Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why Buy? - BTT

btt  In today's BTT, Deb asks:

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?


I usually buy my books, I hardly borrow or even go to the library. And it's not even that I want to buy rather than borrow most of the time, I'm not always happy about having to spend so much money on books, but I have to spend if I want my books.


There are a couple of reasons why I don't borrow from the library. Firstly, the libraries are quite far and difficult to access. I could probably go about once every 3 or 4 months, but they don't allow you to keep books that long, and it's very inconvenient for me to plan trips to the library just to return or borrow books. Secondly, it's not like they even have a good selection of books. The books are old and outdated and there's usually nothing that I really want to read on their shelves.


I know it's frowned upon, but if I wanted to just read a book without buying it, I go to the bookstores and read there. Don't worry, I take good care to make sure I don't damage any of the books, and I always put them back where I got them. I spend so much money in bookstores from books I discover by browsing anyway. But even so, there are many books I can't get here, so I order through Amazon, which makes me have to shell out more money for the shipping.


I seldom go to used bookstores either because the prices are still never that low, the prices are only about a third cheaper than if you bought them new, and most of the conditions of the books aren't worth the price.


The only place I get books 'cheap' are from online communities like Bookmooch and Bookcrossing. Technically, the books people send to you are free, but then you still need to spend money for shipping your own books to them, on swaps, trades, or to get points, etc.


I hear so much about people getting whole bags of books for ten dollars or less during library or used bookstore sales, and the books on Amazon are considered really cheap if you lived in the USA and get free shipping, and I can't help being soooooo envious and wished I lived in the USA too.


I promised myself that if I ever went to US to visit, I would go to all the used bookstores, buy as many books as I can for as little money as possible, order as many books as I can with free shipping from Amazon, and then ship them back to Malaysia myself. And I'm absolutely serious! My whole family have heard me say this many many times. LOL!


So, why do I buy books? Because that's the only way I can get them, and I need them badly in my life.


Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


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