cover books are out. I simply must have them - I'm book-shoppingholic =) when I own the book I feel like I own a world in it.


message 39: by Michael (new)

Michael Vorhis (mike_vorhis) | 3 comments I truly believe in the new eBook technology. It solves three critical problems: (1) Cost and logistics of delivery, (2) Cost in general, and (3) the need to have predicted in advance a chance to crack open a book. Oh yeah, (4) the shelf space thing. :)

For the cost of a slice of pizza you can buy years of some adept writer's best work. And do it instantly. And enable that writer to get on with writing another great work, also to be delivered to you for the cost of a slice of pizza.

Up to now someone had to own a separate eBook reader unit, but now eBooks will be delivered as smart phone apps, and can be read by a whole host of other things so many people already carry around (and if you don't you probably will within the next couple of years).

I love what this revolution is doing for wonderful writers who were never allowed into the castle before because they didn't conform to some formula in agents' heads. Now, the reader's opinion (which is all that matters) can be solicited directly.

I vote for Buy instead of Rent, and consider an eBook. Reform in content delivery methods has been a long time coming.

My opinions!


message 40: by Naomi V (new)

Naomi V (naomi_v) | 559 comments Michael wrote: "I truly believe in the new eBook technology. It solves three critical problems: (1) Cost and logistics of delivery, (2) Cost in general, and (3) the need to have predicted in advance a chance to ..."

Michael, you bring up some valid and interesting points. I would add that the ease of buying an ebook also contributes to the income of the writer. getting a book from the library or buying it used does not add to their income and if we want writers to keep writing, we need to support them.

one of the features that i really enjoy about ebook readers (i have a kindle, but think that this applies to others) is that i can get a sample of something when i think of it and read it at my leisure. otherwise, i would have to read the sample on my computer screen, which i find tiring; or wait until i'm in a book store, at which point i either forget about that particular book or get distracted.

one of the drawbacks is that you don't really *own* the books you have on your ebook reader. the seller can decide to remove them from your device at will (which happened with Amazon a while ago, which also resulted in people losing their personal notations.) if you want to have a book 'forever', you might want to get a paper copy.

i still frequent my local bookseller. having a local bookseller is valuable to me, so i still buy many books from my local store (besides, they have a wine cafe, and what could be better than sipping wine while you peruse the new releases?)


message 41: by Lina (new)

Lina (booksnotlovers) | 149 comments When I was younger I went to the library all the time. I don't know how many days I went straight there after school and just sat there for a couple of hours. I don't anymore though. I live in this tiny small town in Norway, with a library mostly consisting Henrik Ibsen... Boring... So I started to buy books, and I regret not doing that before. Just resently I spend about 750 kr on books... about 150 dollars. I got 7 or 8 books, so I'm not exactly sad about it.


message 42: by Michael (new)

Michael Vorhis (mike_vorhis) | 3 comments Naomi, you said:

> the ease of buying an ebook also contributes to the
> income of the writer...if we want writers to keep
> writing, we need to support them.

I agree, and they in turn can take care of us by writing books that cost very little. They get about the same royalty whether it's an eBook or a $15 paper copy. So it's s symbiotic thing.

What's more, electronic content is evolving into so much more than it is today; as wonderful as they are, eBooks in their current form are just the most elemental step. (You probably are but) if you're not up on the latest, have a look at the 2nd post of my GoodReads blog (click on my icon) if you'd like to see some of the fantastic places it's going in the very near future.

To your great point about "owning" the books you buy and read, I feel your pain but I think that's all smoothing out; they went through some growing pains. They really do want eBooks to take off, and will find ways to guarantee you'll always own and be able to retrieve and reread the books you buy and read. That should be the guarantee anyway (that's the sound of me agreeing with you!).


message 43: by Heather (new)

Heather I've loved the library since I was a little kid and i can remember my mum taking me and picking out Secret Seven books. The last few years I have bought a lot of my books - both new and used - but have made a deal with myself that I will try not to buy books and once I have read all my unread books I will startgoing to the library regularly

my local library is a small village one with weird limited opening hours but my card covers all libraries in the county and the main library isn't too far from me. I'm kind of looking forward to borrowing regularly again!

