Personal library

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Personal library

1perlle
Dec 27, 2007, 2:33pm

So here we are, old enough to have collected quite a few books and have some well-thought out opinions about what is worth our time.

So, do you have a philosophy of book ownership? Do you find that you collect only certain genres or authors to include in your library?

Personally, I tend to collect classics. These are books I have read or know I will want to read in the future. Staples, I guess.

But I also have short stories, poetry, and non-fiction in my library.

2twogerbils First Message
Dec 27, 2007, 4:09pm

In my twenties, I collected a lot of books. I bought them new, used, in the U.S., abroad, anywhere. I felt very scholarly and in-the-know.

Now in my thirties, I'm a librarian and I really see the beauty of borrowing books from libraries. I've given away or donated most of the books I used to have at home. Now I just keep some cookbooks and some reference-type books. The rest I borrow from libraries. And I find that I don't read any less than I used to.

3citygirl
Dec 27, 2007, 4:39pm

I no longer use the public library. I like to own my books and now I can afford to buy them. I have books in my library I suspect I'll never read cover to cover, but that I will dip into from time to time, especially the non-fiction. I take books for pleasure and for knowledge and for career and for how-to and some because I think that my library would be incomplete without, e.g. the basic set of "classics." I've gotten really good at choosing books that I know I will like or benefit from.

It is important to me to have their physical presence around me. I don't care if they're used or new, hardback or paperback. I just love the way they look.

4Jenson_AKA_DL
Edited: Dec 27, 2007, 4:53pm

After joining the online community of fellow book lovers both my personal library and my public library borrowing exploded enormously. I've gradually had to cut out my library borrowing because my husband is having hissy fits about the piles of books I've accumulated and I'm attempting to just read what I own. I am trying to post more books on Bookmooch to make room but I have a really hard time giving up books. I think the only solution may be to get yet another bookcase and try to be picker about what I buy (i.e. no more trips to the public library book sales where you can buy a bag of books for a buck!)

Although I have tried to stretch my reading into different genres, including classics, I've basically found that I'm happiest just reading what I already know I like, primarily romance and fantasy. I'd have to say that my personal library is mostly made up of those genres. Attempts to "broaden my horizons" just haven't worked out too well.

5Bookmarque
Dec 27, 2007, 4:55pm

I've found I've gone the opposite as I age (will have to abandon this group for the 40-somethings in 6 months) and that I don't feel compelled to have classics in my collection. I've read many and didn't like the majority of what I read. Life is too short for that kind of posturing and so I've just concentrated on what I like to read, regardless of whether or not anyone else will approve. Glad my fever of having a correct library passed.

6perlle
Dec 27, 2007, 6:16pm

#5 - I would that no one should collect any books (classics or otherwise) just because one thinks it is "correct." For myself, I collect a lot of classics because I am fascinated with them, and since starting the 1001 book list, I have more reason to own them--so that I can read them as I have time.

7Boudleaux
Edited: Dec 27, 2007, 11:40pm

I have a friend who (in her twenties) stocked her shelves with "the classics" because she wanted to appear smart and well-read. She never actually read them though. I shudder to think how people would see me if they took a look at my shelves. Though I'm not really sure that I care (is that something else that happens in your 30s?). I buy books because I want to read them. I am a bit of a collector on the music side of things and I admit that I like to have an artist's complete catalogue but that doesn't seem to have transferred to books yet. I am eyeing those Overlook Press editions of P.G. Wodehouse and I do find myself "collecting" series books such as the Inspector Rebus series.

I wish I could get back into the habit of going to the library instead of just buying a book that seems interesting. I love the library. My mother was a librarian and I have fond memories of helping her shelve books.

8fannyprice
Dec 28, 2007, 1:05pm

I have definitely pared down my book collection (although its still overwhelming to me...) and adopted a less possessive attitude towards books. I used to want to own everything and retain everything I had purchased, even if there was no chance I would re-read it or lend it or need it for any reason.

Then I realized that absolutely no one was going to come over and want to borrow Boethius (although my sweetie was very impressed that I actually owned and had read it - I, in turn, was impressed to meet another person who had heard of Boethius, so maybe there is some logic to holding onto these things...).

I have also become much more a fan of the library - I simply don't need to own every book that I want to read. And I have become much more comfortable loaning things out, even if I never get them back. There are certain art and other special books that I want to hold onto, but there is almost nothing that can't be replaced.

9Autodafe
Edited: Dec 28, 2007, 2:40pm

Most of the paperback novels I read get passed on to family and friends. If I become attached to a novel, I'll look for a second-hand hardcover copy for my library.

