Do you buy books or check them out at the library?

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Posted 12/28/2012 by ladybug4233 in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 248,678
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:19:50 AM
I am getting back into reading and love it again. I even joined a book club. I find books that I am interested in and look them up at the library but they are also checked out and on hold. So by the time I get them I have moved on. So I want to buy them but feel guilty since I use them once. Sometimes my husband reads them but usually not. What do you guys do?




PeaNut 229,470
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:23:12 AM
Library all the way! I couldn't afford to buy all the books I want to read, so I go to the library once a week and load up.


PeaNut 439,705
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:25:26 AM
I rarely buy a book. I go to the library often and will request books that are on hold. Our library typically has multiple copies of popular books so I rarely have to wait more than 1-2 weeks.

I would have to have a serious spending budget for books given how much I typically read, and when there is a free option, I'd rather save that money for something else.

I keep my wish list on the Goodreads app with about 50 books on the list, so there's typically always something I can find at the library.


PeaNut 155,670
July 2004
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:26:39 AM
Buy them. If I enjoy a book, I like to keep it and will re-read it, often several times. We have a good used book store here. Our library has a great used book sale as a fund raiser where hardcovers are $1.00 and paperbacks are $.50.

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PeaNut 18,741
July 2001
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:27:34 AM
I'm probably a 85/15 person at this point. I download 85% of my books from the library and buy the other 15%. I have recently begun getting some books in "real" form vs. digital because I can get them faster that way but I try to limit that because I'm terrible about returning books on time. Using an ereader has saved me a lot of money in library fines!


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PeaNut 75,215
March 2003
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:27:43 AM
I love to read. I don't buy very many books, because my house would be overrun very quickly.

I mostly use the library. I order a stack of books off their website, and usually it's just a short wait (if any). There may be a list of 10 people waiting for a book, but there may be 8 copies of it floating around. Things usually come up quickly.

I keep my library's website open while I'm reading Batya's weekly thread. I keep sticking books into my wishlist. The readers on Batya's list tend to be ahead of the curve of my small town, so I can often get them right away.

I also use their ebook subscription called Overdrive.

I'm still annoyed at ebook prices -- when I first got my ereader, the books were much cheaper than paper books. Now, they're so expensive.

ETA: our library doesn't have fines, so I don't worry too much about having to read something immediately.

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PeaNut 43,061
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:28:58 AM
To me, it's not an either or proposition, it's both all the way! I read a lot and if I want the book, money is no consequence. I have to have a ton of books around me at all times (it's very comforting to know that I always have books waiting for me to to read) so I buy the books I like from the store. Then I get specific research from the library since I don't usually want to keep those around. The sucky thing about getting books at the library is that unless you "lose" them they have to go back after three weeks. And that's just not fun.


PeaNut 320,498
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:29:16 AM
I read A LOT and can't afford to buy all of those books! I don't tend to read most books twice, so it really isn't feasible for me to buy many books. Probably 90% of the books I read come from the library. I use my library's online book reservation option to put books on hold. I usually don't have to wait very long for most of them to become available.

I do have a good friend who has no patience for the library, so she buys most of her books. She then gives them to me. That works out well also.


PeaNut 143,578
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:32:01 AM
I always use the library, I have never re-read a book so it doesn't make sense for me to buy them. I can order the physical books or there are many electronic books that I can order for my Kindle. Also, Amazon has a lot of free electronic books.

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PeaNut 14,286
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:32:37 AM
I buy them & love it to be my book in my hands. But, I don't read 100's of books a year, so I understand the need to check them out instead of spending that kind of money.

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PeaNut 41,743
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:35:32 AM
I check them out at the library. I tend to read rather quickly, so I can go through books like nobody's business. That could get expensive rather quickly.

And, I loathe clutter. All those books laying around my house, taking up space, would give me a twitch. No matter how much I loved them!

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PeaNut 494,958
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:38:27 AM
Both and I download a lot of free books on to my Kindle. Our library has a great little section where people donate books and you can just take them, people are very generous with what they leave there and I've had some almost brand new books for free

I would go out tonight but I haven't got a stitch to wear.


PeaNut 288,074
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:39:14 AM
I do both. If there is no wait or a reasonable wait at the library, I get them there. However, if it is something I really want to read and there is a long wait, I will buy it and then give it to someone else when I am done.

