Hi Virtually Readers! Emily recently wrote a post about how people with a lot of books do better on bookstagrampost about how people with a lot of books do better on bookstagram. That got me thinking about why we buy books in the first place and whether we should, so I’m writing this.
Why bookworms buy books
#1– We’re bookworms
It’s what we do! We want to have all the preciouses with us all the time!
We don’t have anything else to do with our money!
#2–It supports authors
Buying books is how authors get their money. And if we want to support authors, then we can buy their books. Although it should be noted that only a very small portion of the book price pays the author. The rest is for the bookshop, the publishers, and the actual physical product.
Especially for people on #bookstagram, we just like the pretty outside of the book (especially if it’s just as pretty and delicious on the inside. MMMMMM)
A few months ago, Shanti and I bought some books. They I don’t regret buying those books (Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Gemina, The Scorpio Races, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Cress, Cinder, Scarlet). I might regret it when I try to move house, I suppose. Getting books was super exciting, especially because we’d either read and loved or were part of series we already liked. Buying them wasn’t really a gamble. But I get the impression that a lot of other book bloggers buy books without knowing they’d like them.
Let’s be honest–too many books are annoying to lug around if you’re moving, and if you don’t enjoy them or only plan to read them once, they’re a bit of a waste of money. If you’re like me and don’t have a lot of money to spend on expensive books, and you don’t need them for bookstagram (although really, I would classify bookstagram as a want and not a need), then they’re not really worth it.
Books (at least physical ones) use natural resources to be made. Buying them creates more demand, which requires more supply (I don’t know any economics). A lot of the money goes to corporate multinational publishers (not all of them are though) (also, support indie bookstores and not Amazon with some questionable worker rights). And also, getting rid of them is a waste of time. You have to first decide if you don’t want the book any more, then make the effort to sell it/give it to your library or op shop or friend. I personally think that sometimes buying books isn’t worth it.
Disclaimer 1: If you have money (and like a job or something AKA not me) and you want to spend your money on books, go ahead! That’s fine. I’m talking more about when it’s a waste of your money or time.
Disclaimer 2: If you can buy free books or secondhand books, that’s great.
Tell me where you get free books from, please. Unless it’s from dodgy Russian websites. That’s illegal. Don’t do that.
Disclaimer 3: This doesn’t mean not to buy ANY books. Just ones you aren’t pretty sure you’re going to like.
So here I am, saying ‘don’t buy too many books’. But what else can you do? Here’s my solution: Libraries.
Until I started book blogging, I rarely bought books. The ones on my bookshelf were mainly gifts. I got all my books from the library.
Currently, I belong to two libraries: my school’s physical library(although I’ve just graduated so that will change) and a New Zealand digital library which uses a program called Overdrive. I can get a lot of books from these two places, keep them for a few weeks before returning them. I don’t need to pay any money for it.
A lot of you probably have access to a good library. If you don’t, I guess that’s a good excuse for buying a book not libraying?
Also, fun fact: Libraries do support authors. The more people who try to request a book, the more copies the library will buy, which gives the authors money without you having to pay. Secondly, in Britian libraries give authors a small sum every time their book is checked out.
With all these things in mind, here’s a list of rules I’m going to try to make for my own book buying.
1- Don’t buy doubles.
(I don’t really get why you would get a second copy of a book you already have?)
2- If you don’t know if you’ll like a book, get it from the library first.
3- If you can get the paperback, do: your
pathetic arm muscles will thank you later, even if it’s ‘uglier’.
4- Get books second hand if you can.
5-Don’t buy books without reading the blurb. Yes, even if it’s gorgeous.
6- Give away or sell books you don’t want. If they can make someone else happy, why should they lie festering on your shelf?
7- Have a monthly budget that *encourages* you to choose well
Do you have any book buying rules? Do you agree with this, or am I wildly wrong (I’m totally open to people disagreeing)? Do you ever buy a book without looking at the blurb? Do you use your library?