Unless a novel has had a significant emotional or intellectual impact on me, I don't even bother listing it in LT.

Otherwise, my LT collection consists of books I prize for their content as well as objets d'art. For example, I collect books about food and art not only because these subjects interest me, but also because the design and photography of these books are beautiful.

Other books I collect for content, as well as art objects, include works of world history (various periods) and Western philosophy. I'm also a sucker for a nice atlas, especially if it is based on a theme I take an interest in (eg. exploration, military history and revolutions).

10citygirl
Dec 28, 2007, 3:46pm

I'd like to add that there are a few reasons to have the basic classics around, besides impressing random visitors:

If they're around, one might actually read them. ;-)

The children will be surrounded by them, and have access to them. I want my (as yet imaginary) kids to have access to who-knows-what on a rainy afternoon. So much of my own reading was shaped by what was on my mother's bookshelves. I want them to live in a house filled with books on the things my husband and I are interested in and to be able to add their own. How sad is it when you go to someone's home and they hardly have any books?

11Bookmarque
Dec 28, 2007, 6:50pm

I agree that there are reasons for the classics, but as I'm the only reader in a household of two, I won't worry until the other half decides he cannot live another day without reading Crime and Punishment. Then he can go by his own copy; I hated it.
: D

12Boudleaux
Dec 29, 2007, 5:18pm

Yes, it only took me 38 years to actually take down and READ A Christmas Carol. It is one of the books that I stole (well, that sounds a bit harsh) from my parents' library when I moved out. Someday I'll read the Thomas Wolfe books that I took at the same time.

13homegirl
Dec 29, 2007, 6:16pm

"that I don't feel compelled to have classics in my collection. I've read many and didn't like the majority of what I read. Life is too short for that kind of posturing and so I've just concentrated on what I like to read, regardless of whether or not anyone else will approve."

I agree. I hate most classics. I've been forced to read them in college and that was enough for me. Classic british literature is even worse. I don't like shakespeare (I only liked taming of the shrew) or hemingway.

14shawnd
Dec 29, 2007, 6:47pm

I fall into the camp of the library borrower. I collected books in my teens and twenties. Never could afford it to the level of what I wanted or what folks here probably could (I have a friend with a whole bedroom of a 2 bedroom apartment filled solely (no bed) with boxes of books he hasn't cracked yet). But in my twenties I started giving them away. The only regret is that I gave an uncut edition (20 books) of Sir Richard F. Burton 1001 Nights away and will never be able to get that one back (I had to pay someone to find it in the first place). In any case, I purged through my twenties and now only have about 20 books that I own. The gradual purge was partly a life choice, partly from moving them around so much, but I suspect mostly that I never re-read any of them. I love being 98% library bound now--partly appeals to my Yankee frugality. However the irony is now my memory is so bad I have forgotten the hundreds of books I read and I can reread them now and they don't 'come back to me' as I read them...which means I can/need to go reread them (plus then I can add them to my catalog and write a decent review). Perhaps against the purpose of the site, what I list in my catalog are books I've read, not what I own today. Maybe when I get older and have some $ I'll have a single shelf of books that I like to look at the spines.

15cheri0627
Dec 30, 2007, 10:41pm

#3 - citygirl, when my husband and I were house hunting a couple of years ago, I insisted that the house must have a room which could be my Library Room. The house we wound up with has a room which I call the Library, and my husband calls the office. It houses his computer, and has floor to ceiling bookcases on 2 walls.

16Bookmarque
Dec 31, 2007, 10:12am

Sigh...I need an addition put on my house. 3 rooms - library, gym and wine cellar. A girl can dream.

17citygirl
Dec 31, 2007, 11:16am

Exactly, cheri. I am in the beginning stages of building what I dream to be a vast family library.

18cheri0627
Dec 31, 2007, 11:38am

Bookmarque, I've started on the wine cellar, too, in the basement. It's not that expansive yet, but some day it might be. (That is if I don't drink all the wine first!) It's mostly local wines (I'm in MI, and we've got some great wines.)

Few things are better than curling up with a good book and a good glass of wine.

19Bookmarque
Dec 31, 2007, 12:47pm

Agreed, today is a day for Cabernet Franc. Our collection is largely on two shelving units crammed in the basement and one small wine fridge here in the living room (also crammed in a corner). It's mostly mid-coast Californian wines of many varietals. About 250 bottles all told. Someday I would like an actual room for them though, one that is more tightly controlled and comfortable. Sigh...as I said, a girl can dream.

