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Friday, July 02, 2010



A lovely post.

I do not buy any books for myself - I can't think of the last book I read. We own so so many books at present that we barely have space for them as it is, and since we plan on at least one or two more moves in the near future, we refrain from buying as much as possible, and books are definitely in that category.

On the other hand, I do buy books as gifts quite frequently.


I buy books. . . . lots of books--too many books to keep up with my reading. A lot of my books, though, end up on my classroom book shelves for my students to borrow. Some of them "walk away," never to be seen in room 109 again. I buy professional books (I am an English teacher), and mark those up. I haven't quite gotten to the point of marking up my fun reading, though. I've started reading books on my Kindle, and I actually like it! I still want to hold books in my hand, and probably always will.


I buy books. Sometimes I read a book from the library, and I love it so much that I need to get my on copy if only for the purpose of loaning it to other people. I buy a lot of popular titles from the DI when I can find them - that way I can throw them out if I don't like them. Since I love writing in books, I love owning books.


Would you mind if I post a link to this essay on my FB page?

In our family, some Friday nights the TV stays off and the computers do too, because we're all sitting around in the living room reading our books. Once in a while, somebody will interrupt the silence and read aloud a passage for everyone else to enjoy.

Becky K

I love to buy books but I don't do it very often. I borrow books from the library all the time and like you, I buy myself a copy if I find that I'm really wanting it for myself.

It's funny how getting in the habit of writing in books ends us frustrating me when I have a library book. I want to write some comment in the margin and then remember i can't. Argh!

And, I liked remembering when you used to buy books at 17. I was so envious of all the books you had of your own. When I read Handmaid's Tale, it was your copy. I remember the books that would come in the mail for you. I also remember that the copy of my current favorite at the time (gone with the wind) you bought for me. I still love you for that!!!


We are hopeless book buyers AND library users in this house. My mama was a librarian, and we still had more books than shelves in our house growing up; we also have 30-40 books checked out from the library at any given time. We have so many books that movers make snarky remarks every time we move for the AF.

I used to buy whatever I wanted when I was working and before children; now I'm much more selective--I don't buy much fiction anymore unless it's one I want to own and be part of a collection, knowing that I'll read it again. Non-fiction is the biggest purchase, along with children's books. Each of our girls have a bookshelf, and each one is overflowing. Sigh. I love this post : )


I love books. I love reading. I love libraries. I don't buy many books though because I don't have space for them. The books I do tend to buy are books about photography and travel. I have a whole shelf devoted to books about Guatemala, my daughter's birthplace. That's about it in terms of purchased books though. Novels I rarely buy-those I get from the library.

I have purchased lots and lots of books for my daughter in hopes of encouraging a love of reading. Much to my chagrin, she just isn't all that into reading. I've tried all kinds of books with her, and she'll read because it's required for school (she's going into 6th grade in August), but she doesn't pick up a book just for fun, the way I do. She'd much rather do something athletic (not me!) or play games or do arts and crafts or do something electronic (tv, computer, Nintendo). But reading isn't her first choice for free time activities as it is for me.

Some of my best childhood memories are about our library, riding my bike to the library and checking out books. When we moved the summer between 7th and 8th grade, the library in the new town saved me-I read a book a day for awhile. I think the library is the best institution ever invented!


Yes, I buy books...many, many books. Someone I know decided to stop buying books because she thought large shelves of books looked pretentious. She now gets her reading material solely from libraries. Very few people see my stacks and piles of books. They are lined up beside my bed, on my dresser, under my end tables. Yes, I have a couple of bookcases, but nobody sees those, either. Also, I don't tend to read highly cerebral stuff...mysteries, memoirs, travel stories, and a few Oprah's. I'm not out to impress anyone...just looking for a good story, and hopefully encouraging my favorite authors to keep at it. Thank you for your wonderful insight and perspective.

Chris Selander

I love buying books and especially the anticipation of driving home with a new book wondering where my mind will go when I immerse myself in the new book. I mainly buy books thati I'm reading in my book club. I tend to be the only one in the group that buys them. They often make their way among many members before we meet to discuss it. This makes me happy too. I also love looking at my bookshelf and deciding which book I want to return to.


I headed over here just now, specifically to tell you that I just finished and reviewed "The Ask and the Answer" and was so desperately wondering what you thought of the second book. Of course, at the end of my review I bemoaned the fact that an overabundance of books in our home and low cash flow these days will make a request to my husband for the purchase of these books more than I can bear, so I will wait out the library, all the while regretting that I cannot run out and buy the third book the minute it is released on Sept. 28th.

I have also been working on a post (which may never make it beyond draft stage) about reading and the accumulation of good books. I read another blog post about recent studies which prove that owning a substantial library (they suggested 100 books, but I want to count mine because I'm sure we own ten times that amount, easily) is as important a factor in your child's educational success as the parent's own level of education. Now to find time to count our endless supply of books.

The books I tend to purchase are beloved ones that I often find on the cheap in thrift stores or garage sales. There are those I will purchase new, but I have to be fairly certain that it will be a book that 1) I will want to interact with, as you said, 2) come back to again at a later time, or 3) lend to someone else because it is such a good book.

