Saturday, January 02, 2010

To Borrow or Not to Borrow

How's the New Year going, folks?
Mine is excellent.
Been reading an absolutely terrific book called The Falls, by Joyce Carol Oates.
I borrowed it from the Library.
The last four or five books I have read... all from the Library.
I love the Library.
I know that must sound crazy -- for a guy that LIVES in Bookstores, but seriously -- I am just amazed at the incredible efficiency and service of the Public Libraries in my city [Ottawa, Ontario. Capital city of Canada for those who may not know.]
This city of approximately a million residents [counting les folks across le bridge] has 33 branches and 2 Bookmobiles. Ottawa's Library system is the largest bilingual [English-French] library system in all of North America.
Thing is -- the online service is just incredible.
I search a book and with two clicks [especially with their new updated system] BOOM.... the book I want is not only reserved for me, but also DELIVERED to the branch of my choosing.
Please -- [all authors and booksellers out there, this is the part where you should put your hands over your ears and eyes] -- but like, WHY WOULD I BUY A BOOK IF I CAN GET IT LIKE THIS?
Unless I have a real hankering to OWN the book for some reason.
What are your feelings, regarding borrowing vs. owning?
What percentage of books that you read are books that you OWN?

For me -- the percentage seems to be ever DECREASING!
[Which is great -- since I am sort of running out of shelf-space in here......]



Sam Sattler said...

The library is my friend, Cip. I love to be able to order books online and pick them up at my local branch when they come available. I make a run to the library every Sunday afternoon to pick up new DVDs or books I've ordered up.

And, now with my new Sony Reader I can download ebooks directly from my library without even having to leave home. I read two bestsellers that way in December, in fact. How cool is that?

I still buy books - but only the ones I know I want to add to my permanent collection.

cipriano said...

Excellent. Thank you for answering my query.
I recently watched a program where the Techi-Guy was saying that the Sony Reader was superior to the Kindle, for just the reasons you are mentioning, here.
The best to you, Sam!
-- Cip

Jules said...

The library is also my friend, well said Sam. I'm a big user of my library, although since I moved from Toronto (which has 99 branches) to London (which has 16 branches), I don't get the use out if it I once did. Selection has gone down a lot. I really miss the TPL, because they had such a wide selection of books at my finger tips, even some of the lesser known titles.

I'm also a big supporter of libraries, because I'm a Library Technican (who has sadly yet to find a library to call home), so they're important to me.

But even with my big love of libraries, I like to buy books from used book stores. I use the library to get those recconmmend reads from book bloggers, fill in gaps for challenges, or experiment on books I'm not sure of, then if I like it enough I'll buy it. My goal is to build my own personal library. So far, so good (296 books so far!).

Stefanie said...

I'm studying to be a librarian because I hate libraries and want to bring down the system from the inside! Just kidding. Since I began working at a library in early 2009 I find I borrow more books than ever before. The library is fast becoming my personal book warehouse. Unless there is a book that is not at the library or very hard to get from the library or that I want to own for various reasons, whenever I am out book browsing of late I think, I don't need to buy that, I can get it from the library whenever I want.

Dorothy W. said...

I'm one of those who likes to own books. I borrow from the library occasionally, but mostly I choose books off my shelves. Sometimes it's because I want to write in them or I think I might want to reread it. Other times, it's just because I like owning books!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the library in my neck of the woods isn't exactly terrific so I don't have that option unless I drive into Ottawa and use someone else's address. I realy like owning certain books but of late I find I've been purging books I once thought I'd own for ever so I guess the library option is worth looking into... the city one, not here.

Isabella said...

Happy New Year, Cip!

I do use the library, mostly as a place to hang out with the kid, but also for borrowing DVDs and only occasionally books. Sadly, the English-language selection here is not so vast, and my French reading ability is decidedly poor. I intend to try to use it more, however, because I simply don't have the room to own any more books.

Melwyk said...

I am definitely a library user. As you probably know ;) Of course, working at a public library means I add new books to the must-read list nearly every week. In any case, now that I have really no more room on any of my fifteen bookshelves I have to rely on the library.

Jeane said...

I love libraries. Although I also have an irresistable urge to own and cherish forever all the books I love. Or hoard, I guess you could say! So if there's something new I want to read, I take it out of the library first, and then if I love it, hunt down a copy to keep for my very, very own.

cipriano said...

Quite a mixture here..... a tincture. No wait....... wrong word altogether -- let's go back to MIXTURE...... of Library users and non-users [for various reasons].
I find the Library of invaluable use.
I wish I WORKED in one.
Stefanie, can you pull some strings for me?
Or, better yet, Melwyk? COME ON. You've got.......... seniority!
Please get me out of the dusty [bookless] warehouse that I spend all my good hours at?