20paigedoliver
Dec 31, 2007, 1:46pm

There's probably some psychological insight to be offered here, but I like owning the books I read. Like having a picture of childhood friends or making a quilt out of old clothing...there's something comforting and additive to having all those spines poking out into my home.

21DanoWins
Dec 31, 2007, 4:24pm

I think I have come up with a pretty good system of collection development. I buy only the books that I know I'm going to read and want to own. Books that I want to read, but not necessarily keep, are borrowed from the library. This helps keep my shelves free from too much unwanted material. However, my family members all know that I am an avid collector of all books, and they tend to buy me x-mas, and b-day presents that steer more toward classics, non-fiction in my fields of education, or whatever happens to be the passing fad at the time...that whole Dan Brown fad added a few extra books to the shelves, but some were interesting reading. So far, this has worked for me, and I feel that I am splitting time fairly evenly with both the libraries and the local bookstores.

22cheri0627
Dec 31, 2007, 4:36pm

Bookmarque, your wine cellar is much better than mine is. Currently I'm at about 80 bottles, but I'm looking to expand. I had to work with my husband to be allowed the amount I now have. My latest ploy to expand is that every time I'm out at my favorite grocer's, I hit the "wine guy" up for a new recommendation, and add a new bottle to the collection. Part of my problem is that I don't grow the collection too fast because I like to drink it too much.

23Bookmarque
Jan 1, 2008, 10:04am

Oh yeah...the drinking does interfere doesn't it? : D
We get through about a case a moth. Luckily, (or is it unluckily?) my husband is just as much of a wine freak as I am. He just got through reading the Wine Spectator 2007 wrap up issue, so I'm sure he's working on a list.

24mirrhya First Message
Jan 3, 2008, 9:04pm

I just turned 30 this year and find myself buying a lot of books that I enjoyed in childhood. Like Little House on the Prairie and A Wrinkle in time. I think I might be nesting LOL. Planning to share my favourite books with my future children.

25Kell_Smurthwaite
Jan 6, 2008, 9:17am

I used to keep hold of all my books, whether I liked them or not. Nowadays, i'm more willing to part with a book once I'm finished with it, and there are only a few authors whose works I tend to keep up-to-date and complete on my "keeper" book case. I've learned that I can sell on or swap out the books I know I'll not re-read and get new books in their place (why I didn't click to that sooner I'll never know!).

I used to go to the library a lot (I used to live on a street where the nearest library was literally on the corner, so I was in there almost every day). Now, though, I don't tend to go as often - I have too big a mountain of unread books (curretnly sitting at about 120!) to justify bringing home others that I'll have to return!

26reading_fox
Jan 8, 2008, 11:00am

I keep all the books I would re-read, which is most. Those that I don't like will be purged when I really can't fit another book onto the shelves, giving me another 6 months of space. I own a few classics because I sort of enjoyed them. I wouldn't keep them long if I didn't, but I wouldn't buy them especially just to have. I don't collect anything as such.

I used to use the library heavily, but disposable income now means I buy books as I see fit. I wish I could remember all those that I borrowed when young, some I know were worth reading again.

27jguy7500
Jan 9, 2008, 7:49pm

During my twenties I gave away, sold or lost more books than I own now. Each time I moved I found I had more books than I knew what to do with, so I got rid of most of them. Unfortunately - now I wish i'd hung on to more of them. Oh well...

Now that I'm in my early 30's and I've decided to settle down a bit, I'm trying to build up my library again by finding some books I've read in the past and enjoyed and would like to own. Most of the books I own now are books that I know I can re-read and still enjoy. That's why I love my local library and second-hand bookshops, too.

My bookcase is already overflowing!

28angeljkay
Jan 17, 2008, 9:06pm

I'm currently operating on limited shelf space. I like being able to pass along good books. If I put my name in the front cover, I hope to get it back. If it's blank, feel free to pass it along. I've recently given away books that I missed and hope to get back... I just hope that my sister has them so they will be returned.

I'm jealous of the 80-bottle collection, Cheri! Not to mention Bookmarque's 250! My wine rack holds 6, my fiance's wine rack holds 8 (I think...). We don't have a basement, so my library and wine cellar are also on the list for the next house! If you like whites, I'm quite fond of Cesari's Pinot Grigio. It can be ordered from a winery in San Francisco... I can let you know the name next month when I get the newsletter if you're interested.

