Thursday, November 13, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Why Buy?


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?

Good question, Deb, and one that I get asked a lot too. The quick answer is this: Because now I can afford to spend my hard-earned dollars to splurge on books. At the time of writing this, I have about 700 books in my personal library. The longer answer is I see books as an investment in knowledge. Please read on.

Here's the longer answer. It really has got to do with my passion for reading. With that passion, comes the need to journalize and 'own' the books I read, either through writing in them or making marks. I can't do that with borrowed books, be it from the library or from friends, and I will never commit that 'crime'. I have deep respect for books whether they're mine or not. I also want to be able to refer to them as and when the need arises. And when I'm in the mood to read a particular title, I know it is there waiting for me (this is more applicable to fictions).

I consider myself a fast reader, though as not fast as most booklovers out there. Therefore, if I were to borrow the books (subject to their availability), that would mean I have to make lots of trips to the library and it may not even have the titles I want. So can you see why buying is a much better option?

The Internet has also contributed to the convenience of book buying. Boy, I love shopping for books online. Having said that, my all-time favourite activity is still browsing at a good ol' bookstore taking in the smell of books, flipping through the pages, watching other booklovers... The only thing I have to keep in mind is to keep within my book budget...

Last thought, if only the libraries in Malaysia are better stocked, I would definitely sign up as a member. Until then, I will create my own personal library. I have visited the national library in Singapore and found it to be very impressive. If I were a Singapore resident, be rest assured you will find me there, burying myself in the sea of books. Oh, blissfulness!

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In the spirit of the topic, see what came in the post at my office today? *GRIN*

The new arrivals I ordered from MPHOnline.com and received great discounts (30% and 40% respectively) for them. Total damage is MYR68 (US$18).

1) THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson
2) ALL OF AUNT HAGAR'S CHILDREN by Edward P. Jones