In the last 12 months I have become a much more regular library user than I have been in the past. It’s been some combination of getting really into this book blog, reading more, and *finally* running out of unread books on my bookshelf.
I find a lot of book bloggers (and especially bookstagrammers) are surprised when they find out that I get most of my books from the library these days. Library books look a lot less gorgeous on your bookstagram (stupid plastic covers…), and they offer very little re-read value. Not to mention I can’t snap any more pictures of them in a themed post for my bookstagram after I give them back.
Mostly, I think, people are surprised because book bloggers buy A LOT of books. Hardly a week goes by where I don’t hear about somebody who accidentally cheated on their book buying ban.
But guys, here’s the thing. I do still buy plenty of books! I’m just using the library to help me buy smarter.
Let me explain.
Instead of going out and buying all of the new books on my tbr that I’m anxious to read, I order them from the library. This takes a little pre-planning on my part since my home town library is pretty small, so I have to do an inter-library loan on most of the books I read. I’ve taken to planning my tbr 5-10 books in advance, so the book has plenty of time to make it’s way to me. Then, if I like the book, I add it to my buy list. I hand out my wish list around my birthday and the holidays, and I also buy myself a book or two every month that I read and loved.
The thing I love most about this strategy is it means I’m only buying books I love. I don’t have to sell things back to Half-Price when I’m done, find space on my shelf for a book I’m only so-so about (or worse, didn’t like, *gasp*), or try pawn it off on someone else who I do think will like it.
I’ve also saved a lot of money. There have been several books that I was sooooo anxious to read, but didn’t work out for me as well as I’d hoped. I just saved myself $28.99!
Don’t get me wrong, I do pre-order books I’m really excited about still. Children of Virtue and Vengeance? CHECK! The Starless Sea? Well… I tried, but I gotta wait a couple more months, lol. My most recent B&N visit I purchased The Kingdom of Copper and Carry On because I’m pretty sure I’m going to love them, and they’re so preetttyyy. So never you worry, I’m still out there supporting my favorite authors and making sure they get to keep writing.
But The Gilded Wolves fell flat for me, and I’m glad I don’t have it taking up space on my very crowded YA shelf. When You Read This was great and all, but I didn’t love it. I’m never going to re-read it, so I don’t need a copy.
I can hear the bookstagrammers now. “But like, doesn’t looking at the books you read give you such happy memories? Don’t you want them for keepsakes and memories?” Nah, not really. I took pictures of them, so most of them are on my Instagram feed, and I look at that embarrassingly frequently to remind myself what I’ve read in the past few years.
Instead when I look at my bookshelf, every. single. book. makes me think “Wow, I loved that book, it was so amazing!” And to me, that’s worth more than having all the books in the world. (Which, incidentally, I have THAT too. At the library. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?”