Reading – Caring for & Collecting Books
Do you buy your books or borrow them from the library?
I buy my books. I used to borrow books from the public library, but I’d just end up buying the book after reading it anyway. I never pay publisher’s price for a book. I buy from Amazon, used bookstores, and thrift stores.
How many books do you own?
I currently own around 750 books.
Where do you put them all?
I have a little study (small spare bedroom) where I’ve lined the walls with as many shelves as I can. They were a housewarming present to myself when we moved into our new house.
Do you ever re-read your books?
The number two question I’m ever asked when people see my books (the first is “have you read all of these books?”). I haven’t done much re-reading in the past because I’d always rather read something new, but there are many books I’d like to re-read, so I plan to start putting some of those favorites into the rotation.
Do you ever get rid of books?
Yes. Periodically, my bookshelves get too full, so in order to add new books, I have to get rid of old books. I only get rid of books I know I’ll never read or books I’ve read and really didn’t enjoy.
Do you write in your books?
Only to circle errors. An inveterate editor, I can’t help but mark an error when I see one. Most books these days have at least one, by the way. It makes me very sad.
Do you lend your books to friends?
There’s nothing I want more than to share a good book with a friend, but I’m more apt to share the title with a friend than the actual book. I’m fastidious about the condition of my books, so I tend not to lend them. It saves me heartache.
Hardcover or paperback?
I prefer hardcover to paperback. I like the way the dust jacketed spines look all lined up—the soft curve to it. I also prefer to hold a hardcover book. Reading is serious business to me, and the hardcover is more serious.
I had a friend once who preferred paperback. She liked how they lined up more squarely on the shelves. To each their own.
Do you ever judge a book by its cover?
Absolutely. I’m a visual person. Aesthetics matter. Sometimes I buy a paperback because I refer the cover to its hardback edition (why do they have different covers anyway?).
How do you feel about e-books and e-readers?
I hope they never completely take over the book industry. They’re convenient, I’m sure (I’ve never used one), and they save a lot of space (no bookcases) and money, but they do away with the romance of holding a book in your hands and reading. They distance you in some profound and important way. They are just not the same, and I don’t plan to start using e-readers to do my reading.