29Bookmarque
Jan 18, 2008, 8:06am

I do enjoy whites, but have not found a p.g. that I like. Hahn (Monterey) makes one my husband likes, but I'm not a huge fan. Rousanne is another I've not been able to develop a taste for. Too austere. Marsanne I do like though. A rousanne/marsanne blend is the only way I can take rousanne so far. Makes for a nice break from the onslaught of chardonnays and sauv blancs. Pariaso Springs (Monterey) used to make a nice Pinot blanc, but not anymore and I haven't found anyone else who makes it in all my trips to the central coast and Paso Robles. Maybe someday it will come back into favor.

30purplequeen
Feb 11, 2008, 11:25am

Hi there! I'm a 30-something and having moved about a year ago, I have boxes of books still at my parents' home, but my bookshelves are already filled with new books... I've always loved collecting books, especially those of my favourite authors, but I tend to buy (perhaps only the paperback edition, in many cases) and keep every book I'd like to read and/or re-read, recommended ones or simple impulse buyings (like in "Nice cover!"). So my library counts books by Stephen King, Giovanni Verga, William Shakespeare, John Fante and Guy de Maupassant at the same time. I sometimes have more than one edition of the same book and I would never, ever throw away or sell my books. I also collect books about art, I love the Taschen series for example or exhibition catalogues.

31crnfva
Feb 11, 2008, 5:10pm

I just moved (part of) my books across the ocean, and I am trying to find them a place. The house is much bigger then the one I had before, but there's also two of us with the "book-bug".
I enjoy the local library very much, and feel happy one I didn't really like the book (I did't waste money on it) and sorry when I really like (I don't own the copy).
of course I could go and buy the books I liked, but there is something about owning the copy you read...

32ljbwell
Feb 12, 2008, 4:11am

Hi all! I grew up with a lot of books in the house, but also with regular trips to the library. This has led both to loving buying (and having) books - new or used- so I can build up my own library, and also hitting the public library to see what I can find there (or to read things I'm curious about but don't necessarily want to sink the money into). I tend to get whatever looks interesting at the time - either the back cover write-up or, yes, judging a book by its cover - and have found some entertaining and interesting gems that way.

My library has a fair amount of fiction/modern lit - esp. alt reality/cyberpunk books (David Mitchell, Michael Chabon, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, etc.), a healthy dose of travel lit (lots of Paul Theroux and Tim Moore), reference books, young adult lit (mostly work related) and college books (which are yet to be entered on librarything) - mostly English, but a decent amount of French and Swedish thrown in. Oh, and Edward Gorey books. "Classics" are underrepresented in my library as much of what I've read over the years comes from school readings, my parents' library or library loans (pre-dating librarything).

33tjsjohanna
Apr 1, 2008, 6:56pm

I like to own books that I want to re-read. I do most of my "first time" reading from the library. I own a lot of classics because I studied literature in college, but I'm just getting around to re-reading some of them almost 20 years later!! (I joined "go review that book" to get some prodding!) I'd like to join this group - but I'm turning 40! in a mere 18 days. But I've enjoyed browsing your topics!

34Grammath
Apr 2, 2008, 6:53am

It would be a bit much for me to describe the books in my flat as a collection. Essentially, it's my To Be Read pile. Unfortunately, there is a lot of stuff I want to read, so it takes up 3 bookcases. There is the odd thing in there that I intend to keep, but it is maybe 2% of the total.

I'm not sentimental about my books, I buy it, it gets read (eventually), it goes to Oxfam. I'm not a rereader - there's too much I want to read for me to want to spend time going back over old ground - so to me there isn't much reason to hang onto stuff.

35phinz
Apr 11, 2008, 7:03pm

I have a tendency to pick up what looks interesting. I'm not real possessive about holding on to books, but I only give out books to people I know will enjoy them. I am definitely possessive of my complete Star Wars collection, and I don't easily give up my Randy Wayne White, Carl Hiaasen or SV Date books. I've been known to give them away and replace them at a later date, though.

My collection grows a lot every time I go to the used book store. My genres are mostly reference/how things work/grammar/language, cookbooks, mystery/thriller and Star Wars.

36SpicyCat
May 22, 2008, 5:25am

I am a hoader and a rereader. I do peroidically winnow out myshelves, but i have had some books since I was teenager. I have contained my self to three bookshelves (and a too read pile next to my bed), but I am going to have to give in and buy another soon!

37obsessedwithbooks
May 22, 2008, 8:04am

I am 33 and during my 20's, I didn't hold onto books at all because I was travelling a lot. So I was selling my books to make travelling cash plus I didn't want to leave books behind with my parents.

