Recently, however, I made the decision to buy a new book, and it's amazing how much I both thought about this idea and was insanely excited by it.
I'm an a book club, and we meet once a month. For our next meeting, due to extended vacations in August, we're not meeting until September, so we picked a slightly longer book--The Goldfinch.
This is a book I've been planning on reading anyway, but I also know that the library waitlist is huge. Also, this is a book that I kind of want to savor. I love Donna Tartt, and she writes a novel every 12 years, I feel like I shouldn't rush through reading it.
I used to buy tons of books. I was the girl with the overflowing shelves, stacks on the floor and piles on every available surface. When I was a kid, I would save up all my money for trips to the bookstore where I would maximize what I had in a way to get the most words. For instance, I always wanted to buy the beautiful Nancy Drew hardcovers, but at $3.99/each, that was too rich for my blood. I could get the new Babysitter's Club and the new Mary Downing Hahn book for the same amount of money. Then I would try to incorporate a classic, since the price point on those was a bit lower as well. Love of reading meets personal finance at a very young age.
Then, in college, I worked at Barnes & Noble. I read a lot of books for free while working, but I also purchased hundreds. I just spent wily-nily, on anything I thought sounded interesting or looked good on a shelf. I wasn't nearly as discerning, and my collection shows it. I wound up with so many books that I didn't (still haven't) read, and a happy pile of credit card debt to boot.
Now that I work in libraries, I have no need to buy books. After spending so much money on books I either didn't like or didn't read, it's too much of a risky proposition. Plus, who needs the clutter?
I will say though, when I finally made the decision to actually buy this book, I felt that old flutter of excitement. There is something truly magical about thinking through a purchase, deciding it's something you really want and then waiting a bit before actually getting it. At first, I was going to just order it from Amazon, but then I remembered that there's a great independent bookstore close to my house, and I always lament that as a non book buyer, I can't really help them stay afloat. Now I can!
The plan is: I shall walk down to the bookstore after work some evening and purchase my book. I shall read it at my own pace without the threat of a three week due date and a long library patron waitlist hanging over my head. Then I shall donate it to the library, because they need more copies and I don't need the clutter.