Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BUY or BORROW

I have been waiting the THE DRY from my library for months. I am considering buying it but I generally don't buy a book unless I am positive I will like it (know the author from past books) or if I think both Phil and I will read it.

How do you decide what to buy and what to borrow for those of you who do both?

17 comments:

Scott Parker said...

I buy whatever strikes my fancy. But, I will also check Audible first, and likely download the audiobook rather than the actual book or ebook.

George said...

Since I retired at the end of December 2016, I've tried to cut back on the number of books that I purchase. My first consideration is whether my local Library will acquire the book. If so, I tend not to buy the book. I will buy books by favorite writers (I'm voting with my money). But, when you're on a fixed income, the choices get harder and harder over the years as prices go up...but your pension and Social Security don't.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Good question, Patti! In most cases, if a book is available at the library I will try and get a copy there. If it is an author I collect (and that is a shrinking number these days), I will either buy it immediately (generally speaking, these are mostly paperbacks) or wait until it comes out in paperback or is available secondhand.

The only book I bought in Florida was the latest Salvo Montalbano book by Andrea Camilleri, as I have all the others and I like the trade paperback format.

We do belong to PaperBackSwap, where you can list the books you want and the books you are offering, and where as long as you have the credits you can order any book that is available from other members. Jackie in particular has gotten a lot of books that way. But in the last year or two we've had fewer and fewer offers of stuff we want. I have 250 books on my wish list there (many are different editions of the same book), but some have been there for years with no result. So if I really want to read something now, I will look on ABE.

As for THE DRY, I just don't understand library purchasing. I read the first Great Library book by Rachel Caine but they never bought the second. Then, just as book three was about to come out, book two suddenly turned up. I put THE DRY on my want list and got it at the library as soon as we got home, after no more than a week or so.

My library seems to be buying more and more ebooks, either in conjunction with the regular editions or sometimes instead of them. I never mind downloading a book and reading it on the Kindle.

Anonymous said...

I ask myself, "Will this be a keeper?"--and, for the most part, the answer is "No." In which case, I will always opt for library or interlibrary loan (if available). For example, it took me months to read GONE GIRL because there were over 100 library requests ahead of me--meanwhile there were plenty of other books for me to read. If I find a used book that's been on my tbr list at the FOTL sale or the Goodwill, I'll buy, read, and redonate after.

As for THE DRY, I don't think it would qualify as a keeper. It's a good book with some good misdirection, but (as I've mentioned elsewhere) I think the solution relies too much on a coincidence and misinterpretation of a word that has more than one meaning.

Deb

Rick Robinson said...

Like Jeff, unless it's one of the few authors I buy immediately (Krueger, Louise Penny), I check the library first and put a hold request as soon as possible. That's especially effective when I hold a book that's forthcoming and on order by the library, as I often get a new copy. If the library doesn't have the book, if it's old, I try BookSwap, check Powell's, ABE or often just skip it.

I ask myself: since I own more books than I'll be able to read in my lifetime, do I really need that book? Why not read what's on hand?

TracyK said...

I usually buy books. Probably something I need to work on cutting back on, since I won't have as much money for that once we retire. If possible, I buy used books. If I am trying to support a writer, then I buy new. But I have a huge backlog of TBR books too.

J F Norris said...

I check the CPL first these days. I'm reading more new books this year (both fiction and nonfiction) and I'm lucking out with all the books that have intrigued me. Every one was in the CPL system. Of course I still have interests in out of print books and the library rarely has any of those. There's a budget for those and I've already shopped out for the next two months. Ironically, three of the four books I took out from the library were so good that I wish I had bought them. They were definitely worth keeping in my personal library.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We don't have a good library here although there is a consortium that gives us more access. I buy a lot of secondhand books but am careful about laying out &
$28 for new ones.!

Gerard said...

I try to keep track of holds and order extra copies as needed to fill demand. One good thing to keep in mind is that even though an item may have 100 holds the consortium may own 25-50 copies.

For me the ideal ratio between holds and copies is 5:1.

Bill: a retired bookman said...

A common question that we all address from a number of perspectives. Retirement is just one. Budgets are another. Changing tastes. Reading styles. While working in the book biz, I found that I read a really broad range of books and sometimes it actually felt like work. So, some books needed to be had.

After retiring, I reacquainted myself with the public library (which now allows borrowing from a broad consortium of statewide libraries). Our local library, would purchase a new book on request if they hadn't purchased it upon publication and it was receiving review attention. Of course, we need to learn to wait for those books which often take weeks to arrive. However, libraries are always culling their collections and very often will not have what I'm looking for.

When I began to teach courses at our local college for seniors, the old books that I seek for research are only available from dealers who are spread far and wide. Abe Books, Alibris, and bookfinder.com are my new best friends.

I've always loved discovering a great bookstore on my travels, and still enjoy discovering that I want to read something discovered while browsing. However, more and more, the world we live in is not conducive to leisure browsing. The efficiency of online purchasing both helps us to shop more efficiently and deprives us of the mindful experience of browsing for books.

The choice of purchase vs. borrow is a good question, but my first question is, and always has been, what do I want to read? How much do I want to read it (this question may also read, why do I want to read it)? And, do I want to own it? The final question often cannot be answered until after reading.

Al Tucher said...

I bought THE DRY for my Nook. I do that more and more for books I don't anticipate rereading. For one thing, I'm starting to think about the task I'm leaving for my executor. I don't expect it to be soon, but having discharged that duty for my parents, I have the eventuality on my mind.

Yes, my fiction is pretty dark, too. :-)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I found the ereader was making me too promiscuous. Yes, it might cost less but how many unread books before you were making a virtual library for yourself. Book Bub makes it hard to refuse.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Every job I ever had was a fixed salary or fixed hourly deal, so I have always been on a fixed income. Being disabled has not changed that. Just fixed at a different rate. :)

As to buying books--rarely. If I buy, it is in the ebook realm as I pick up things by way of funds in my Amazon Associate account. And I freely admit that the ebook deal has made me a free book slut.

David Cranmer said...

So many books come my way (running out of space) that unless its something I know I will like, I borrow from the library.

Todd Mason said...

My dilatory ways make it difficult for me to finish a book in time, or return it on time. So I do tend to obtain my own copies, unless prohibitively expensive or otherwise impractical.

Graham Powell said...

When I try a new (to me) author, most of the times I'll try to do it through the library, though I read a lot of older books, which may not be available. If it's a writer I'm already familiar with, then generally if they're dead I'll get it from the library, but if they're alive they presumably need the money, so I'll buy it.

This is not an iron-clad rule. When I started reading JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike series, I got them at the library. Hopefully this won't cause her any privation.

Bernadette said...

I think things would be different if I were in the US or UK where book prices are quite different but here in Oz - where a new release is around $30-35 - I tend to buy books by Australian authors and borrow the rest, with the exception of audio books (I have a 2 book per month subscription for those). I could buy books by overseas authors more cheaply if I used Amazon or Book Depository but I've decided to do my bit for keeping local stores alive by not indulging in that practice...at least for now.