I mean, they’re the worst.
PSYCH! I love books! Paperbacks, digital, audio; whatever. I want to read them, I want to learn from them, I want to rub my face in them. Wait, what? Weird.
But yeah, I did make myself a promise to not buy a single tome in 2015, a decision that stems from two key elements of my personality: I’m cheap and I hate clutter. (Did you…I’m sorry, did you not realize that after 9,000 blog posts to that end?)
While I try to read at least 50 books a year (It’s like my very own Book It throwback challenge! Perhaps when I hit the big 5-0 this year I should treat myself to a Personal Pan Pizza. So. Much. Dough.), most of them are not volumes I‘m going to read a second time. They’re largely books about, like, murderous milliners and/or members of the Nixon administration. (What can I say, I have great taste.) But anyway, I do 99% of my reading for pleasure, and thus the books I dig into are not ones that need to stay on my shelf in perpetuity.
In short, buying books is not a wise use of my limited funds—or a good use of space in my 900-square-foot house, which is already full of hundreds of the previously acquired little guys. So, no mo’.
Today, I get most of my books from the library, aka the greatest place on earth. (True Story: I once heard someone say: “I wish there was a Netflix for books,” and her companion responded, “Um, it’s called the library?” #fact.) Those I don’t pick up from the stacks I typically bum off of friends or colleagues, and now and then a Mama or a George buys me a special book of my very own (for which I obviously make a space exception). I have yet to stumble upon a title I’ve wanted to read this year that I haven’t been able to acquire in one of these ways.
And so, onward. I’m 6 months into my, little personal challenge, and while I’ve had moments of weakness I haven’t caved yet. I still heart books, I’m still reading as much as I always have, and I can still support authors by going to readings, by blogging about what book I’m currently into, and by recommending faves to friends. The bonus is I don’t need to drop $10 - $30 bucks every time I want to pick up my next volume.
Speaking of, I’ve got a pre-pub of the upcoming Sarah Vowell staring at me from the coffee table and, well, it’s not gonna read itself now is it? Bbye!