Books borrowed, then bought
I look at my crowded bookshelves and get resolute about absolutely not buying any more books. I tell myself, that if I want to read something new, I’ll borrow it from the library. Thus, using community resources, saving money, saving shelf space. Reading more experimentally and trying new authors! “Yes,” I tell myself, nodding sagely. “This is a very good plan!”
Sometimes, it backfires slightly.
Some of my favorite book purchases in recent memory came into my life as library books. And then I enjoyed reading them so much that I knew I needed them to be on my shelves. So I could read them over and over again, and share them with friends.
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. Reading about Sierra and her friends and their adventures in a magic-infused Brooklyn was so wonderful that I read this book everywhere: home, subway, even under my desk at work. Couldn’t put it down! I basically wanted to dive in and re-read it the instant I finished it. And I really, really didn’t want to return it to the library. So I bought it, and I didn’t even wait for paperback.
Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death and the rest of the Sidney Chambers series by James Runcie. Sidney Chambers didn’t start as a library obsession. Correspondence with a nice book publicist put my new favorite vicar/sleuth on my radar, and off I went to the library to start the series at the beginning… only to decide that I needed to own paper copies, because they’re much cozier for reading (and re-reading.) Thanks, Mom and Dad, for indulging me in my excellent birthday present!
Same deal with Just One Damned Thing After Another and the rest of the St. Mary’s time travel series by Jodi Taylor. The first book got on my radar on the Edelweiss e-galley review site. I devoured it, grabbed the next one from the library, and decided I wanted the rest of the series so urgently, I chucked my no-buying-books resolution.
I was pretty sure I was going to wind up buying Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World, by Ann Jamison, even before I checked the e-book out. Yep. And again, I chose paper over e-book for this, for ease of making it bristle with Post-it tabs and annotations as I read. Definitely need to think about delving into media studies.
The latest book that found its way from borrowing to bookshelf is, to I’m sure nobody’s vast surprise, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.
The Ms. Marvel comics and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl first entered my life from the library. Owning my own copies of each bound collection is pretty much inevitable, and possibly multiple copies, to make sure that all the young readers in my orbit know their awesomeness.
The only thing that’s stopped me from purchasing The View From the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman is the fact that I can’t decide whether I want it as a print book or an audiobook, and buying both at once feels a touch extravagant at the moment. I’ll keep renewing one or both while I decide.