I seriously can't imagine a drive through library though! weird!! Maybe just because half the fun of going to the library is scouring the shelves. And drive throughs are soley for burger joints round here!


message 44: by michelle+8 (new)

michelle+8 (michelleplus8) I guess I'm something of the odd one out here, because I almost never go to the library. I used to when I was a kid, but now I'm a SAHM with only one car (which my husband takes to work, and which is only big enough to take 2 of my 7 kids at once), so getting there is difficult. Every time I check out a book, I end up stressing about getting it back in time. Plus the worry that my toddler will tear up or spill something on my library book!

I have a Nook, and I LOVE it! Not only can I buy books without leaving the house, I can often find free books on the internet. Pretty much anything that is out of copyright is available for free somewhere!


message 45: by Shay (new)

Shay Michelle, does your library have a good ebook selection? Even if it's a small library, they do sometimes band together with other libraries and buy them collectively. You might also want to check out your library's lending policies. For example, my library system doesn't individually catalog paperbacks. So, when you check them out, it won't list the title, it just says "Adult Paperback" and maybe the publication year. The advantage to this is that people can't request them. So, I can renew them 3 times guaranteed because no one can request them. Including the original three week loan period, that's a 12 week loan. (I can renew online)


message 46: by michelle+8 (last edited Jul 27, 2011 07:12AM) (new)

michelle+8 (michelleplus8) My library does do ebooks, but apparently they are very popular, and it aggravated me to be put on a waiting list for an ebook. It drives me crazy that the library is complicit in the publishing houses' drive to force ebooks to be treated the same as regular books, despite the fact that, in a practical sense, every single patron of the library could read the same ebook at the same time without costing the publisher a dime.

Also, I can renew my books online, but it doesn't help much. If I only get to the library once every 6 weeks, I'd have to check out (and keep track of) 12 books just for me. ;) It's still a ton more trouble than just buying or downloading the books I want to read.


message 47: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rebeccadyehouse) | 1 comments Michelle wrote: "My library does do ebooks, but apparently they are very popular, and it aggravated me to be put on a waiting list for an ebook. It drives me crazy that the library is complicit in the publishing ho..."

You're forgetting that publishers are out to make money. Why on earth would they just let libraries have an endless supply of a ebooks at no additional cost? You can't loan out your purchased ebook titles to however many people you want. The publisher/author/etc. wouldn't make any money. Libraries are just stuck following the same rules.

And... libraries are not complicit. They just don't really have a choice. Patrons want ebooks, so they can't exactly boycott them to make a point. They'd lose library patrons. It's a vicious cycle.


message 48: by Kathy (last edited Jul 29, 2011 06:11AM) (new)

Kathy Hale (kahale) | 233 comments To follow the thread about ebooks libraries have to follow laws of copyright. If you were a writer who had to make your living by selling what you wrote I think you would have a different point of view.

I always go to the library until I know that I like the book. I really like that there are groups like this where someone else has read the book before to say if they liked it or not. There are lots of sales of used books that cost a little bit of money. One sale has a policy that if you wait until the end you can get the books for a dollar a yard!

I will soon have to build another room onto my house to hold them all. There are also some book stores that you can trade the books for others that you want to read.


message 49: by Lisa (new)

Lisa James (sthwnd) I have at least 2 bookcases stuffed full, the 3rd being a built in under the window seat one that is also stuffed full. I have a huge Rubbermaid tub in our bedroom closet, plus a stack in the back corner of that same closet, & another stack on my nightstand that just doesn't fit anywhere else. I definitely wear out my library card now, but did pick up 2 books at Big Lots the other day for $3 each, LOL


message 50: by Dee (new)

Dee Bibb (BibbD) | 1 comments I do both..
I have 9 bookcases..2 huge built in bookcases and still have boxes of books stored in the closet under the stairs..When I get them...I just can't bring myself to part with them.

I also have a stack of 5 books on the table beside my recliner right now..

I do generally buy used books..but sometimes I must fork over the cash because I just can't get the book I want without getting it new.

Oh...and even though I don't actually own a Kindle..I have Kindle for PC on my laptop and have over 100 books on there.

Guess you might say I have an addiction.


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