To buy or not to buy that is the question.
Which is also to say: always buy.
I get asked a lot, why I buy books. Physical books. Hard covers, paper backs, physical copies. Why? Why don’t I simply rent from the library? Why don’t I buy ebooks? Why must I own a physical copy?
To be honest, this was absolutely wild to me for the longest time. Why wouldn’t you buy books? Then I discovered that many people buy books as a status symbol over actually to own the text. They don’t read the books. They have books for aesthetic. They use the books, and their personal library as if to say — see how rich I am?
That is not why I buy books.
To me, buying books is the way to read books. Because I reread books. Crazy, I know. I actually reread books. I reread ones I liked and sometimes those I didn’t like. Sometimes I fall in love with things I once hated, or hate things I once loved. Tastes change. People grow. I reread when I don’t remember a story anymore and want to remember and enjoy it again. I reread because I love the story and I want to add fire to that passion. I reread books because they deserve to be reread. (General statement, this is determined on a book to book basis, tbh)
I love books regardless.
My mother always bought books. She bought books because she reread books. And then she’d give me reading suggestions. So, while others were reading Harry Potter, I was reading Stephen King’s The Shinning and Agatha Christie’s mysteries. I didn’t read Harry Potter until right before Book 7 came out (i.e. 2007). I really didn’t read traditional Young Adult novels, because we didn’t have them at the house. What I read in school for elementary school we ended up buying for the home. I read books we owned, and could reread them when I wanted.
I bought books. To own the books. To reread the books. To cherish the books. To love the stories and the characters. To own the book.
I do buy ebooks, my mom does now too, but I do not prefer them. The first instance that I see that there is a physical edition, you can be sure I have it bought and it is being sent to me. In truth it has a lot less to do with supporting the author — or I wouldn’t buy as many used books as I do– and more to do with cherishing the story.
I do not get rid of books I dislike, for someone else may like them. Someone else (i.e. friend) who may want to borrow them, but can’t go to a library. I read all book series to completion or so I try at least, for I can’t leave a story unfinished. I then use that knowledge to give recommendations on what I feel like others would like next.
Essentially, I love books.
There is no, I love it, but I love it from afar. This is a: if I love it, I want it. I do not own books as a status symbol. This is not a personal statement on my wealth but perhaps one on my addiction. I am addicted to reading, and addicted to buying more books. In truth I probably have no business, financially, buying as many books as I do. I still do it. This is not a status symbol. It’s an addiction. Some people collect stamps. I collect books.
Why don’t I rent from a library? Because I want it. I want to own it. I need it.
Why don’t I read ebooks (often)? Because I want the physical book in my hands. I want to own it. I need it.
How many books do you own? Almost 700. On my own. My mom owns more than me, but I’m catching her.
Do you have a library? Since I am currently still living with my parents, yes. When I move out, it’ll only be when I have a house that I’ll transfer my books to me. Until then my books remain where I know they have the space, and a home.
I love my books. I love these stories. I always will, and I’ll always buy.