To Buy or to Borrow?

Readers, as a book nerd, one of the hardest questions in life is whether to own a book or to borrow it from the library.  I figure it’s time we settle this once and for all.  Here’s an explanation of the pros and cons for each:


I’ve always preferred to buy my books rather than borrow them.  If you buy, you can expand your personal library and thus impress your book nerd friends when they see the awesome might of your bookshelf.  In addition, if ever you feel the urge to re-read something (as I sometimes do), the book is right there for your convenience.  Owning books for yourself also helps if you need to research something in one of the novels or nonfiction volumes (hey, it’s happened!).

On the other side of the buying spectrum, books are a tad expensive, and there’s always the question of what to do when your shelf fills up.


Libraries, unlike stores, are inexpensive, and you can get as many books at once as you like.  Also, a good library will almost always have a great selection of old and new novels to look at.  If you have access to a library close to you, that would perhaps be your best option, as there is a plethora of knowledge for free at your fingertips.

The problem I have with libraries is that there are no good ones close to home.  The nearest decent one is a forty-minute drive away, if you don’t count my school library, which admittedly is pretty good.  In addition, you often have to wait for the book you want to be available, and new releases aren’t always on library shelves right away.

Well, that’s my bit for today.  This post is rather short again.  I’ll try to work on something longer for next time, but I guess we’ll see.

I’m still on Team Buying, even though I admit libraries have their uses.  I suppose it’s simply a matter of convenience, and a store happens to be more convenient for me.  Feel free to leave a comment telling me what side you’re on and why.  Happy New Year, everyone!  And, of course,

Happy reading.


10 thoughts on “To Buy or to Borrow?

  1. I prefer buying. I like to have my own personal copy of a book that I can hold whenever I feel like. However, in the summer when I have more time for reading, I often to go the library since I just breeze through books like candy.

  2. For me it really depends on the situation. If a new release comes out that I’ve been waiting for and I can’t wait for the library to get it or wait in line to borrow it, then I buy it. I use the library when I either don’t have money to buy or I don’t really know if I want to own the book I’m gonna read. I live just 3 blocks from our library so it’s pretty nice. So I’m for both, buying and borrowing. 🙂

  3. I’m to the point that I’d rather use the services of my library as there are few books I can’t acquire through them, and if I find something I really, really liked then I shall be more inclined to make a purchase for my own library.

    • That strikes me as a good system. I am the opposite of you, however, in that when I read a book in the library I never get around to purchasing it. I have at least three or four series that are missing the first book or the first few books because of this.

  4. Libraries are my cost effective strategy for taking risks with my reading. I borrow a book from the library. If I love it, then I buy it and add it to my collection. If not, at least I didn’t waste money on something I didn’t want to own. 🙂

    • Good point. I gave away a book a couple of months ago because I absolutely hated it. I suppose if I had borrowed it in the first place that wouldn’t have happened. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I only buy books I will use over and over again, like how-to books or reference books. I rarely read the same book more than once, so in most cases, my vote is with libraries.

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