Booking Through Thursday: Own or Borrow?

All things being equal (money, space, etc), would you rather own copies of the books you read? Or borrow them?

In that perfect world, I think I’d still borrow. You see, I’m really picky about what I buy, especially when it comes to books. There are plenty of books that I’ve loved that I don’t want to buy, because I won’t reread them, and to me, that doesn’t justify the price. I do reconsider if I find it at a thrift store for a dollar or two, but money is no object in this exercise. While in this scenario space and money aren’t considerations, to earn a spot on my bookshelf, it has to be a book I’ll revisit—theoretically, of course, because I don’t really have time to reread anymore unless I carve it myself. I’d also be only limited by the limitations of my library system, which includes out-of-print books and specialty books that might be more expensive to find for purchase and harder to find.

14 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Own or Borrow?

  1. That’s really interesting, because I’d always choose to own (given cash and space constraints don’t exist); I always hope I’ll enjoy a book I previously haven’t, or can lend copies to other people. I also love to re-read, and my preconditions for doing so are fairly low – I like re-reading Agatha Christie’s detective novels, for example, even though I know what’s going to happen and why.

  2. I definitely have serious respect for all of my fellow bloggers who would opt out of buying. I’m not a big consumer in gadget, trinket, clothing or shoes departments but when it comes to books I’m a total sucker.

  3. Pingback: BTT asks, own or borrow? « Pagesofjulia's Blog

  4. Own, definitely. I’ve explained my desire to have everything in Hardcover with dust jacket as a sort of Trophy impulse. Much the same way deer hunters will mount the heads or skins of their prey on the wall.

    Oddly enough though, I don’t feel that way with all books.. only with Genre. Most of the Literary fiction that I read, winds up being donated or traded in, I suppose its because I have no desire to re-read it or stare longingly at its spine thinking of the great adventure we went on together. It could also be because its just a book, not an identifiable part of a collection.

    I’m currently trying to break myself of the habit of buying hardcovers, simply because of how much room they take up.. but they are pretty to look at all lined up.

  5. I like to own books. I hate deadlines and I like being able to write in margins, and plus if you keep a copy of an adored book around, it acquires its own personality as an object, its own set of memories and impressions and soda stains.

    Not that I can afford to own every book I want to read!

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