BBAW 2011: Readers

Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

Oh, wow, that’s a lot of prompts. I suppose I’ll go with book acquisition habits, since I’ve talked about how book blogging changed the way I read last year for my anniversary, which is at the end of this month.

Book blogging has made me both pickier about how I acquire books and more omnivorous. Because you rarely know if you’re going to love a book, I usually purchase books from thrift stores; my love for mass market paperbacks, especially old, yellow ones, makes that all the sweeter. I love coming back to my home town after a long time away and sifting through the thrift stores. That’s how I got my copies of A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, which are wonderfully dated. If only I could make the entire series match in paperback! But that’s another topic for another time. But even then, I’m pretty picky, mostly because a dollar can go towards part of another costume piece if I don’t spend it on a book. (My life, ladies and gents, my life.)

But it’s also made me incredibly bolder when it comes to libraries. I’m not shy about the fact that I’m occasionally the reason books don’t get shelved at the library; that’s how I picked up Hard Times by Studs Terkel, which I’d never heard of before and would have never picked up in a million years, but I’m incredibly glad I took it home and read it. I can take books home and return them without reading them without feeling guilty at all. The three libraries I have access to in Georgia have incredible selection. I never tire of finding a book that has only one copy in the public library in the entire state of Georgia, and then putting it on hold. The sheer access I have, all with a free library card! It boggles my mind that some people who profess to love books don’t even think about using their local libraries. I recently cancelled my Netflix subscription, and I’ve been relying on public libraries for films ever since. It’s been working out great. Give your local library a shot, or at the very least support it. (Oh, there’s an idea for a community fundraiser! Hmm…)

16 thoughts on “BBAW 2011: Readers

  1. I hear you on the mismatched secondhand series. I have a few of those myself, and it makes me just a little nuts. But I can’t argue with the really cheap prices!

    I don’t use the library nearly as much as I used to back when I couldn’t afford to buy books at all, but I love that when the mood strikes I can go and pick up a bunch of things and read a couple of chapters (or not) and return them without feeling at all bad if I didn’t get around to reading them. It’s fun! And my library is the perfect distance away for a short walk after work, just far enough that it’s actual light exercise to get there, but not so far that I can’t carry back a bag of books.

    • Right? Truly a dilemma for the ages.

      Absolutely! I love being able to read new books, old books, and good books on a complete whim. My public library near my school is a perfect distance; close enough to walk, far enough that’s a nice walk.

  2. I love your endorsement of the public library which I used like you describe for the better part of my life. Lately though I find myself not liking to go out and realy like the convienance of the kindle and netflix.

    • I don’t own a Kindle (though I have a Kindle app on my iPhone) and I just cancelled my Netflix subscription. It’s part financial protest against the price hike (if you live in a capitalist society, you vote with your money) and part an experiment to see how long I can go without it. To be honest, I haven’t missed it much, especially with my local libraries being superb.

  3. Yes, libraries! I used to get all of my books from libraries, but since I’ve been acquiring more books via Amazon Vine and publishers/authors, I haven’t used it as much.

    Another vow for the new year…get back to the library! I’ve been wanting to read something by Studs Terkel….thanks for the reminder!

    Thanks for sharing….

    Here’s MY BBAW POST and

  4. I’m big on used books, too. I peruse used bookstore clearance sections, thrift store bookshelves, and library sales (my favorite!) so that, even if I hate a book, I won’t have spent that much on it. I’m fussy about my series books, too, so that’s one spot where I will spring for a matching set.

    As for the library, I’ve come to use mine heavily in the past couple of years. I used to be bad about returning books on time, to the point that buying the books outright would have been comparable, if not cheaper. I have improved, though, so now the library is a place I love to go. I always have something on hold and end up walking over to visit once a week at least. I rarely let myself browse, just because when I do I end up with more than I can carry home, but I adore the feeling of standing in the middle of a big room full of books and knowing I could take any one of them home with me for free.

    • It’s a wonderful feeling. I spend a lot of time at my local libraries, so I know exactly where everything is and I’m getting closer and closer to knowing inventories. (It’s times like these that make me waver slightly in my devotion to editing; it’ll always win out, but being a librarian would be lovely.)

  5. Yay for libraries!!! Can you tell I’m a librarian? But I totally agree about pulling books from a shelving cart — I constantly see things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, especially if they are in an area I don’t usually look in for reading materials.

  6. Have you ever heard of Paperback swap? its free and like the title states a swap system. I got the first four games of Thrones books from them with matching covers 🙂 I don’t use my local library much but i weigh themdown with Arc donations . I intend to use the library more in the future.

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