I admit that I have felt quite guilty about my reluctance to purchase books outright, because I wish to finally publish a book myself some day and would like to earn a small amount from that endeavor. But, I also know that both my husband and I share an intense weakness for books and must fight the urge to purchase every title we covet, like Imelda Marcos padding her shelves with endless shoes. We have nary an empty bookshelf and I seem to always be on the lookout for more space for books.

P.S. If my post on owning books ever makes it on the blog, I will probably link to this article. It is a good one. As usual.


As usual, a great post! I also love books. I love everything about them. I buy as many as I check out from the library, and I have books in all kinds of nooks & crannies in my house. I've pretty much run out of space but I still buy when I want a book. Like you, I can't understand waiting on a long list for weeks for something I can purchase and be reading tomorrow! BUT one thing I like to do is give back -- meaning I donate a lot of my purchased books to the local libraries. I keep those that are special to me, but the rest go to the library for them to either shelf or sell. Either way I feel like I'm helping an institution that brings me great joy. :-)

jamie `

Thank goodness there was a whole wall of built in bookshelves when we bought this house!!! It is full to bursting. I just decided that one of my summer tasks should be sorting through the shelves and making more room. I love to buy series books that I love... I tend to buy paperback because I'm cheap and I buy a lot of young adult literature that meant something to me as a kid or I that just really made me happy when I read it. I buy a lot of beloved books off the discard shelves at the library. sometimes I question that when I don't read them again for some time... couldn't I just check them out from the library when I feel like it? but seeing them on my shelf makes me happy when they brought something meaningful to my life,imagination, thought processes!

I'll list some series on my shelf just for fun: Anne of green gables, the Mitford series, Harry Potter, Twilight, Richard Pecks long way from Chicago books, Little House on the prairie, Narnia,

And each of my kids has a bookshelf in their rooms too! Carly just cleared hers this week of Ramona, bunnicula and similar age level books and passed them on to Samantha. What joy there was in Samantha's room that night!


We need bookshelves too. Books are as necessary as food, though I borrow more than I buy for both environmental and financial reasons. I only own books that I truly love, so most of the books on our shelves are good friends.

However, we do visit the bookstore and choose a favorite title before heading to birthday parties. Unlike plastic, it will likely still be loved a year later.


I buy books but we also borrow from the library. My girls always get books for Christmas and birthdays but we also buy regularly from the Scholastic bookclub at school. We all love a good book and all read before we go to sleep at night.


I buy few books for myself anymore. I have some that are precious to me, but I re-read few books and the ones I think I do want to read...I usually borrow from my most fabulous local library. For the books I have read and know I will not re-read, I utilize Book Crossing to set them free.

Katie K.

I love to buy books. I grew up in a reading-and-buying-books home. Books are so valuable. Folks know we are a book family. There are bookcases all over the place and are important parts of our decorating 'theme'. Yes, buy books to support the writers. I hold on to some that I worry won't be in print anymore but give away books to friends and charities and libraries. I just bought an e-reader device despite my dread of technology overtaking our relationships. Something I read (!) inspired me: the concept of access to lots of classics for my kids might mean they will read them and the lightness of their knapsacks in the future is what made me say 'yes'. And I still purchased 2 books at the register.
I would love to create a booklist list that would work like Netflix - maybe there is already something like that out there?

Katie K.

Re: the comment from above about the # of books and education - my son of 18+yrs likes to nag/remind his brother of the kid who had gotten into college on his reading list accomplishments. So reading can be the ticket to amazing things.


I have recently (within the last 4 or so years) discovered books for myself. I have told you this at least a dozen times but I hated reading and wouldn't touch a book if I could help it but through some miraculous change (due solely to the Harry Potter Series) I love books now! I do try to buy a few books for myself but I mostly buy them for my children. I only buy the ones that I love for myself and know that I will read again. That is all I have the budget for. I have always bought my children books for Christmas and Birthdays or school book fairs. I am a bit more adventurous when it comes to my kids' books.

I hope I am not one of the complainers from the library. I really don't mind waiting for my books. I love the hold list at the library. My husband complains when I bring 7+ books home that are all due back in a couple weeks. He asks why I do that. I just tell him I have a lot of catching up to do for all those book hating years. I probably will be one that buys Mockingjay... along with the rest of the series. I think there are a few books that I will take the risk and buy before I read them. I love owning them when I love the books. I just wish I didn't have to be so selective when buying them.


YES! I buy books. And like you, I've discovered that some are for owning and some are not. I buy fiction, garden books, and what I call "life" books - books by Robert Fulghum, Khalil Gibran, Leo Buscaglia, Merle Shain - and other books that moved me and I had to have. I have some of my childhood books (not enough of them) and I have books I bought that I've had more than 30 years and can't part with. There are books in the family room, the office/den, my son's room, my room, the guest room and my sewing/scrapbook room. And the breakfast room - several on the table. I don't think I could live without books around me, and I must own them.

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