Bookworm Problems: Deciding When to Buy Books

#BookwormProblems Bookworm Problems - In a perfect world, I’d buy every book I wanted. Support for authors, publishers, the literary world in general – it’d be great. Unfortunately, not only would that require way more discretionary cash than I have, but I’d also need a new house with an entire floor dedicated to my books.

Instead, I buy some books, but I use the library for most of what I read. So how do I decide which books to buy, and which ones to borrow?

I buy books by friends and ones by authors I want to support. I buy cookbooks and other books I want to reference – lately that’s including a fair amount of homeschool material. And then I buy books and book series I love love love and want to have.

I borrow books I’ll read once, or ones I’m considering buying. It’s like a trial run to see how much use I think they’d get. Anything that doesn’t fit into the “buy automatically” goes here.

Where I run into trouble is with kids books – it’s easier for me to know with my own books if they’re ones I love enough to buy. But with my kids? There’s a lot of value in owning books and having a print-rich environment, but we still aren’t going to buy allthebooks. I want to buy only the ones they LOVE and are good long-term acquisitions. (Don’t worry, I do still buy a few just for fun.)

And that would be why I could always use another bookcase. Too many books – it’s definitely a bookworm problem. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. For pre-readers, I think good illustrations are a powerful motivator when it comes to sitting down with a book. When I was little, my mom was really big into encouraging reading. I distinctly remember a lot of Laura Mills and Audrey/Don Wood books, because the intricate illustrations made me want to know what the story was about. I got so excited when the little boy I nanny for recently asked if we could read “The Napping House”—I LOVE that one. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • *Lauren Mills

    • Absolutely – even for my son, who is an early reader, illustrations are still a big motivation. That’s why I don’t get kindle books for him – real print ones only right now. Eventually I’m sure that will change, but for now we’re sticking with physical books.

      And you’ve reminded me that we need to borrow The Napping House from the library again. It’s been at least a year, probably closer to two since we last borrowed it, and I’m sure my daughter has forgotten it completely.

  2. It’s really hard to decide! I’m with you – I’ve dramatically scaled back my own book purchases. I think all of last year I only bought about a dozen. The library/Netgalley/Shelf Awareness/loans from friends have made up the difference.

    But kids’ books? I can’t resist ’em. I get sick of reading the same ones over and over, plus Juliet is still semi-destructive, so some of them get ripped up and tossed out, so I justify buying WAY too many of them.

    • I should add mine up and see what I buy this year. I’m sure I was over a dozen thanks to birthday/Christmas books, but excluding those and I probably was under it.

      Not even close to that with kids’ books. For both of your reasons, plus the whole homeschooling thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I use the library to test out books too, especially cookbooks, cause those babies get pricey. But since my library is small (and the network it is a part of) I sometimes get sick of waiting so I end up buying it anyhow!

    • It pains me to buy a book without test driving it from the library, but there are times when I have no choice. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I buy books only if they can serve two purposes:
    1. Be read.
    2. Look really awesome.

    Like, the cover has to be drop-dead gorgeous or an antique book if I’m going to read it. I also buy poetry book a lot even though I don’t read that much poetry. My poet friend has a huge poetry collection and I think it is simply beautiful.

    • I’m not that particular on appearance before buying them (although it’s tempting, seeing some of the classics that are being reissued with beautiful covers), and that’s why whenever I want to take pictures for the blog I lament that I don’t have pretty bookshelves to photo!

      Maybe I should up that as a priority. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Oops! I meant: the cover has to be drop-dead gorgeous or an antique book if Iโ€™m going to BUY it.

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