To Purchase or Not To Purchase?
I’ve always been a bit weird when it comes to book buying. I think it’s due to the fact that growing up, I lived on a very small island that didn’t have a single darn bookstore. So this meant that whenever I wanted to buy something I had to beg my parents to purchase it online and save up my cash to give it to them (I didn’t have the credit card, they did) and then ship it to The Bahamas which involved hassling Customs and finding an International Mail service that had a US address and shipped to The Bahamas. You see how long and convoluted that sentence was? Ugh, just thinking about shipping books makes me cringe. This meant that on the odd chance I was in the USA, I spent all my money on books, which also meant that I had to choose the books very specifically. Trips to the USA were a golden opportunity and nothing sucks more knowing you had a chance to buy a good book and ended up with a rotten egg. So I developed an insanely complicated buying system that I still sorta use to this day. Now, I have student loans from my MSc and I have rent and support some family members so buying a book is still a luxury item (I might get to this into another post, as though books for me are like groceries, completely necessary to my vital existence, it’s still a luxury good).
Before I read anything I read nearly every review I can get my hand on. As a teen that meant looking at Amazon reviews on my parents computer. I also took whatever newspapers I could find and read reviews for stuff. Now, in the present day I do this but only really pay attention to reviews by friends with similar tastes or bloggers that I greatly respect.
Be it from a library (the one on my island was super good) or a friend, and I still use this method 95% of the time to this day, read the book and if I like it, buy it! If I don’t like it, well, I didn’t pay for it so OK. It’s entirely legal because the books are coming from bought sources so the writers still get their due and if I like it, they get extra love!
This was more applicable when I was in the UK or made an odd trip to the USA, where if I was contemplating buying a book without previous research I judged that book hard by it’s cover. If the cover was up to snuff and the synopsis in the back seemed good, well, odds were if I could spare the cash it was bought. I so judge books by their covers.
I’m such a creature of habit, whether at the library or Waterstones or Barnes and Nobles, I always make a beeline for my favourite genres. This means that if I’m feeling lucky and willing to gamble on a book there is a high chance that it’s a YA, Nonfiction or Fantasy book.
I know this comes off a bit whiny, we’re all broke, I know, but I’ve developed an insane coping mechanism to slowly and steadily feed my book habit. I just bought 3 books the other day (Saga Volume 4 and A History of Color in Art are 2 of them! The other is a cookbook, a girl gotta eat right?). A few bloggers are on a book buying ban this year and I’m wondering if I should do the same? As it is my 2015 Book Buying will follow a few rules:
- Do not buy sequels, either buy the entire series (and only if you love it) or just find it in the library or with a friend (I want to move to the UK again so, series are highly impractical to lug around).
- Books to advance your career/knowledge and nonfiction are perfectly OK and do not need to be agonized over.
- Do not use your savings! If you don’t got it, wait.