Do you buy books, or do you borrow them from the library?

I love the idea of a library. A system that lends out books to people. This allows all people no matter what their circumstances, to be able to read. Learn. Educate themselves. A library shows true equality: anyone can borrow/read anything they want. When my daughter was little I used to take her to the library at least three times a week. We knew the time of every story hour of every library within two miles of my house. My daughters love of reading and learning began from the time I would park her little stroller in the picture book section and we would just look, and read. She saw endless possibilities in the library, and I have to assume her early exposure led her to be the curious, intelligent young woman that she has become.

I love bookstores. Not a week goes by where I have not been inside of a bookstore, whether it me a small independently owned one, or a large chain. Bookstores are my happy place. At a bookstore I can see the world open up before my eyes.

I have borrowed books from the library because I want to keep the libraries open. I want to show the world that free libraries are an important part of our society.

I have bought a lot of books, both physical and electronic from book stores. I want to monetarily support authors and publishers and book stores of all ilk. I want to show the world that book stores are part of out society.

So what’s better? Borrowing books from a library or buying books from a store?

There are people who proudly tell you they buy their books, and their are people who proudly state that they borrow their books.

Is one superior to the other?

One does save you money. But the other does support those in the arts. How do the scales balance?

I admit that I am more likely to buy an ebook right now. I like having books in my library. I like the ability to reread a book for book club. I like that my daughter and I share books. I like having a book available the exact second that I want it. I know I’m a little spoiled with this easy access to books. But books make me happy like nothing else does. If I happen to visit a small, indie bookstore I will buy something. The other day I visited Posman books in Chelsea Market and purchased a poetry book because I thought reading a poem in a physical book each night would be a good send off to sleep. Sometimes I won’t even purchase a book though. Sometimes I’ll just buy something cute that I know they will make a bit of profit on because I want all physical book stores to survive.

But there was a time when the library was part of my weekly to do list. But that fell off the radar a bit as my life got busier. But I still support my local library with donations and I used to volunteer there when they needed help with things.

So are you a buyer or a borrower? A little of both?

Do you think it is more important to help out one as opposed to the other?

How do you feel about this issue?


142 thoughts on “Rent or Buy

  1. As much as I love libraries, these days I tend to buy my books. I used to go to the library all the time when I was younger, and also when my children were young. My daughter now takes my grandson to get his books there, and many of the women in my book club always get their books from the library. I’m hoping when this pandemic is finally over, I’ll start going there again!

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  2. I usually borrow audio books from my library to listen to on the road. I love to frequent my local indie bookstore and don’t mind paying the premium prices for the privilege of doing so. A real book feels so much better in the hand than an e-book.

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  3. I love the library, for many reasons, but one of the best benefits is there is no real financial commitment to the books you borrow. I borrow to find new books I want to add to my in home library eventually. Some of my favorite series I would be have found had it not been for the library. Usually they will have the whole series if it is no longer continuing and so I can easily get 3 at a time and not have to wait to have the money to read them. Libraries are good and should be maintained for future generations. 😊

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  4. I’m more of a buyer because I love physical books and I really want to put up a whole bookshelf thing in my room. So, I love having books and on the other hand, I even like the concept of a library because it allows readers to let them wander books that they couldn’t afford. But unfortunately, I don’t reside near any libraries. It’s my little fantasy to volunteer for some period in a library/bookstore.


  5. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the two. You just have to know what works best for. I prefer to buy books coz I get the opportunity to reread them over again just like you said


  6. In my schooldays, the library we had was small but it had some fantastic books. I already had a fascination with books and literature by the time I was around 11-12 years of age. One time, I was fed up with children’s books and I wanted to read something more complex and new. ‘Phantom of the Opera’ caught my eye and I wanted to read it badly but the librarian refused to let me borrow it cause it was ‘too complex’ for little kids like me. So, not to be dissuaded, I tried to simply steal it! I promptly got caught cause I wasn’t much of a thief and I frankly had no idea what I was doing but the experience still gives a sour taste in my mouth. I understand the librarian’s cautiousness about letting me borrow that book but why not let me borrow that book and let me figure out how to read complex books by myself. If you don’t give a chance, how will I learn?


  7. I’m a buyer, but that isn’t because I consciously chose to stand on one side of this divide. It is simply because I can’t be trusted to keep books “nice”.

    My books travel around the house with me, they’re handled by my toddler, and they are also thrown in bags to go out with me. I always try to keep my books looking pristine, but it’s nice not to have the pressure of them looking like they’re fresh off of a store’s shelf at the end of my journey with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Scribd fascinates me because of its $12.99 monthly fee for which I’ve been able to get all the ebooks and digital magazines I could ever want. The only bad thing is that my reading lists are piling up.

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