Thursday, 9 June 2011

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?

All through my life, I have always done both: Bought some, borrowed some. As much as I love books, I dare not think what my home might look like if I had bought and kept every book I ever read... In real life of course both space and money DO matter; and living in a small flat rather than a big house puts a limit to how many books I can have in my own home. And I do not really like permanent piles of books on the floor so I try to keep within shelf-space!

A key word to me is probably "easy access" rather than "ownership". Most of the books I buy and keep (especially in later years) are such that I find it likely that I may want to reread, look things up in and refer to, "at any time". With new books/ authors I often borrow first and then if I find them really good I might end up buying my own copy. Other reasons to buy rather than borrow may be that the library doesn't have it (for example if I want to read a certain book in English); or I want it NOW and there is already a long queue for it at the library; or I know I want to read it, but not just now, and when I do I can't be sure it will be available; or I suspect it may take me longer than the library loan time to read it.

But I love the fact that we have free public libraries which provide a wide choice of literature for anyone regardless of how much money they have. I'm sure there are lots of books I would never have read and lots of authors I'd never have discovered if I had had to buy every book to be able to read it.

Some of my Arthurian and other mythology books.


  1. I usually buy my books. But I only keep my favorites and reference books. Our library has been renovating and remodeling for so long, and it's such a mess, plus they ended up temporarily storing some of the books in the bathrooms, ick!

  2. I am all for selective hoarding. I already own more than 2500 books!

    Here is my BTT: Own or Borrow post!

  3. Great answer.

  4. I’m a big re-reader so I like to own my books. You would really hate my room as I have about 20 permanent stacks of books.


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