Here we go again with another tag post: this one I saw some time time ago on the blog of fellow book lover Bookforager, to whom go my thanks for the inspiration. Reading the questions I realized that they are directed more toward a reader of physical books rather than a convinced used of e-readers as I am, but still I found the way to answer them all the same.

Where do you buy your books?

Online, of course: there is much to be said for the instant gratification of seeing a book I’m interested in, going to my usual online store, buying and downloading my choice, all in a matter of minutes.   I have to admit I sometimes miss the sheer joy of browsing the aisles of the bookstores I used to frequent way back when, and finding something delightfully unexpected, but on the other hand these days I have a list of “wanted” titles that goes from here to Alpha Centauri, so I hardly need to add the unexpected to that oh-so-long queue… 😉

Do you ever pre-order books? If so, do you do this in store or online?

I don’t pre-order but prefer to create alerts on my computer warning me of the publication date of books I’m interested in, particularly when it’s a matter of series I’m following. And on that day I visit the e-store and come away with my prize(s).

On average, how many books do you buy a month?

I’m much better off not knowing! 😱 Jokes aside, between the books I own and the e-ARCs I get from NetGalley (or much more rarely from Edelweiss) I often find myself with more books than I can deal with. And NetGalley’s ARCs tend to take precedence because they have an expiry date, so I tend to read them first.

Do you use your local library? If so, how many books can/do you borrow at a time?

I have not visited my local library in very long time, not since I was a teenager (dinosaurs still roamed the Earth…), but I have very fond memories of the “treasures” I found there. Back then, however, I did not read so much speculative fiction as I do now and I wonder if today’s library offerings would be suited to my changed tastes – probably not, since, as I remember, the library was stocked mostly with mainstream books.  If memory serves me, I could borrow up to three books at a time, but sometimes I took a few more using my mom’s card as well as mine.

What is your opinion on library books?

As I said, I remember my trips to the library with great affection: I can still see those rows of books, most of them bound with fake-leather covers in deep green or blue or red and gold lettering, and how I used to go for the bigger tomes…

How do you feel about second-hand books?

If they are kept in good condition I have nothing against them, but I still prefer new books. And given my years-long relationship with e-books the question has now become somewhat redundant.

Do you keep your read and to-read piles together/on the same bookshelf?

What physical books I own from the past have all been read – with the exception of C. J. Cherryh’s Cyteen, but where my e-books are concerned I have a folder for the unread ones on my computer, regularly backed-up on a pen drive, where I also save the read ones, in a separate folder. And in both cases I have sub-folders divided by author. Neat, isn’t it? 😉

Do you plan to read all the books you own?

In a perfect world, yes. But… is this a perfect world? Inquiring minds want to know…

What do you do with books you own that you feel you’ll never read/felt you didn’t enjoy?

I keep them all the same: they don’t take much space on that pen drive anyway, and I might change my mind one of these days, who knows?

Have you ever been on a book-buying ban?

More times than I care to remember. It didn’t work, though, not for long…

Do you feel that you buy too many books?

Is water wet?

Is summer hot?

Is chocolate delicious?

Ok, you get the meaning… 😀

If you enjoyed this tag, take the plunge and let us know more about your books buying habits!!

29 thoughts on “BOOK BUYING HABITS TAG

  1. Heh, paper and e-books, I’ve been buying exclusively online for years, and it saved me tons of money – ok, it did not, it just allowed me to buy more within the same budget 😉 but there’s been a new wave of articles about traditional bookshops struggling in the pandemic, and I feel guilty…

    I don’t have much choice when I want a book in English, but for local titles I try to at least start my search on publisher’s webpage. The way pricing works in Poland, though, most publishers have books 25-33% more expensive than best online retailers. That’s too big a difference for me not to go for the cheaper option.

    Libraries unfortunately are poorly stocked here, so I only go there to give away books when I need to free up some shelf space 🙂

    Very interesting post! Made me recollect the days when I would actually browse the shelves of libraries, looking for inspiration… now I know what I want to read, but I get surprised less often.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have been buying far too many books lately, I blame lock down and having too much idle time, lol. I’m the opposite of you, I don’t ever buy digital books, and I only read NetGalley on my Kindle. But of course that means I’m running out of space!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Space, the Final Frontier… 😀 😀
      I’m not a huge reader, if compared to some of you fellow bloggers, but my annual rate of 50 to 60 books would require an extension to my apartment in a very short time, if I bought the physical copies and kept them all! 😉