But now that I have settled down, my collection has grown and my partner goes crazy that we are living in a small place and the books are slowly taking over. Her favourite line of attack is "well the books can sleep next to me in the bed and you can sleep in the shower!"

I have favourite authors such as Jasper Fforde and Robert Harris but I also collect virtually everything that passes my way. Looking at my shelves just now, I know I need to start weeding out the crap but I just can't bring myself to do it! I hold a book in my hand that I KNOW has to go but then a voice in my head says "put it back! It belongs with you!".

I know, there's no rescuing me. I'm lost! :-)

38SpicyCat
May 23, 2008, 9:42pm

Looking at your profile I have to agree obsessed - I am terrible in bookstores, i love picking up books and reading them, tracking down books on my to buy one of these days. Whether I buy or not depends on my financial state.

I have to avoid Amazon late at night, when I have had a glass of wine or two. My Visa get's most upset with my, but these lovely little packages arrive at my work place. Then I stay up to 4 am reading...

A very bad habit

39bingereader
Aug 17, 2008, 12:14pm

Citygirl - your comments about book ownership appear to fit my own perceptions and views of books.

In a sense, I see my library of books as a "legacy" as it were to my children. I want my son and daughter to be in a house full of books so that they have access to them. And, so that in the future they have the kinds of books I read available to them. I have noticed, as my daughter has started to get older, that I will purchase reference books and history books that I imagine she may find useful as she goes to school, rather than ones I particularly plan to read. In other words, I see the library as not such much a collection of books for me, but for the family and for my children in the future.

Along these lines, I also tend to write quite a bit in my books. I imagine my children looking at these books when they are adults and looking at what their father wrote and thought. Easter Eggs for the bibliomaniacal kind.

And, I agree with you, I find it sad that there are homes where there are no books at all to be found.

40JohnSherman
Jun 11, 2009, 5:41pm

Interesting. For me, books fall into two categories. First is to increase my knowledge about a topic. Second one, is pure pleasure. I find that often and more times than not, an great author always is better than a great screen writer. Or maybe the story can be told better in a book form. I love stories!
But to buy books just because you want to impress others, is great for prestige, but when one factors all the other considerations that go into authentic prestige, than just having a bookcase isn't enough. Some classics are great easy to read stories, and others are..well it takes a different level of appreciation to read say War and Peace, Homer's Odessy and the Complete Plays of Shakespeare.

41BriarRose72
Edited: Jun 12, 2009, 10:47pm

Hello! This has been a really interesting discussion. The "classics" have come up repeatedly, so of course I've had to mentally evaluate where I stand there...I have a number of them on my shelves. And right, I have read War and Peace, the Odyssey, etc., but probably will not again. But I have to say that I love, truly love the classics. I have bookshelves in every room in my house (ok, excepting the bathroom), and I have given away more books throughout my twenties and early thirties than I would care to try to number. I only keep the ones I really want. And I love my public library; have gone since I was very young. My children have "libraries" of their own -- we live, and love to live, surrounded by books.
I'm sure the Kindle is wonderful, but when it advertised moving toward a "paperless society," I cringed! Is that just me?

42zanyforever
Edited: Jan 4, 2010, 11:35pm

I mainly collect fantasy. I have several gardening and cooking books as well.

My collection started in my teens so I'm currently rereading my collection slowly and removing the crud I'll never read again. I removed about 22 in 2009.

I do not borrow books I like to own them. I tend to buy pre-owned books from the second hand book store as well as library sales, and occasionally from garage sales (hard to do, not many books to be found around here).

I have a too be read pile that just gets bigger and I am finding I need a bigger book case. And a lot more books :)

43Raychild
Mar 26, 2010, 1:50pm

Hi guys. What a good topic. I don't have nearly as many books as some but if I had to guess, and I'm including my kids' books as well, I'd have to say I have somewhere in the 400-500 range. I have lots of classics, like Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, etc.

I also have some new stuff like Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga. My problem is that I live in a tiny condo and I have a problem getting rid of books. What if I want to re-read them one day, or maybe pass them down to my kids? I've ended up with more books than I have room for. I even have a cabinet at work that I store book in because I have no more bookcases at home. I guess that's better than not having the books to begin with!

44Jadesbooks
Apr 1, 2010, 2:47pm

I'm right there with you RayChild. I've got books everywhere, but I hate getting rid of them.