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PeaNut 471,001
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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:54:22 AM
I read A LOT - 2 or 3 books a week, sometimes more.

There's just no way I could afford to buy that many books. And I tend to only read them once, so I would be a colossal waste of money.

I often go to Barnes and Noble and browse books and find titles that I want to read. Then, while in the store I look them up on my library's online catalogue, place holds on them, and then I can go through the drive thru at the library to pick them up

I also don't buy DVDs - we get those from the library as well.

I don't mind spending money on children's books that my kids will read over and over. I will buy my favorite books.

If I can't get a book at the library, I check Half Price Books. If I can't get it there, either, I might break down and order it on amazon.


PeaNut 508,279
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Posted: 12/28/2012 9:06:53 AM
I generally buy only my favourites that I know I will reread over again many times. I visit the library a lot, but after finding a little bug in a library book last night I might not be. I have no idea what it was and it is likely not a bedbug because it was the only one I've seen in the week since we got the books but I'm freaking out a bit.

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PeaNut 142,890
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Posted: 12/28/2012 9:10:09 AM
I tend to buy all my books. Getting books back on time is something I am not good at. So I figured it was cheaper in the long run to just buy them outright, rather than pay fines. Also, I don't like feeling having a deadline hanging over my head with a book. I prefer to take my time with reading. By purchasing the book, I can do that.

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PeaNut 273,602
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Posted: 12/28/2012 9:12:56 AM

I read most books only once, so in my opinion, buying them would be a colossal waste of money that I'd rather spend on other things (like art supplies, lol). I have a goodreads account, and save book titles I want to read there... then, I see if it's available at the library- if not, I'll put a request in and they notify me when it's available to be picked up.

Granted, I don't read a lot of 'newly published' titles, so this system works for me, since the books I look for aren't the most popular ones. I also read a lot of books in a series (example: mysteries) so keeping track of book titles and authors helps me remember what titles I've already read, or which authors sound interesting to me.

maybe Goodreads would help you out, too: Goodreads website main page

(eta: my library's checkout period is 3 weeks with up to 4 renewals-- unless someone has a request out for it-- so that's helpful; I usually have plenty of time to finish a book.)

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PeaNut 138,098
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Posted: 12/28/2012 9:15:59 AM
We check out from the library. I only buy books at our library's used book sale or from second hand stores.

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PeaNut 15,878
May 2001
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Posted: 12/28/2012 9:36:04 AM
Sometimes I check books out of the library. Sometimes I buy them on Amazon. I check out the 1 cent books with $3.99 shipping. I then sell them back to Amazon for a credit. Sometimes I'll just trade it for another book with someone I know.

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PeaNut 87,591
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:01:57 AM
The library! I read two or three books a week, so I could never afford it otherwise.

I try to be good about returning them, but I usually have $5 - $10 a month in fines. I pay them cheerfully, knowing they use the money for more books!

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PeaNut 148,015
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:03:58 AM

I'm not even sure where the nearest library is nor would I have the time to go there and check one out. Knowing myself, I would then forget to return it. I don't read quickly, so spending $20-30/month on books isn't hard on me. Now if I had time to read more and went through books quickly, the library might be an option.

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PeaNut 156,993
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:08:00 AM
I buy them. I read on my iPad and really don't know how to use the e-books from our library.

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PeaNut 288,003
December 2006
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:13:24 AM
I use my library's overdrive system to search for and reserve ebooks. If the wait is too long (sometimes 40+ people waiting) I will just buy it. I love to read and would rather spend my money on books than a latte at Starbuck's.

I check out lots of cookbooks at the library. It's hard to read those on my reader.

I also make my wish list from the weekly thread. Thanks Batya!



PeaNut 166,561
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:17:57 AM

I average three books a week. And many of the books I purchase are reference books, or books specific to my job.

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PeaNut 471,633
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:25:08 AM
I was unemployed for a long while and the library was a wonderful resource. I am in a book club so the only problem was the waiting list for a popular book. I did get it most times but then would have to read it quickly to be done in time.

When i got back to work i treated myself to an ipad and use the kindle ap so i download most of my books now.

