Nov 16, 2012


So I've Been Thinking.... #4: Libraries vs. Bookstores

My dearest friend (of course, besides you, Gabby) is my books. Well.... I mean, books are books and people aren't nearly as interesting.... maybe I should rethink this hierarchy I have here. I'd say it's a toss up. (I'm kidding, Gabby! Or am I?)

But besides all of the books, and Gabby, and the other human beings, my best friend is the library. For here I will reveal a crucial piece of my character: not only do I love books, but I am completely and entirely dirt cheap.

I hoard my money like I actually have something planned for it, but books are one of the few things I will relinquish it for. Even then I'm still careful. I have to know that I'll love the book, probably by having read the library's copy or having already been acquainted with the author's books before. Of course, there are definitely exceptions if the book looks so good that I can't do anything but order a copy for myself, but this mantra generally holds true.

Libraries are like little book wonderlands where dancing novel pixies flit around to bestow upon you the gift of happiness. And free-ness. Let's not forget the free-ness. There are no consequences if you don't actually enjoy the book (except for the time wasted reading it), and c'mon people, the smell! Anyone who lives in the library like I do can attest to the fact that the smell of so many books in one place is like heaven to the noses of us novel ninjas. (And yes, there that nickname comes up again. Do you think it will stick?)

Now bookstores, they smell like synthetic packing peanuts and the ever present Starbucks that has squeezed its way into this holy sanctuary. The beautiful aura of books is muddled by those other little trinkets that will forever be found in bookstores. Bendable bobble-heads of caricatured puppies and kittens don't belong in bookstores. That's what Walmart is for.

But bookstores do have their benefits. You never have to wait until a new release is stocked, and if all of the other copies have been taken, you can just order another instead of having to wait the customary two weeks. Once you own the book, you can pick it up again whenever you feel like it, and lend it out to whomever you recommend it to. There are no other restrictions you have to worry about, no one else to take into account, and you make all of the rules to follow as you please. But that freedom comes at a cost, one that I'm only willing to pay if I know it's worth the price.

So what do you guys usually do? Are you a more frequent roamer of bookstores or libraries? Or are all of your copies now digital, either borrowed or owned?

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Gabby & Taylor