Saturday, August 10, 2013

15-Day Book Blogger Challenge - Day 6: Book Shopping

Click on the picture to check out the challenge and participate!

Today is about how we shop for books. The truth is, I don't really shop for books. (These last three have all been things that I don't normally least, I claim I don't...) I am a broke college student, and on top of that, I'm a newlywed. I don't have a lot of extra money, to say the least. So I refrain from buying books as much as is humanly possible. 

The only thing that makes this okay is that I have library cards for three different libraries. That's right, I said three: the Provo public library (since I live in Provo), the BYU library (since I'm a BYU student) and the Orem library (since Provo is so close to Orem that they're practically the same city). Not to mention, all three libraries are positively excellent and have well-maintained collections. (Plus, they're great to study in. I'm typing this in the BYU library right now--and yes, I'm supposed to be studying...)

So rather than describing my book buying (which would be a very short post), I'm going to entertain you with my book borrowing habits. Go get the popcorn! 

I usually go to the library with the premise of actually checking out a particular book or movie. Once I'm there, of course, it's almost impossible to leave with just one book or movie. 

My husband is my current library buddy (he probably wishes I had someone else to go with, but he's a good sport about it). I leave him to browse the films while I tackle the rest of the library. I'm easily drawn in by the display of new non-fiction and sometimes I spend several minutes checking that out. If nothing there interests me, or if I have extra time, I head to the non-fiction stacks and browse books on cooking, health, history, gardening, education, biography...depending on which mood strikes. 

Of course, these are my habits at the Provo library. At the BYU library, I'm way too overwhelmed to even consider just browsing any-ol'-where. Usually I'm looking for a particular book for research, and then, since I'm usually in an area of a classic writer that interests me, I might suddenly go, "Ooh! His/her collected letters!" or "Hey! I've been wanting to read [insert title of author's work here] for ages!" And then I'll walk out with something else. 

At the Orem library, I actually have yet to cultivate any kind of habits, because I only just recently got my library card and I'm still working on exploring the place. However, I am in love with the audiobook section. There. Are. So. Many. Audiobooks. 

So, that's how I "shop" for library books. Not to be down on myself, but I feel like that was much more boring than I was hoping it would be. So let's keep it interesting--how do you shop for books (or borrow them)? 


  1. You are SO lucky to have such amazing libraries right there. I've heard great things about the Provo library, and obviously the BYU library is to be envied. Last summer when I visited, I dragged everybody in for a tour, but only my 12yo appreciated it. :) She was as happy as I was. (To be fair, we'd just done an art exhibit and it was lunchtime and the other people were mostly 9yos.)

    Next time I'm out there I will make sure to stop by the Provo library. Utah libraries in general are very enviable from a California POV.

    Actually, the BYU bookstore is probably my favorite new bookstore on earth. Cody's in Berkeley is gone now, but even it was not quite as wonderful. Good thing I don't live there.

    1. I know! I'm amazed at how great (and well-used!) the libraries here are. I grew up in California and so I'm still in awe of the Provo and Orem libraries.

  2. I envy your excellent libraries! When we were first married, we lived in WI and could get free interlibrary loans from all over the southern half of the state, including the big libraries in Madison. We could get pretty much anything. It was amazing and wonderful. Then we moved to CT, where we could get most things, and the library had a splendid movie collection -- almost like a rental store! But now we live in VA and have an sometimes-adequate library system, with about half the books I want and a tenth of the movies. Sigh. At least the children's section is pretty good.

    Thankfully, we also have more money now than we once did, and I'm able to buy more books than I used to. I get a lot of used books on Amazon and at a used bookstore in town, and a few times a year, we go to a B&N to get presents and such.

    My book-buying habits vary depending on the store. At the used bookstore, I head for the mysteries first and search for Rext Stout books I don't have yet. Then I browse the fiction, and finally wind up in the children's books.

    When I go to Barnes & Noble, I invariably have the kids along, so we head straight for the kids books. They play on the Thomas train table while I browse the kids bargain books and keep an eye on them. When they're tired of playing, I try to zip through the big bargain section up by the front. If they've behaved themselves, we get a snack at the Starbucks. Then I might manage to swing through the fiction if I have something specific I'm looking for, before we have to pay and leave before the kids get so restless they start making messes.

    At the library, we spend most of our time in the kids' section. If I get a book for myself, I usually have to either know exactly what I want so I can find it quickly, or have it on hold so I can just grab it off the hold shelves. Once in a while, I get to browse the stacks if my hubby came along and is watching the kids. And I do swing through the movies a couple times a month, but as there is one book case of movies, that doesn't take long. (Told you their collection is pathetic.)

    There, your explanation isn't any more boring than mine, was it?

    1. I liked yours...I envy your methodical process! Ha, ha.

    2. I got to browse the YA stacks at the library yesterday and wound up with three books, two by new-to-me authors! Very exciting :-D

  3. I'm so jealous of your library cards! I'm not eligible for any free cards because I don't live in a city (although maybe I'm eligible for a card from LCC since I work there - I never thought to investigate that until I had already purchased another card). I'm paying $80/year for a Springfield library card. The Eugene library has much better selection, so I'm thinking that I may alternate years between Springfield and Eugene (but Eugene is much more expensive). They both charge for using the interlibrary loan program, so I won't use it unless I'm really desperate for a book. The Eugene library charges a fee to use the interlibrary loan program even if they don't manage to get the book you want! What a rip-off!

    1. What?! That's ridiculous!

      One of the advantages of living in a fairly large city is having so many library cards (and being a student, of course). I'm trying to take advantage of it while I can! But I still think I would rather live in the kind of place you live...