Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Libraries VS. Bookstores

 My childhood was idyllic.  The most idyllic part being the books.  Finances were quite a bit easier on everyone back in 1996 when I started reading, when mortgage payments were less than $1,000 and there were only two children to care for.  It was in those days that every book was at my very fingertips.

What I mean is, my mom took me to Barnes and Noble twice a week (at least, she says), and pretty much whenever I wanted a new book, I got one.

Because of this, I have grown extremely fond of my many trips to a store piled and stacked and filled with books.  These trips have caused me to love bookstores and buying books.  Particularly at Barnes and Noble.

Ever since I got a job, and especially since last year when I started this blog, I've been buying books like crazy.  I admit, it's somewhat of an addiction.  My TBR that I own is ridiculously large, extending to over 100 books.  But I love it.  It means that the stories I love most are mixed with the stories, worlds, ideas, and inspirations I have yet to read and love.  For some reason, this is wonderful.  Comforting, even.

But, like most people, I have a budget.  I've learned (from buying too many books) that going over my budget has consequences.
This, my friends, is where the library comes in.

Free books, all the time.  Any time.  They usually have what I want when I want it, and when they don't the books I want are usually worth the wait.  Either way, it's a way to spend less (or none at all, actually) and get more.  And I still get to read, more even than before, which is the most important thing.

Lately I've been thinking about the vast differences between libraries and bookstores, in cost, feel, memories, and enjoyability in general.  (I know, "enjoyability" is not a word.  But I'm making it one.  Today.  Now.)  I know people who step into a bookstore maybe three times a year.  Others (like me until two years ago) who don't have a library card.

I still prefer the bookstore.  The memories and being able to take a book home for keeps are what draw me.  (At the library,you have to take it back.)  But I've been wondering - what are your preferences?  What do you enjoy most?  What gives you giggles of anticipation and makes you jump with joy?  Well...maybe not that dramatic.  That's probably just me. ;)

So.  Leave comments.  Tell me your thoughts, though they be short-or-long-winded.  How did you spend your childhood with books?  Was it a library or a bookstore that helped you to love reading?  Do you prefer to clutter (ok, organizing works, too) your house with bought books, old or new, or do you prefer to return them?  Thoughts thoughts thoughts! :)


  1. I know exactly what you mean and I agree 100%! I love going to bookstores and I would prefer to own all my books in hardback, but I just cannot afford to do that.

    I like libraries, but I just have to browse in them, I can't go in with a particular book in mind because I will be disappointed if they do not have it.

    I prefer bookstores to see all the shiny new books, but lately I have been bargain book hunting more and more.


  2. I grew up in a poor family, so the library was my go to place whenever I had a free moment! It was within walking distance so even as a child I could get my older sister or a babysitter to walk me to the library. I would get my books out then go home and climb the tree in the front yard and read all day long! I never saw the inside of a book store until my teens! I still can't afford to go to a book store very often, but I've never been without a library card, and therefore I've never been without a book :D

  3. I love libraries! I rarely go to a bookstore because I don't buy new books unless I've already read them (or they're significantly discounted, like a remainder). The only time I really buy books I haven't already read is when they're used.

    So libraries are where I get almost all of my books. I can try them out, and if I love them then I'll buy a copy for myself. Libraries are also great because they have books that are out of print.

  4. I will be the party pooper here. I have no Barnes & Noble and my library doesn't have YA books.
    Let that sink in.

    I hate it soo bad. In case you were wondering, I live in Puerto Rico and that's why we don't have, you know, great books.

    We used to have three Borders and then one and then RIP.

    I never read as a kid and I don't know if not having libraries that have books for kids and teens influence that. Maybe it was my parents, or maybe it was me.

    I got into loving reading after reading Twilight, as others must have. I have to admit that I read one other book before that one for enjoyment but I didn't continue reading.

    Now I try to get my niece and nephew into reading because I know how amazing it is. And I don't want them to grow up thinking reading is just for school and something for a grade.

    I went to my library a few days ago and they at least had children books but 95% was information books (history, spanish classics, old, old books) They were surprised when I asked if they had books for teenagers.

    I don't mind if the book is new or used. Oh, wow, this has to be a long comment!

    - Mary [Anxirium]

  5. I mostly prefer new books and I'm buying them like crazy,too. We havne't got a well stocked library with English literature, so it's the book store. Love spending time there and just sit on the couch and read