This week’s question comes from Jillian @ Jillian the Bookish Butterfly who asks—
How do you decide what books to borrow or buy?
Prompts: Do you buy a lot of books? Do you borrow books from a library, or from friends? What do you look out for in books you buy? Are there any book genres you typically buy more of? Do the types of books that you buy differ from the types of books you typically borrow? Do you prefer to borrow or to buy books?
So, if I had gotten around to writing this on Friday, my answer might have been slightly different, since I bought a bunch of books yesterday!
But typically, ordinarily, normally…I don’t buy books anymore.
I used to buy books ALL THE TIME. Borders was our favorite Friday night destination. We would go after dinner and hang out quite literally for hours. I would park myself in the mystery section, sit on the floor, and just…read. By the end of the night, I usually had $30 or $40 worth of books in my paws, and my husband usually more.
But this all changed when we got our first Kindles in 2010. For a while, I used Amazon points to buy all of our books. We put all our recurring charges on that card, and it typically generated $50 a month in points, which supported my book habit for that first year easily. But then, a couple of things happened that changed my outlook. First, library borrowing became available for Kindle, which was a damn revelation. I would say that for the next couple of years, we borrowed probably half of our books and bought the rest.
But after my husband died, I found that I just couldn’t justify the cost of buying books any longer. So now, my books generally come from three sources—libraries, Kindle Unlimited, and the Amazon First Reads books that I get for free every month. I might buy a $0.99 book every once in a while, but paying anything like full-price is rare anymore. Before yesterday, I had bought two books this year, both not available on KU or at any of my sixteen libraries.
Yeah. Sixteen. It’s practically a damn full-time job managing them.
But, anyway, I bought two books that I couldn’t get elsewhere, and paid a total of around ten bucks for them both together. So, still really not blowing my book budget.
But then this weekend, I read the “For Him” quadrology, which is available in Kindle Unlimited, and loved it so much that I threw caution to the wind and just bought the books. I knew that I would want to read parts of them every day for a while, and I didn’t want them taking up four KU slots. Plus, I wanted the author to get paid for real.
So, that brings the total number of books I’ve bought to SIX in 2022, out of 116 books read. So, I still borrow about 95% and buy 5%. Pretty happy with that ratio.