Book Talk: Confessions of a broke college student

Writing this week's Top Ten Tuesday post made me realize that I hardly ever buy books anymore. And I started to wonder why.

Part of it is that most of my money goes towards buying things like groceries and textbooks. College student life whooooo. I feel like if I'm going to spend money on book, it had better be a damn good one. But what happens when I find a book/author I love, but don't end up buying it?

My adventures at the book store:

I have a whole list of favorite authors and books that I love to death, and I don't even own them all! I was at Barnes and Noble this weekend (a giant one with three whole stories! yeeeeeeeeeeeeee) and I kept walking up to books that I love and stroking the spines lovingly and then checking the price and then putting them back on the shelf. And then I'd walk around the store and come back to the beloved book, pick it up, and walk around with it lovingly tucked under my elbow. And then I'd put it back on the shelf. Again.

I did end up buying a book, but I was a bit surprised by my book buying habits. It's been a long time since I've been in a bookstore (I live in libraries), so I didn't remember being this reluctant/indecisive. I thought about why I kept putting back books that I very clearly wanted to own, and well, here you have it!

Reasons I don't end up buying a book I want:

  1. It's too expensive - I prefer paperbacks to hardcovers because they're easier to hold. I'm a dust jacket murderer, so I like how a paperback just stays together. Sometimes the paperback of a book I want isn't out yet, but I'm not willing to spend $30 on shiny hardcover.
  2. It's not the right style of book - this is kind of hard to explain, but I'm going to give it a go. As I just mentioned, I love paperbacks. But the quality of my paperback matters to me. I'd rather have a nicely bound matte-finish book, the larger (more expensive) kind instead of the mass market paperback. They're nicer, easier to read, and I feel like if I'm buying a book I love, it had better be a good copy of that book.

    I'd want the book on the left, since it's probably on nicer paper and has bigger font.
  3. I'm scared to reread - There are some books on my favorites list that I've read dozens of times. There are other books on my favorites list that I've read a grand total of once. Some of those books I read at the right time in my life, and something just clicked that made me love them beyond the usual good book. I'm a little scared to reread a few of those books, in case the magic is gone. This has happened before but with movies - I loved Wall-E the first time I watched it, bought a DVD, and watched it maybe once more since then. I don't think I could bear it if I didn't love a book as much the second time around! Experience has shown me that I usually love the book more, and even if the story isn't as mindblowing the second time, the emotions and the fondness and the memories I associate with it only get stronger. I really should get over this fear of mine!
  4. I already own a book in the same series - I usually don't own complete series. For some reason I usually buy the first or the last book, because one of those is usually my favorite of the set. I haven't yet found an entire series that I love beyond all reason (although Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking Trilogy comes close, and Sanderson's Stormlight Archive will probably be the one). I feel like it's a waste of money/time to buy another book in a series when I can just reread the one book and remember all the warm fuzzies for the whole series. This opinion is slowly changing though.

Am I nuts, or do these reasons make sense? Do you have any reasons for not buying books?

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  1. I'm like you. I actually don't buy that many books. For me, the re-reading this is huge. I VERY rarely re-read - even if it's a book I love. So, I just can't justify having the book on my shelf when I could have just picked it up at the library. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE books, and I salivate over the pretty covers just like everyone else does. I even feel that URGE to buy one (like you described), but I usually hold back.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I don't reread very often, but sometimes I'll pull an old favorite off the shelf and flip to my favorite parts. Sometimes I buy a copy just so I can lend it to people and spread the love.
    Me too! I love books and bookstores, but I just don't buy a lot of my books.


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