I went on another library excursion trip, even though I know there are at least a couple of books (fine several) still left on my shelves that I have yet to read. With my recent bout of bad book luck I’m feeling restless and like I need fresh book blood kicking around.
Totally ridiculous but book love knows no reason.
Anyway I was probably in the library for all of 10 minutes and managed to walk out of there with another six books, which got me thinking about how much more care I take when choosing books to purchase versus books I’m kidnapping from the library.
Whenever I go to the library, it’s usually on my lunch break which means that I need to walk over there, peruse, choose and walk back to my desk within the hour. That’s when I eat at my desk; if I have to hunt for food I have even less time. Does the time constraint mean that I think about it less? Knowing I have to be out of there in a certain amount of time, I read less deeply on the spot than I would if I had all the time in the world.
I think the timing does play a part in it: the amount of time I have to make my selections and the time I have to read them once I get them home. I know that over the next 3 weeks I need to read these six books so I made strategic choices based on this timeline. I saw at least three copies of Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries while I was there but that book looks like a serious time commitment and I don’t think I have what it takes to get that back, read, in the next three weeks.
But let’s be honest: the bigger motivator is money. At the bookstore I’m more careful about my selections because I can’t always rationalize spending big bucks on a stack of books. OK that’s kind of a lie: I can’t justify it right now, with my wedding six weeks away (let me just take a second to throw up). In seven weeks, I’ll be totally fine with that again. Probably.
I’m just not as selective at the library. I am grabby at the library. As in Oh there’s Emily Giffen’s The One and Only, let me just quickly snatch that up. Oh! Friendship: A novel, that’s totally on my list! Let me just take that too before someone else can enjoy it. This really cuts down on the amount of time needed in the library. At a bookstore I’m definitely more careful, I even walk slower. I would never walk out of a bookstore with six books after 10 minutes. I might walk out with six books, but it would take a lot longer to make the right choices.
But man, I am really enjoying my library time these days. Will be even better when all the kids finally go back to school and it can be all mine again 😉
20 thoughts on “On the Hunt for Fresh Book Blood”
I tend to meander and browse and peruse when selecting my threesome. I rarely grab and go. It’s as if I’m carefully considering the guests I’m inviting to my home.
Oh I like the way you think about library books!!! Guests in your home! Brilliant. If I thought about it like that I would definitely be more careful – nothing worse than terrible house guests!
Especially when they start swearing unexpectedly! “Golly, they seemed so nice at first!”
I agree completely! If I get a book from the library and don’t like it, there is nothing lost. If I buy a book and it’s a dud, I’ve wasted my money. I tend to only buy books I’ve already read and loved or books by authors whose entire collection I plan to acquire. 🙂
It’s weird- I rarely end up buying books that I don’t enjoy. But the library is a lot more hit and miss. Probably because I blow through there all willy nilly.
I do that, too…fill my bag full of books at the library that I don’t have time to read and that I’d probably never spend money on in a bookstore. I think that checking out random books from the library is an addiction for me….but at least it’s free. 🙂 Love the post (and your blog!).
If you’re going to have an addiction, at least it’s easy on the wallet! I try not to bring the bag out until I leave so I can only take out the books I can physically carry! I shudder to think what would happen otherwise.
Aha! Now I get your bad book bout. Nothing you read is going to live up to the intensity of your personal life right now!!! Ride the wave and all the best to you on your new journey.
Do you think that’s it?? I know I should enjoy it, that it will all be just a memory soon but it has not been at all what I thought it would be so I spend a lot of time wishing it was over and I was just married already! Six weeks…I can do this!
You CAN and WILL do this. If possible, just take a few minutes every day to breathe and remember that you want this. Try to treasure even the madness. There’s no other time quite like it.
I love the library because you don’t have to be picky. Because money is involved at bookstores i want the books i buy to be good, worth the money. At the library i will take something home just because it has a nice cover or a quirky title. I may never read it and it doesn’t matter because no money spent.
I am definitely not picky at the library for exactly this reason. I just need to be better at not feeling bad when those titles don’t work out!
Oh I am the same way for sure. The new release shelf is across from the line to check out, so I’m always darting back and forth as I wait grabbing titles and shuffling the stack in my arms. I made my daughter stay in the stroller as long as possible so I could use it for books walking home. To buy is such a more complicated decision process.
Buying is definitely more time consuming but I seem to have a much higher success rate with loving the books I purchase. I like the idea of having access to a stroller for better book movement.
I am the same! I remember having this disease even as a child. I used to just pile up books and sometimes it took me two trips to the check-out desk. Of course they were really thin books, like the Bailey School Kids series, but nowadays size doesn’t stop me. I have spend so much money paying back overdue fees, simply because I couldn’t part with the book until I had read it. Sadly, there is no local library nearby so I am stuck with having to buy the books. Which doesn’t always work out well for me.
This is one of the reasons my brother got an e-reader! He didn’t want to spend the money on books all the time but he wasn’t close to a library. So he got an e-reader and got the best of both worlds, anywhere.
I suspect you are more of a traditionalist and so we must just muddle through as best as we can. I will say that being close to two libraries (one at work and one near my home) is the best thing ever. I’m quickly becoming a library evangelist.
Have you just recently re-discovered libraries or have you been a long-term diehard? Ahaha yes, sadly I am a traditionalist. Since I stare at a computer screen all day it’s nice to take a break from it when I pick up a book. I am just not 100% comfortable with it yet 🙂
I went to the library a lot as a child. When I started earning my own money I started relishing the ability to buy all the books I wanted. I’ve lost my job a couple of times and the first time it happened I realized that I didn’t have the disposable income to spend on books anymore. So I started taking the bus to the library – as a way to get out of the house and to at least still get to read new books. Ever since then it’s come back into my life in phases – right now is another period of time when I can’t justify spending the money on books. I love owning books. I love buying all my favourites and lending them out (to some people) but every once in a while, I find my way back to the library and I get excited about the possibilities all over again.
I can totally respect that, and to be honest for a really really long time buying a book was a luxury. Like I can recall the 10-20 books that I got when I was younger. It’s only books that I really, truly love inside and out. Now I just buy the book before I have read it, and sometimes they aren’t that great of a read and I regret buying it. I would most definitely opt for a library that have to buy them all the time. Plus, it adds up pretty quick!