  3. Compulsive readers like us in the book blogging community must absolutely take the expense into account, and apart from the ease of obtaining my reading material, ebooks are far less expensive than physical ones so, yes, money goes at warp speed, but more books crowd our virtual shelves, so I declare this a win 😉
    Small, traditional bookshops had become rare here in Italy even before the pandemic, particularly in the larger cities, so I’ve been lucky enough not to have to struggle with the kind of guilt you mentioned, but at least I try to sponsor them when I have to choose a gift for friends or family who have not gone the e-way yet…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The questions about libraries had me thinking back to how much I used to love going to the library with my family when younger. That was such a great experience and I’m so glad they always made time to take me there. I think it helped nourish my love of reading, as well as just being around them, as my family has always been full of readers. And I also miss the old non-chain bookstores, exploring the shevles, the smell of the books, all those fascinating subjects and titles. I still enjoy doing that with the few remaining used bookstores in the area. Despite my love of books and how I’m always reading something I still sometimes wonder if I’m more a collector (hoarder) than a reader. If I stopped buying now I’d likely never finish reading them all before I die, so why do I keep buying?!?!? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s an interesting question indeed: we are all compulsive hoarders and we tend to… bite more than we can chew, as the saying goes, but it’s a fact that we find books irresistible and the simple act of *owning* them – be they the physical items or the electronic version – fulfills that drive that compels us to add more and more books to our already unmanageable TBRs. Like you, I know that with what I have already stored I could go on for a long, long time, and yet I can’t avoid adding more to the heap. We are indeed doomed… 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I almost exclusively use libraries and NG, I very rarely buy books now, and when I do, they’re always the books I’ve already read and I know I will want to re-read – i.e. my favourites 😀
    But it took me a while to get to this point where I don’t care anymore about my lovely shelves 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Interesting how most of us seem to be compulsive buyers/hoarders too. This year I’ve made the resolution of not making my TBR grow. It works so far, and I think I’ll be able to keep the promise.

    I would love more library reads to solve the financial part of the equation, but while our libraries are really good, they mostly don’t stock English speculative fiction. Like Piotrek, a downside of living in a country that has another native tongue as English.

    I haven’t made the jump to eBooks, and I don’t think I will in the foreseeable future, I like my physical library too much. But maybe I should reconsider, as I only keep the books I give 4 or 5 stars, so I might be able to do it like Ola, and I still might save money (I should do the math, but as I also buy about half of my books in the second hand shop, I doubt the difference would be big.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It depends. I bought 89 ebooks in two months since I have my Kindle, for, on average, 1 euro each. But that’s mostly thanks to some Humble Bundles, and I’m unlikely to ever read more than a half of any bundle. Still, I have some alerts set up and I bought some books I had on my TBB, on the cheap.

      Polish Amazon started recently, and it’s easier to get new books in English, but not the old, used – and cheap – ones. With shipping cost way up from what they used to be a few years ago (for books I’d have to order from UK or US), I’m likely to recuperate the cost of buying my Kindle before the year ends.

      Where I live, we have one decent brick-and-mortar second hand bookshop specializing in English literature, but their selection of genre books is limited.

      It’s also harder for me to say goodbye to any book, so I really needed to start saving my shelf space.

      Still, it’s going to be a mix, I’m never giving up on paper books.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The difficulty of “saying goodbye” to books (even books we did not particularly enjoy) because space is at a premium is one of the reasons I’m so fond of ebooks: granted, if I want to revisit one, the process is not as swift as taking it down from its shelf, but on the other hand the day-to-day maintenance of my “hoard” has become a lot easier! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The problem with finding good (and recent!) SF/FY books in another language was one of the prime motivators that compelled me to learn English a few decades ago, and to move away from the library, once I exhausted all the possibilities it offered. I still buy physical books now and then when I want to truly feel the *ownership* of a book I particularly enjoyed, but I’m far too used to the easy access offered by e-books to turn back… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I love libraries and delving into second hand book shops looking for treasure – however, my new love affair with the kindle has put a stop to much of that. I do need a book buying ban – although why? Life is for living.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this tag! Yes… these days I am a HUGE fan of my Kindle and so is Himself. Apart from anything else, I love the variable font for when my eyes are tired! I can’t recall the last time I sat down with a print book. As for our buying habits – hm… sore point. We are both book addicts and while I read somewhere between 150-180 books a year, Himself easily reads three times that number. Though I bless my Netgalley account, which not only provides a steady stream of arcs of books I often can’t afford – but often pushes me out of my comfort zone, so I’ve found a host of wonderful authors I wouldn’t have otherwise read:)).

    As for my TBR pile. It’s huge, goes on growing and I won’t ever live long enough to get through it. So what? Other people have too many pairs of shoes…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And shoes only take you so far, while a good book can take you to next galaxy, and beyond! 😉
      I did not think to list the possibility of enlarging the font in e-readers as one of their most useful qualities, but it’s indeed been a life-saver, because even with reading glasses I have some trouble reading smaller print in books, while with e-books it’s only a matter of a few touches on the screen and… voilà! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you for the shout out Maddalena. So glad you did this tag! 😊 I am fascinated to learn who reads exclusively ebooks and who still reads print books, or a mixture of the two. I don’t think I could ever give up physical books, but who knows? As you say, space IS the final frontier, and there will come a day when I run out of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love how much of a pure e-reader you’ve grown to become over the years! I have definitely learned to appreciate it a lot more over the past months, especially when I realized how infinite the reading options became with my libraries having apps for borrowing e-books/e-comics! Great answers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like I said, I still sometimes miss my trips to the bookstores and the happy hours I spent browsing the aisles, but now it feels as if my choices have multiplied and… the sky’s the limit! And my TBR now looks at me with a worried scowl… 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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