Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm a Bookie!

There is a popular term being thrown around right now that everyone seems to want to claim:  foodie.  The woman who likes to cook is a foodie.  The guy who eats out a lot is a foodie.  The woman who spends her days watching the Food Network is a foodie.  It's a pretty broad term.
While I don't consider myself a foodie, I do consider myself a bookie.  Now don't start sending me your cash with the bets you want to cast quite yet.  I'm a bookie in that I love books.  I've always had a sort of attraction toward them.  I seem to notice every bookstore that I pass while driving and if someone suggests that we pop into one, I'm all for it.  I could spend hours browsing books, whether I'm in a new bookstore or a used one.  I'm also a big fan of libraries.  I love that there are tons of them here in Seattle.  Libraries with a view, like Richmond Library, make me very happy.

Most girls have a particular item that they can't get enough of.  Shoes, products, earrings, jeans,perfumes, undies, or kitchen accessories.  Mine is books.  There is just something about a full bookshelf that makes me smile.  Or knowing that the book I just read that I couldn't put down at night and will definitely stick out in my head as "favorite book of the year" is now resting peacefully on my bookshelf.
As much as the selfish side of me would love to buy every book that sparks my interest, it is not practical in terms of our financial budget.  Also, books are made from trees.  The more books I buy, the more trees I kill.
I've found a few ways to avoid buying every book I want to read.  Some are obvious, while others aren't quite so obvious.
1.  Borrow books from the library.

Courtesy of flickr user Jeff Wheeler

While this is probably the most obvious solution, many don't take the time to see if the book they are craving is available at the library.  Most think of checking out Barnes & Noble before browsing their local library.  And while I love B & N, I love libraries equally.  After reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love, I started looking around for Committed, her next book which would detail her wacky, twisted love story.  During one of my library visits, I put my name on the waiting list for the book and was notified about 2 weeks later that it was available for me to pick up.  The funny thing is that the book happens to be in large print, which at first I was disappointed in but have since come to like.  Usually, I can't read in the car.  I get car sick after about 10 minutes of reading, but with large print, I don't get sick.  Interesting, huh?
2.  Check out used bookstores.

Courtesy of flickr user bandita

Another love of mine are used bookstores.  Many have such good deals on hard-to-find books or those books that I'm interested in reading, but not interested in spending too much money on.  Since these books are used, I am recycling a book and giving it another life.  Instead of it winding up in a landfill, it gets a new home on my bookshelf.  What may be old to someone else, can very well feel new to me.
3. Invest in a kindle or similar product.

Courtesy of flickr user goXunuReviews

I haven't jumped onto the e-reader bandwagon yet.  To be honest, I haven't had the desire to.  I am much more of a book-in-hands type of girl.  I want to feel the pages, turn the pages, and have something more substantial and less computerized to hold.  When I can not stand to possibly look at a computer screen for one more second, I often retreat to a book or a magazine.  There is something relaxing and refreshing to me about reading and flipping pages.  Maybe it's silly.
But for those of you who don't harbor that same nostalgia toward books, an e-reader may be a perfect solution for you.  They are getting cheaper and cheaper and often the cost to buy a downloadable book is cheaper than buying a traditional book.  The best thing about these, in my opinion, is that they do not waste paper.  There is no ink, paper, or other materials being consumed in the process.
4.  My favorite

I became aware of this site last October after a woman blogged about it.  She raved about how awesome it was.  After checking it out for myself, I must say that this site is just as awesome as she said it was.
When you sign up for an account, you post 10 (or more) books that you would be willing to part ways with in order to get new books.  When you list 10 books, you will receive 2 credits you can use to request books from other members.  When another member of the website requests one of your books, you will receive 1 credit after you mail them the book.  Then you use the credits you have to request books from other members.  When you request a book, it is yours to keep.  You never have to send it back or repost it into the system.
I have sent numerous books out to other people all around the United States and have, in return, received many books that have been on my wish list for some time.  I have exchanged books that I do not care about for books that I really wanted.
This site is pretty awesome.  To anyone who loves to read, I definitely recommend checking this site out.

Of course there may be times that a book is released that we want so badly, we are willing to pay extra in order to get it brand new and on the day of its release (Breaking Dawn sold a record 1.3 million copies on its first day of release) but for those other books, look into other ways to save a little green, as well as live a little greener.

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