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PeaNut 52,585
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:27:57 AM
Both. Favorite authors I know I will re read I buy. Books I know dh will read (and maybe oldest ds as well) we buy. Books we think all 3 boys will enjoy we buy.

I borrow alot of e-books from the library. I've also been buying more & more books for my new Kobo. I love being able to read e-books because I have a train commute and hauling a book around along with my lunch, snacks, sometimes shoes, sometimes laptop, etc. is just one more thing to carry.

My boys like to visit the library, but we can't always fit in as many visits as they'd like, so we got the older 2 Kobos for Christmas this year. They haven't signed anything out of the library yet, but I'm sure they will soon, and then we don't have to worry about late fees!


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PeaNut 28,233
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:41:03 AM
I do both, but mostly library as I can read a book or two a week. I will buy books by my favorite authors that I know I will re-read or ones I can't wait for (long hold at the library) or the library just doesn't have.

The ones I buy that I won't re-read I put up on PBS (Paperback Swap) that way I can get more books!


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PeaNut 178,445
November 2004
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:44:32 AM
I haven't bought a book in probably 30 years. The
library is less than a mile from our house and has
just about every book we could ever want to read
and thousands of the latest DVD's. It's so easy
to put holds, renew, etc. online. We always have
about 6 or 7 books in our book basket in the family


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PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:48:54 AM
I buy them (kindle).

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PeaNut 74,765
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:51:17 AM
I do both too but mostly I buy. Our library system only has 14 day check-out and I'm usually too busy to finish a book in two weeks. I'm not one of those people who can sit and read for hours at a time because I have so many other responsibilities that I need to take care of. My go to place to find a book that I want to read is Paperback Swap. I have more than 100 credits so I can usually find what I'm looking for there. If I can't find it on PBS then I'll look at the libraries and only if I can't find it at a library, then I will buy it. I rarely buy books full price. Most of the books I have downloaded into my Nook, I've gotten for free or at a discount.

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PeaNut 472,024
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:53:00 AM
our library does not have many of the books I wish to read...they are really not that good for books...focused on too much other stuff.

Restless Spirit
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PeaNut 218,419
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:02:51 AM
Reference books I buy. There's nothing like a hard copy for reference books, IMO.

Cookbooks I *was* mostly buying, but since I bought a Pandigital Scanner, I've been checking out hard copies from my branch library and scanning the one or two recipes I'd like to try from a cookbook. If the cookbook is full of recipes I like, then I buy a hard copy. I prefer hard copy recipe books to digital copies. Just my preference.

Other books? If it is available in digital format from the library, I'll reserve a digital copy and wait for it to become available. If only hard copies are available, I'll reserve a copy. My library sends me an email and will send the book to my library branch (it's only 10 minutes away) and I have 7 days to pick it up.

I love to read! My local library is pretty darn good considering this is not a really large city.


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PeaNut 526,154
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:05:28 AM
I am a librarian, I use the library extensively!

I don't have a problem waiting to read a book I want. Usually it's not too long a wait.

I do buy books but the thing about buying is.. I read the book, it's great for a day or two, then I am done. Now I have the darn book, and I usually don't need it.

If I order a book off Amazon I will have to wait for it to arrive anyway.


PeaNut 33,625
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:06:03 AM
I buy them and spend less than $5.00 a month on books. I have very little reading time so I don't check them out at the library.

We have a book cart in our department at work and paperbacks are 50 cents each. There are 3 or 4 of us that like to read the same type of book, so when we are done reading a book, we put it back on the cart and re-sell it. The $$ from our book cart goes to buy school supplies for YWCA so that is where I prefer to get my books.

When we are low or need new books I will buy used books from Amazon.

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PeaNut 526,154
October 2011
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:29:36 AM
Loving to read all the ways in which people are using technology to take advantages of all the service the library has to offer. Libraries work really hard at this, and are so happy when people use the services they offer.

Edgy Coolness

PeaNut 365,853
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:30:38 AM
Both. I also use a free e-book website that I got from another thread for books that I might want to read but can't get at the library and the price for the e-book is too high.

I would like a Kindle but I was disappointed that I had to pay extra to keep from getting "marketing ads" on it and that I can't "borrow" books even though I'm a prime member with the d/l for my netbook.

Like someone else said, I buy reference books because I like having a "hard copy" available and I also like to pick up old textbooks in my career field.


