Why buy?

The question over at BTT for the week:

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?

My answer:

I love to buy books, both for myself and for others.

Coming to the question of why I buy books for myself, as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I love seeing my bookshelf full of books – books bought by me and bought for me by others. I was guilty of buying many more books than I read, in the hopes of reading them later, with the result that there are a lot of unread books piled up in my library now. This has improved of late (hopefully). I have become much more conscious while buying books, and gradually I am reading all that I have accumulated over time.

I buy books for the great feeling that owning a good book involves. I plan to retain my books well and read and re-read them, to see how I view the book at different stages in my life. It would give me an idea of how much I have grown, how much I have changed over time. I haven’t actually got around to doing that, however! 😛  There is so much to READ that I haven’t had the chance to RE-READ many of my books. 🙂

There has also always been this deep desire to create a library in my home, containing lots of books on different subjects. Somehow, I have never been able to visualize the picture of a ‘home’ without a beautiful bookshelf. That has also led to my buying books.

I am not particular about buying only from book stores. I do pick up stuff from pavement bookwallahs too, whenever I come across a great deal. It is much more easier on my wallet. 🙂

I would say that I am not against public libraries and other ways of reading books without owning them. I used to be a regular visitor of a public library near our place when I was very young, so much so that the staff used to know me personally, and at one point of time, I began to find it difficult to get books from there, as I had exhausted almost all the books. I would still like to work out an arrangement under which I read books borrowed from a lending library, and buy only those books that I love, that I want to treasure and read again and again. However, I have been unable to find my kind of books at the libraries in town. I began buying the books that I wanted to read, and then got so much used to it that now I can’t think of not buying books. 🙂

Also, one another reason for buying my own books is that after I started working, my schedule has become rather erratic. It became increasingly difficult to keep up with the time for reading allotted by libraries. Consequently, I began buying books and reading them at my convenience. I can read my own books in my own way, at my own time.

I am now at a stage where it feels kind of incomplete when I read a book that I do not own. In short, I love buying my own books (owning the books I read, to put it precisely) largely because of the flexibility that it offers me. And, not at all the least, the great high that it gives. 🙂 Judgemental buying of books is the key word now. 🙂



Filed under Reading Ramana, Tag

7 responses to “Why buy?

  1. Hmm..agree on all points!


  2. ME

    Keep reading dearie… What a pleasant experience to visit your blog!!!

    thanks, madame! long time… where art thou?

  3. I think I would like a mixture, I love to reread books which I like, so not buying is not an option, but I do possess many books which I might never see again in my hand for the rest of my life, may be the library would have helped there…

    hmm… exactly… that’s the kind of arrangement i would love too…. read stuff from the library and buy only what you would like to re-read in future…

  4. I DO I DO !

    i always visualized having a library too! Awesome nay?!

    And I dnt really care if i would re-read them— but i like to OWN my books!

    gr8! a ‘home’ gives me the image of a nice, cozy place with stone walls and deep brown polished bookcases, long, and overflowing with well-thumbed books on a variety of subjects… a beanbag in one corner and the most comfortable large sofa on earth just opposite the bookshelf. a fireplace wouldn’t hurt either… ok, i am dreaming now… 🙂

  5. garg007

    yup…even i like to see my bookshelf full of books…..but not s much s u…

    cheers 😉

    he he…

  6. due to my relocation and travel..i manage to keep to minimal but iam no different either. i have few.. but do recycle thou.

    why buy? because lack of good library with choice of books i wanted to read… ebook is no replacement.. even thou i care about tree..paper book is still fine with me.;)

    exactly! e-books might be convenient, but books are books! 🙂

  7. your award’s waiting for you in my blog.. come by to pick it up!:)

    thank u so much, ramya! this was such a nice surprise! 🙂

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