Recently, I’ve really started to notice just how many books I’ve accumulated over the years. Just the other week, my mom decided to clean out her closet, which is literally packed full of books. My room is also pretty close to overflowing, between my library books and the many that I own. The majority of my books actually stay in stacks on my floor since my shelves are nowhere near enough to contain them. To be fair, my shelves are on the small side and could do with an upgrade! Even though I’ve always known that I have a lot of books, I was still surprised to look up the other day and realize just how surrounded I really was…although that’s not a bad thing!
Along those lines, I found this tag called The Book Buying tag, which is all about your book buying habits. The original tag was created by Megan Olivier, and can be found here.
1) Where do you buy your books?
I only ever buy physical books, although I have to say I haven’t actually bought anything in a while. I get the majority of my books free from the library, either by borrowing them or as one of the “perks” of my mom working there. She sometimes gets first pick of books that set to be taken off the shelves, so we’ve both managed to get some great, perfect-condition books that way. When I do buy books, I usually order online from Amazon or Chapters.
2) Do you ever pre-order books? If so, do you do it online or in stores?
I can’t remember ever pre-ordering a book, which is often because I wait for the paperback editions that come out later. If I ever pre-ordered, it would have been online. The nearest bookstore is about an hour away (half hour walk to the right bus stop, and then 20 minutes or so on the bus), so it’s not the most convenient.
3) On average, how many books do you buy a month?
Not very many. Probably only 1 or 2 if you averaged things out over the year. If you include books that I get to keep from the library, it’s probably more like 5 per month, but they aren’t bought.
4) Do you use your local library? If so, how many do you borrow at a time?
All the time! At least, all the time since I started doing reading challenges. I went through a phase while I was in school where I barely used it, but it’s since rebounded to very, very heavy use. I even pester them sometimes to buy books I want that they don’t have yet. I tend to order 6-8 books at a time, so I have plenty of options available to mood read a bit during my challenges.
5) What is your opinion on library books?
I love being able to get books from the library, although I would really appreciate if people would take better care of them. I can’t stand when people write or highlight in them! It’s also pretty frustrating when the book goes missing because people never return them. I think the library is an excellent resource, and I love how well-stocked my local library is. I can find just about anything I want pretty easily. It’s a great way to read a book to make sure you really like it before spending the money on it.
6) How do you feel about charity shops and second-hand books?
I think they are a great idea, but I personally don’t use them very much. I have a hard time with the idea of people throwing out books that are still in perfectly good condition, so I think second-hand shops are great. Plus, it’s a good way to make books more affordable. However, I don’t use them because there aren’t any nearby, and because I’m picky about what condition my books are in. I should mention that this is a pretty recent thing — in the past, I bought so many books from library book sales, and they were very banged up and it never used to bother me.
7) Do you keep your read and unread books on the same shelf?
Yes. I don’t see much point in separating them by whether I’ve read them or not. I prefer to keep series or books by the same author together. Of course, all of this presupposes that I have enough shelf space for my books… more accurately, my favourite books are on the shelves, and everything else is in stacks on the floor.
8) Do you plan to read every book you own?
Eventually. When I was younger, I had a very short-lived commitment to reading every book that I had on my shelves, in the order they were on the shelves. It was a great idea in theory, but it neglected the fact that the majority of the books I had at the time were random books I grabbed at library book sales, where you literally could fill a bag with as many books as you want, and pay a small fee per bag. So most of what I had were books that I’d just grabbed because they seemed interesting at the time. My commitment to reading all the books didn’t last long — the first book on my shelf was The Good Earth, which I really couldn’t get into at all considering I was probably about 12 at the time.
9) What do you do with the books you feel you will never read or did not enjoy reading?
I have a very, very hard time getting rid of books and I hate throwing them away. Every so often, usually when I’m trying to figure out a way to magically make more room on my shelves, I go through my books and pull out ones that I don’t have any intention of reading and donate them to the library. I don’t often feel too guilty about that since most were books I got free (or cheap) from the library anyway. I can’t remember ever owning a book that I really hated, but I would assume I would donate it or give it away to someone who wanted it.
10) Have you ever donated books?
Yes, as mentioned in the question above. But I have to say, it’s hard for me! Even this year, when I went through my childhood books to see if there was anything I could donate to my work, a day program for young adults with special needs, I had a hard time giving anything up. I found a few to donate, but pretty much any book that I had a fairly distinct memory of reading or any kind of emotional attachment to I wanted to keep.
11) Have you ever been on a book buying ban?
No. I don’t buy books often enough to feel the need to ban myself from it.
12) Do you feel that you buy too many books?
Buy too many? No. But keep too many that I get from the library? Maybe.