PeaNut 506,197
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:43:23 AM
Mostly library. There's no way I could afford to buy all the books that I read. I try to save purchases for things like reference books, or favorites or classics that I will re-read many times.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 452,048
January 2010
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:44:53 AM
I do both. A lot of times I'll search through the bargain books at Barnes & Noble and end up buying one. It does make more sense to go to the library though, so we don't have stacks of books cluttering up the house.



PeaNut 397,756
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:51:45 AM
I'm just getting back into reading as well. I can't believe how I let life get in the way of my reading. I love it. I actually buy books more than I borrow from the library.. I don't have anything against borrowing them, but for me there is something about actually owning it. Weird I know. But I'm also the type of person who will reread a book more than once. If I don't like it, I'll give it away. Most of the books I buy though are from thrift stores or on sale.

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PeaNut 204,709
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:52:05 AM
I love my library! They have great online services. I can keep track of what books I have read and what books I want to read. I place holds for a lot of books and DVDs. I have a Nook that I use too. I rarely buy books anymore.


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PeaNut 50,177
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Posted: 12/28/2012 11:55:46 AM
Both. Our library has been closed for a month as it moves to its new location so I stocked up to devour 'me' books until 10:00 on January 2nd when it reopens. I also set up a book exchange cart in the staff lounge at work.


PeaNut 267,237
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:04:47 PM
I am a member of a book club and an avid reader, but I won't read a book more than once so I get them at the library.
It is not a matter of affordability but a way of preventing clutter and pushing myself to read the book within a certain period. I found that I read the books that I lend from the library while the ones that I bought are put aside until "I have the time" and they are never read.

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PeaNut 109,127
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:05:25 PM
Both + paperbackswap

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PeaNut 10,462
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:12:56 PM
I used to borrow all from library, then I got a kindle. Now kindle books are soooo expensive that I only buy the bargin books. I borrow ebooks from the library now, usually putting them on hold and waiting patiently. I also borrow DVRs....on my way to library now to pick up the last disc from the Downton Abbey series.

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PeaNut 408,684
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:16:00 PM
I typically buy them (either hard copies or download to my nook). I also get some from my mom who buys a lot more than I do. I have a ton of books that I bought a long time ago and haven't read, so I haven't bought much lately.

I tried to download from our local library, but even older books that I'm interested in seem to have a really long waiting list. (For example - The Happiness Project was released 3 years ago, yet it still has 74 people on the waiting list to download it). I don't have that kind of patience!


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PeaNut 408,684
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:16:02 PM
I typically buy them (either hard copies or download to my nook). I also get some from my mom who buys a lot more than I do. I have a ton of books that I bought a long time ago and haven't read, so I haven't bought much lately.

I tried to download from our local library, but even older books that I'm interested in seem to have a really long waiting list. (For example - The Happiness Project was released 3 years ago, yet it still has 74 people on the waiting list to download it). I don't have that kind of patience!


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PeaNut 25,620
December 2001
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:19:25 PM
I love my books and used to buy them all. Now, like everything else, they have gotten way too expensive for as much as I read. That, and I have books all over the house and no more room to put more. Now what I can't find on the free e-book sites for my Kindle I get from the library. We have a great library and I haven't had any problem getting what I want.

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PeaNut 75,848
March 2003
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:28:37 PM
I do buy books for my Kindle app on my iPad. I try to remember to check to see if my library has it first, though. I just got some Amazon gift cards for Christmas and have bought six or 8 books on sale since then! I don't re-read many books, though.


PeaNut 364,338
February 2008
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:31:04 PM
I mostly use the library.
I do buy some cheap Kindle books- $3.99 and under. I love the Kindle "Daily Deal" and pick some of those up when they look good. Today I got Stephen King's "Under the Dome" for $1.99.

Link to Kindle Daily Deal page

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PeaNut 163,613
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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:31:18 PM
We buy a lot of books. We have a book budget.
We also check loads of them
Out from the library. We read too much to be able to own all the books we read and we don't have enough books shelf space to store them.
If we find something we love at the library and know its something well read again we buy it. Only in hardcover. I don't ever buy paperback.

When we go to the library we check out at least a dozen books at a time (each) then turn them in within two weeks and do it again

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