From musty secondhand stacks to shiny shelves, electronic, advance, borrowed, or bartered–there’s no wrong way to get a book. (Well, of course there is… but we won’t speak of that now.)
K’s Book Acquisitions
I think I’m a pretty disciplined book buyer.
I make sure I buy only books I absolutely love and will read again in the future. I seldom buy books on a whim — and when I do I make sure it’s on sale. Having said this, I do occasionally get the irresistible impulse. Curses!
So where do I get my books? Quite a few places. Number one: the bookstore. I shop at Chapters (the Barnes and Noble of Canada). And mostly, I shop the online store. Attention Canadians, become an irewards member and shop online — it is so much cheaper. Plus, it’s always nice to come home to a package. This doesn’t mean I don’t visit the actual shop and browse because that’ll never happen.
Second-hand book stores. Love them. There are a lot of them in Toronto. My two favorites are BMV and Eliot’s Bookshop. I have no qualms owning books that have been owned before because I really quite like the “prettily worn” look books have — you know, the one that makes them look vintage, like something you’d find in a chest of awesome old things in the creepy but cool attic. Yeah. Luckily, some of the stores I frequent have many books in great condition.
Flea markets. Only once in a while but sometimes they’ll have these “prettily worn” books I just mentioned.
The good old library. My library card is one of the most important cards I carry in my wallet. I’m not even ashamed. I put books on hold like a boss.
My last two are recent but equally great sources of books: NetGalley and Wendy Darling. Since becoming a blogger, I’ve been able to access ARCs. Nowadays, most of what I read is for review and they almost all come from NetGalley. And then there’s Wendy, who sends me packages of beautiful things because she’s awesome. The last one came several weeks ago and I came home to three new books. The Perk of Being Wendy’s Friend.
I really like this topic, because I’m always interested in seeing where people get their books from. For me, the estimated breakdown is fairly consistent as shown above, with some variations when I’m going through library phases, traveling, or powering through impulsive Kindle purchases. (Man, that one-click button is both your friend and your enemy at 2 o’clock in the morning.)
I’m a little embarrassed to see that figure for ARCs, but I give away or pass onto other bloggers (and occasionally trade) a good amount of that–I think I keep maybe 10% of ARCs permanently. Aside from the ability to pass them on, I also prefer paper ARCs because it’s easier for me to take notes from them, which is why I use NetGalley and Edelweiss very rarely; they’re included in that small percentage of ebooks listed above.
I buy a TON of books, for myself, friends, family, etc, mostly of older titles or duplicates of books I want people to read. It’s ridiculous, and I live in fear of the day Mr. Darling throws up his hands and says, “It’s them or me!” I mean, it’d be so hard to choose between them.
As for where I buy books? I loooove secondhand bookstores to pick up books I haven’t read yet; I also always look if I’m in a thrift/vintage store or market. I get out of print and hard to find books (mostly vintage children’s) from Half.com, eBay, and Alibris. For overseas titles, I love The Book Depository and Amazon.uk, and of course, Fishpond for Aussie titles. I like buying stuff at independent bookstores to support them when I can, but it’s hard because they’re not too conveniently located, and often don’t have titles I want in stock. I occasionally shop at Barnes & Noble because I don’t want them to go away, but I admit to also buying a large quantity of new books from Amazon, usually ones I’ve already read through galleys or want to give away. Their prices are just too good, and with Prime (and my addiction), it’s just irresistible.
Like Wendy said, I tend to book-buy in phases. There were a few months in the beginning of the year when I would go to Barnes & Noble every single Tuesday and pick up two or three (or six) books.
And then my bank account staged an intervention so I had to stop.