I’m a big advocate of borrowing books. Whether they are book books or ebooks, recycling and saving money is the name of the game. But sometimes, after I’ve begun reading a book and start highlighting and making notes and comments, I begin to realize that maybe it would have been better to buy it outright. And it’s so hard to know when to buy a printed copy of the book and when to buy an ebook. I have this dilemma with buying cds too.
I am guessing, but for some people, printed books aren’t even an option anymore. Who has the room to store all of those books? Am I right? But the thing is, I love holding a book. I like writing comments in the margins and underlying great phrases or sentences. And I am a visual learner. So often a passage that stays with me is one that I can visualize how it looks on the page, on the left or right side, x number of pages in. I can’t do that with ebooks and my only recourse is to take the time to highlight the passage.
Also, I have this little thing called an autograph book collection. I love meeting authors, going to book signings, and hearing authors read their works. I am lucky enough to have gone to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books for years, building up my collection that way. And while I have bought a few books that were already autographed, it feels like cheating! But knowing when I’m going to meet an author, if ever, makes it difficult to know if I should purchase the book, or continue my frugal habits of borrowing from the library.
So, how do you know when to borrow a book or to buy it? And when is it better to buy a printed copy or an ebook?
As a side note: let’s support our public libraries. Even if you don’t borrow books or read print editions anymore, surely the public good that libraries provide is worth the good will of a simple donation of time and/or money. And of course, if you DO buy book books, libraries have those awesome book sales where you can get books for fifty cents. Libraries are a beautiful thing.