Books & Study Life

Borrowing or Buying Books

As a keen reader, I talk about the books I enjoy in the monthly update. As you might know, I even have a blog dedicated to book reviews, Coffee and Books. Today I’m talking about borrowing or buying books, which option is better.

I read a lot of books. So far this year I’ve finished 54. By looking at my goodreads account, I can easily see that, from those 54 books, I own 18 of them, 5 are from book blog tours, and the rest, 31, are borrowed from the library.

Borrowing or Buying Books

Borrowing from the library means I can save money. If I was to buy all of the books I’ve read this year, it would mean over £300 more spent on books. Also, I would need a new shelf in my bookcase or maybe two.

In the picture above are the books I’ve borrowed from the library last month. Not only the ones I’ve read, but I got one for my husband, and four are for reference. It’s unlikely I will read any of these books again. Not because I don’t expect to enjoy them, but because there are so many other books I would love to read, including from these authors, that is a bit pointless to read the same book again.

When it comes to buying books, I pick the ones that are likely I would like to read again or to use for reference. Furthermore, I buy books I don’t find at the library.

Liverpool Central Library

I have two library cards, one to Liverpool libraries and another one to Sefton libraries. That means I can borrow books from 30+ libraries in total. Besides Liverpool Central Library (link to my post), that is huge and gorgeous, and also houses hundreds of thousands of books, most of them are small and they focus on fiction. As I prefer reading non-fiction, as I’ve already mentioned on the blog, it means that sometimes I don’t find the books I’m looking for. Some of the books I want can be ordered if I make a buying request, but I find it easier to buy the books myself. I did make a buying request and the book got here in a month or so, so is not that bad.

One of the aspects in the borrowing or buying books debate can be the state of the books. Some of them are in pristine condition despite being read many times. Some aren’t, unfortunately. This can be a problem with second-hand books too.

Borrowing or Buying Books. Page in a book

The person reading this book was, obviously, impervious to the fact that their markings can bother other people. I have to admit that this was an isolated incident. The book was Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness by Gillian Butler, you can see tomorrow my review on the book review blog, and the person needed to remember aspects from the book. Same result, or even better, would have been achieved with taking notes in a personal notebook.

All the other books I’ve borrowed didn’t have markings in them. Although some do have earmarks. That’s another pet hate of mine. If you don’t have a bookmark, use a piece of paper, an old bus ticket, a leaflet to a local museum, anything but bending the pages.

Do you prefer borrowing or buying books?

8 Comment

  1. I would love to buy lots of books and have shelves all over my house, but my husband won’t allow it! I do like to mix up borrowing and buying because our local library is very precious and we need to support it. I have a lot to thank my libraries for, all the way from childhood.

  2. These days I read most books on my Kindle (it’s just easier to hold). However, a book is a book… whether borrowed or new.

  3. Oh wow, the Liverpool Central Library looks beautiful!

    I wish I was better at borrowing books, but I’m horrible when it comes to returning books on time 🙈 It gets tiresome (and embarrassing) to either have to repeatedly re-borrow the books, or get stuck with late fees if I forget altogether. Now I mostly get cheap books from second-hand and charity shops. It means I rarely read the latest releases, but I don’t mind. 🙂

  4. I buy books these days, or should I ashamedly admit, I download to a kindle! I resisted the kindle but I gave in as it is ideal for travel, be it abroad on holiday to keep luggage to a minimum or on public transport, it’s so slim to just pop in a small bag. However, when I was much younger I used to borrow from libraries, I used to enjoy visiting and browsing. The only problem was I used to be late returning and pay hefty fines! I don’t mind markings inside, it adds character to the book in my eyes

  5. I tend to buy all the books I read, but I have decided now that in the future I should go to the library instead. As you pointed out it saves so much money! And it helps giving life to libraries, which is great. However I do love my book collection, it is full of all the books I really love and would read again.

    Julia x

  6. Oh, you’ve reminded me about why I need to start getting back to books! I always buy, simply because I want to fund an author!

  7. I used to read a lot of fiction and borrow from the local library but most of the time I buy books these days. I think there is still a place for public libraries, they are especially great when they move with the times and become a social space

  8. Wow, you’ve read so many books this year so far! My aim this year was 50 but I’m not doing great as I have been focussed on my dissertation. Once that’s finished, I’ll hopefully read some more!

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