I do love to answer questions …
Where do you buy your books?
Under normal circumstances I buy the majority of my books second-hand. However, this year being what it has, I’ve been using Hive, Blackwells and Waterstones to feed my book habit. I’ve sworn off Amazon because Mr Bezos really doesn’t need any more money.
(And I second Zeezee’s sentiment about Borders – that was just the best bookstore!)
Do you ever pre-order books? If so, do you do this in store or online?
Very rarely. I pre-ordered a couple of the volumes of Peter Ackroyd’s History of England from my nearest Waterstones store way back when, but usually I’m happy to wait for books to remind me that I want to read them because I’m lazy.
Saying that, I have pre-ordered Ring Shout by P Djeli Clark online. I honestly didn’t realise it wasn’t out already and now I’m impatient for it to arrive because one, I don’t like having outstanding orders, and two, a sword drawn from another dimension, people!!
Lazy and impatient. Killer combo.
On average, how many books do you buy a month?
*Ahem* Usually, maybe two or three on average. This month? I don’t quite know what happened (I know exactly what happened and don’t want to admit it), but I’ve bought six books, two graphic novels and acquired my second ARC, Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley. And I’ve never been a fast reader, so I don’t know when I’m planning to fit them all in.
Do you use your local library? If so, how many books can/do you borrow at a time?
Yes, I do. The limit on our tickets is sixteen items. As a member of staff, my limit can be overridden to the tune of twenty-seven items (I don’t know who decided such random numbers). I currently have twenty-five library books out on loan and one audiobook via our library’s app. Three are for research so I won’t be reading them cover to cover, but the rest are fiction. I had gotten a handle on my library book borrowing problem, but lockdown scared me back into bad habits. I know it’s ridiculous, but I find it enormously comforting to have a stack of library books on hand. Like, the world can’t go completely to sh*t while I have library books out, you know?
What is your opinion on library books?
I love them. I love what they represent, I love that they have or will pass through other hands, I love that it is possible to read more widely because of them. I feel genuine affection for them, and it makes me so angry when a book is returned damaged or badly stained. If libraries are a social contract and the books on the shelves a physical manifestation of that contract, then to damage one badly enough that it cannot be enjoyed by another person shows a lack of respect for the other members of your community. And that pisses me off.
How do you feel about second-hand books?
Hmm, I’ve answered this before somewhere. I love them too. My books don’t have to be new and shiny and I get a real kick out of the signs of previous lives left on and in books. Just keep your crumbs and food stains to yourself, OK? … Hmmm, and your cigarette smoke.
Oh! But it just occurred to me this is the perfect place to stick a link to this old post about a dictionary I have. Please read it. It was one of my first posts and never got any love back then. Aww.
Do you keep your read and to-read piles together/on the same bookshelf?
No, I don’t keep my read and to-read books all mushed up together *shudder*. If I’ve read it and plan to keep it then it goes in a box in the cupboard (we still don’t have those bookshelves I’m planning to get … if someone stopped buying books all the while, I’m sure I could have bought the shelves by now). Everything still earmarked as to-read is loose in the house on the makeshift shelves in the living room or at the foot of our bed. Except my library books, which are stacked up on the stairs.
(Photo credit: Robert Anasch on Unsplash)
Do you plan to read all the books you own?
What do you do with books you own that you feel you’ll never read/felt you didn’t enjoy?
If they’re in good condition I donate them to the library. If they’re not quite so pretty I take them to the charity shop. I also have a friend I swap books with on the understanding that we can pass them along once read.
Have you ever been on a book-buying ban?
Yes, and every time I’ve tried it I’ve ended up buying more books than I would have if it weren’t forbidden.
Lazy, impatient and lacking willpower.
Do you feel that you buy too many books?
Not normally, no. I feel a bit bad about this month’s splurge because I really am supposed to be being more careful with my money at the moment, times being so uncertain.
More often than not though, I feel bad for the books already in the house when I come bouncing in with more – what must they think of me?
What about you? Where do you buy your books, and how often? Do you use your local library?