Sunday, August 19, 2007

Poll results are in - hooray for libraries!

Of course, as a librarian, I was hoping that libraries would win out in this poll. They did...and they didn't. Libraries got 5 votes for where people get their books, which was the highest number, with books stores (new) and online shops (new) coming at at 3 votes each. But, of course, when you add them together, that's 6 votes, which beats out libraries after all. There was one vote for online (used) and one for discount stores, so of the readers who participated in the poll, 8 buy most of their books, new or used, and 5 mainly use the library.

The reason I thought of this poll is that so many book bloggers seem to buy all their books. I used to buy many of my books, too, but after four cross-Atlantic moves and two cross-Pacific moves, plus a few others, I realized I had to stop the madness! I set some rules for myself: I can buy children's books for my own kids, books that are unavailable at my library, and used books (usually from my library's book sale). Still, they accumulate at an alarming rate!

I'd be curious to know why people choose not to use the library for most of their reading. Do they not like having a due date deadline? Do they like to write in their books, or just enjoy that lovely feeling of ownership? Does their library not offer the selection they would like to have? Just curious.

Thanks for participating in the poll. I'll put a new one up soon!

6 comments:

  1. I have to admit to not using the library all that often *ducks* lol! I absolutely love the library though and I often go in there just to walk around and be surrounded by books and peruse the shelves.

    My thing is that I attach to my books. Reading is my biggest passion and I love to own my books and create my own library. I love to sit back and be able to look at my collection on the bookshelf and to pick out an old friend to cuddle up to on a rainy day. I'm very strange that way, but I just have to own each book I read. I can't give them back when I'm done!! lol...

    But I do absolutely love and respect libraries and think that librarians have to be some of THE coolest people in the world ;)

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  2. Great to have you back by the way! Missed you!

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  3. I like owning books too, but I also don't mind using the library - especially if it's to read a book by an author I'm not familiar with. After all, I can't be sure if I'll like it enough to want to own it.

    I do use the library, but the reason why I end up buying most of my books is the fact that the majority of what I want to read is not available at the library. My town's public library is a disgrace, so the one I use is the university's library. They have a nice selection of books, but only of academically "respectable" books - so no fantasy, science fiction, mystery, graphic novels or YA books.

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  4. Thanks, Chris! I missed you, too - and everyone else. It's good to be back!

    I completely understand that proprietary feeling of having your own personal library. (Maybe that's why I became a librarian - I can have a proprietary feeling about something REALLY impressive - mwa-ha-ha!)

    And Nymeth - yes, I understand. When I lived in Italy it was so hard not having that lovely public library I grew up with. That's when I started forking out huge sums of money for books, especially books in English (even though I speak Italian it's harder to completely lose myself in an Italian book). The bright side was that I read books I never would have otherwise, out of sheer desperation (Catch 22 is one of them - it's an amazing book, and I'm so glad I read it, but I doubt I would have gotten to it otherwise). That's too bad your public library is letting you down. I wish I could be a librarian superhero, flying around the world to make all libraries live up to their potential. Sheesh - I am SUCH a total geek! :-)

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  5. Welcome back, Darla! First of all, you already ARE a librarian superhero. :) Second, I understand why people want to own books. I certainly own a lot myself. But I realized several years ago that - as you pointed out - they take up a lot of space, are HEAVY to move, and (most importantly for me) most of them just kind of sat there after I bought them, never getting read again. There are just too darn many things to read, and I can rarely justify re-reading a book when I can spend the time on something new. Of course there are exceptions - like some of my favorite YA and children's books (The Incredible Journey, The Pigman, Martha Speaks) and plenty of non-fiction (like my sci-fi TV reference books) that I refer to again and again. But the library is now my book source of choice - and my house is much less cluttered!

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  6. I know what you mean, Devinoni - my book collection is slowly being overtaken by children's books (I had a ton before I had kids, but now it's getting ridiculous - especially with the 50-cent library sale books!), and that's fine. I do find that I'm much more likely to read library books than books I buy because they have that due date deadline!

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