Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Thoughts ~ library vs. bookstore

Ashley at OK, Let’s Read has started a new weekly meme called Thursday Thoughts.  The questions are available in advance, and she has ten weekly topics already set.  I'm sorry I missed her first ever post, last Thursday, but luckily for me, it's still open for another 23 days + 12 hours.  So it's the one I choose to discuss today.
March 20: Library vs. Bookstore Do you go to the library or the bookstore more often?  Do you prefer one over the other and why?  When it comes to bookstores, do you prefer chain stores or used book stores?  Do you care about the condition of a book you purchase?  Do you ever buy used/scratch and dent?
Northgate is the nearest branch of the Chattanooga library and where I normally pick up books I reserve online.  I took this photo on a windy day in October 2012.  Most of the librarians know me, since I'm in there a lot.  When my roommate Donna picked up my books on hold one day, the person waiting on her said, "You're not Bonnie"  No, but she had my card so we didn't both have to run that errand.  When I lived near the South Chattanooga branch, I was a volunteer on the days when somebody was on vacation or had a doctor's appointment.  I'm often in libraries.

My thinking is that I buy books I know I want to keep, sometimes after reading the library copy.  Then I buy from a bookstore or online.  I read a lot.  Books I keep are usually related to my teaching and nonfiction interests.  I don't collect fiction, so that is usually from the library.  Books I'll use this week when I teach Sunday school are ones I own, all nonfiction:
  • Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity ~ by James D. Tabor, 2012
  • The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity ~ by Jeffrey J. Butz, 2005
  • The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins ~ by Burton L. Mack, 1993
The books I've been reading "for fun and relaxation" are novels:
  • Life After Life ~ by Kate Atkinson, 2013, fiction (England)
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs ~ by Anna Quindlen, 2014, fiction (New York)
  • The Book of Jonah ~ by Joshua Max Feldman, 2014, fiction (New York)
And the book from the library that's nonfiction is one I haven't yet decided whether I want to buy and keep or simply read once and return to the library.
  • The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image ~ by Leonard Shlain, 1998
Speaking of bookstores, the question shouldn't be "do you prefer chain stores or used book stores?"  What about independent bookstores, often called "indies" by book bloggers?  In 2004, my friend Donna and I opened a store selling mostly used books, so I definitely have no problem with used books in good condition.  I'm especially excited when I find a "pre-owned" copy of a book I want that is out of print and, thus, unavailable.  (Don't you hate euphemisms like "pre-owned"?  I think used car salesmen came up with that.)  My favorite store to browse is McKay's, a large used bookstore across town from me.

To sum it up, I equally value libraries and bookstores, both brick-and-mortar stores and online stores.  I use both as often as possible.

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