45LovingLit
Apr 4, 2010, 4:12pm

I'm with a lot of you up there who have talked about loving owning books. I get a lot of pleasure from glancing over the shelves and remembering where/when I was when I read them and anticipating reading them again.
> Bingereader/Citigirl, I agree with you totally about book-less homes. I find myself glancing around these homes wondering where they keep their books! (and if it's rude to ask!)
My books are rearranged frequently, I like to keep the authors together, and then if I can, get colour coordination, genre and book size grouped. It's the same with my CDs, basically I just like shuffling through them!

46soniaandree
Feb 28, 2011, 3:57am

I tend to keep books that I perceive to be the ones I should keep (long-term interest), whereas I swap the ones that have a temporary interest (for essays, or whose value has changed).

47Thulean
May 17, 2011, 7:00pm

I do not have the largest library but I tend to collect authors who write in the Weird Fiction and Sword & Sorcery genres. A bit of Sci-fi too.

48resnovae
Edited: Dec 31, 2011, 12:56pm

I was one of those kids who grew up reading my parents' copies of the classics, because I was bored and they were there. As a teen, most of my purchases were paperbacks and much of that was sci-fi, in my 20's I began adding some non fiction to that, a lot of it in trade paperback formats (some history, some social science, a lot of narrative nonfiction/journalism). I'm only now starting to revisit some of those classics & attempting to seek out some new ones for my nascent hardcover "collection."

And I agree - I think at least part of it is wanting to re-experience the joy of discovery & part of it is wanting to have some tangible format I can maybe share with future children (my own or borrowed - doesn't matter).

I've always been a keeper of books I felt I learned something from - I like them as objects and I like having them to share. But sometimes that's either not possible or not practical - I love Philip K. Dick and I've got a book of his short stories and a bunch of novels in paperback, and I'd buy the shorts or maybe 1 or 2 of his best books in hardcover. but I've also filled in a lot of gaps reading e-copies from the local library. Ditto a lot of memoirs and bestsellers that I'm reading out of curiosity but maybe don't expect to be blown away by (The devil wears prada, for example).

I still pick up and hang on to my share of trade and mass market paperbacks, though - any time something looks interesting at the bookstore, it usually comes home with me. My dirty little secret being, I've always treated my paperbacks pretty badly. As I upgrade my favorites / the more classic volumes to hardcover, I'm trying to take better care of them. Being in my 30's, settling in one place, and finally having a salary that leaves me a few dollars at the end of each week to buy a nice book for myself, and being able to finally invest in some solid & book-friendly shelving, is mostly what's made that possible.

49trav
Jan 20, 2012, 3:29pm

My philosophy & strategy for putting together my personal library has changed over the years. For the sake of room and as I have never been a re-reader, I sold almost all of my fiction a couple of years ago and have regretted it ever since. But I do enjoy the shelf space.

These days I buy 100% of my non-fiction in paper. I write in the margins of most all of them. This is something that the ebook world just cannot match. Since the internet is what it is, I do buy fewer reference works, unless they are older. Sometimes it's fun to lay maps side by side, etc. and see the evolution. The one area I am always looking for are books on publishing. New and old. Those are my favorite part of my collection, followed by the books-on-books.

Almost all of my fiction reading is borrowed from the library, either in paper or e-format. I just haven't gotten back into buying fiction yet. The fiction shelves at the bookstores just move so fast. I can't keep up and stay in a constant fear of buying a dud. I have bought a few fiction books, but just ones I know I will want to share with friends.

Reading through the above posts I may have to try re-reading. So many folks seem to get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

50Unreachableshelf
Oct 7, 2013, 8:04pm

I've always been a re-reader, so I collect books that I expect I will want to reread as well as reference-type things. I didn't expect to be as close to thirty as I was before I moved out of my parents house, so I had more or less purged the things I was sure I wouldn't care about rereading by the time I'd finished college, although there are a few books in limbo until the next time I reread them and decide their fates.

I'm a librarian so it's easy for me to try new authors or series from the library, then buy them later if I decide they're worth a personal copy. Authors I know that I like well enough that I'm reasonably sure their books will be worth rereading, I buy right away. If one does have an off-book or if I get an ARC that I'm not interested in rereading, I take it to the used book store (finished copy) or put out for my coworkers in my department (ARC).

51TJ_Petrowski
Dec 19, 2021, 10:24am

All the books I own are nonfiction and usually about academic subjects such as politics, economics, history, philosophy, etc.

A lot of the books I read aren't available as e-books, but even if they were, nothing compares to the feeling of reading a paper book :)