The Attack of the Library Books

Ben recently accused me of reading too many library books. While I’m glad the you-read-too-many-young-adult-books accusation has been temporarily replaced, I somehow felt the need to defend myself again against this new crime. Am I ignoring my own books?

I find that I want to read the books that other people are reading – when they are reading them. Instead of adding to my already overwhelming library, I’ve been checking out some newer titles from the library. But I have approximately 8 million unread books in my own personal collection and I want to read them, too. I know most of us suffer from some version of the “so many books, so little time” dilemma, but this is the first time I’ve felt conflicted about my library to owned books reading ratio.

So my question to all of you is: Have you ever felt like you are ignoring your own books? Do you try to find some sort of balance? Do you go through phases where you read more of your own books? Do you avoid the library entirely?

22 thoughts on “The Attack of the Library Books

  1. Cori February 3, 2010 / 11:58 am

    I was just thinking about this yesterday when I picked up some more books at the library! I actually thought to myself, “Self — you have to read more of your own books. It might be time to put a temporary hold on library books (other than audiobooks).” I have about the same number of unread books as you in my personal collection — it’s high time I start going through them. Maybe I’ll go on a February Library Hiatus.

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    • Michelle February 3, 2010 / 1:41 pm

      I think I should go on a hiatus. But I’ll have to wait until March because I have too many checked out in February already.

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  2. Kelly February 3, 2010 / 12:02 pm

    I don’t really go to the library (I know I should!) but lately I’ve been reading a lot of books on the Kindle instead of the books that are in several precarious stacks. And I do feel kind of awful about that. Maybe after Secrets of Eden, I should start reading real books for a while. (At least until the stacks aren’t big enough to kill me.)

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    • Michelle February 3, 2010 / 1:41 pm

      So are your problem is more that you’re purchasing new (electronic) books instead of reading old ones, right?

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      • Kelly February 3, 2010 / 1:59 pm

        Yes. And I’m also buying new (actual) books and not reading them. Michelle, it’s a sickness.

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  3. Lindsay February 3, 2010 / 1:30 pm

    I have been dealing more with the “you-read-too-many-young-adult-books accusation” lately from my husband, but I have this guilt about reading library books when I have so many books at home I want to read. I WANT to read the, but because I know I own them, I can’t find the motivation. There is something (sadly) exciting about grabbing a book at the library at random or finally getting a book that has been on hold. Oh, man, that sounds nerdy! 🙂

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    • Michelle February 3, 2010 / 1:42 pm

      I know exactly what you’re saying.

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  4. Linda February 3, 2010 / 1:34 pm

    I generally ignore my own books in favor of library books. Library books have due dates. I need to read them now. I can read my own books when I run out of library books. Yeah right!

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    • Michelle February 3, 2010 / 1:43 pm

      That’s the problem. You can’t just hold on to the library book forever while you read one of your own.

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  5. Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict February 3, 2010 / 1:48 pm

    I thankfully don’t have this problem. Due to the fact I live in a bilingual province, the library in my area is not well stocked with english books. I don’t enjoy reading french, and therefore book buying is my issue. However, I do tend to want to buy the books everyone is reading and put other books on the back burner.

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    • Michelle February 3, 2010 / 10:19 pm

      I guess buying new books is really the same problem. Just cheaper if you use the library.

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  6. Bina February 3, 2010 / 4:25 pm

    And here I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for reading library books instead of buying them 😀 Sometimes I feel guilty for ignoring my own books, but they have a comfortable place on my shelves and they won´t suddenly leave me 😉 Also, I had the sudden urge to give McCall Smith another chance (all Emily´s fault) and unearthed The Sunday Philosophy Club, I had forgotten I even owned this book!

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    • Michelle February 3, 2010 / 10:20 pm

      I always think I’m doing something good by using the library, too. Which is why I didn’t even think about overusing it.

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  7. Dominique February 3, 2010 / 7:23 pm

    It’s only the past few months that I’ve gotten back into the library. Most of the time when I was at uni I hated having a deadline to read something by so I would just buy it. At the moment I read a mixture of my own books and library books, which I’m pretty happy with. Especially since some of those library books are ones I’ve requested the library purchase because they weren’t in stock, which saves me adding to my collection.

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    • Michelle February 3, 2010 / 10:21 pm

      So you have found the balance that I am looking for. It must exist for me somewhere.

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  8. Katelyn February 3, 2010 / 9:33 pm

    I think the library’s a great institute and I love spending time within its hallowed halls, but I very rarely check books out of the library, except for school. Actually, I have a confession: I have this totally unrealistic, illogical fear that one day, whether tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or many years from now, the apocalypse – or, at least, my version of the apocalypse –will occur meaning that book stores will become as extinct as the Pterodactyl and those evil masterminds behind Kindle who are so bent on taking over the book market will succeed, effectively annihilating the paperback. Therefore, I suppose you could say I’m stockpiling, ensuring that my emergency supply kit (aka my bookshelf) has enough supplies (aka books) to last me for a while. Lol …Oh, what elaborate explanations I’ve concocted over the years to help me justify my compulsion to buy books!

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    • Michelle February 3, 2010 / 10:22 pm

      Haha. I can survive 10 years or so of being trapped in my apartment due to an apocalypse without reading the same thing twice.

      Like

  9. Vishy February 4, 2010 / 11:16 am

    I used to borrow from the library before, but now I don’t. I find it difficult to finish reading books before the library deadline, and I also find that new books or new editions of old books reach the bookshop faster than the library 🙂 Sometimes the library doesn’t seem to stock a book that is a must-read from my perspective. I buy books and read them. I like the library environment though and can spend a lot of time there browsing. My mom however both reads bought books and library books. Last month there was a book fair in my place, and I went and got a bunch of books for her (maybe around 50). She has read most of them now and she is reading books borrowed from the library now 🙂

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    • Michelle February 4, 2010 / 11:15 pm

      I’m lucky that I have access to a huge collection of books. I hardly ever have to wait more than a week or two for any book – even new releases. That certainly makes a difference in library usage.

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      • Vishy February 4, 2010 / 11:18 pm

        Your library must be wonderful! Envy you 🙂

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  10. Emily February 4, 2010 / 10:37 pm

    I’ve been doing the same thing lately. I don’t feel bad about it though – checking things out from the library helps me buy fewer books. So even if I’m not helping decrease my own TBR backlog, I’m not adding to it. 🙂

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    • Michelle February 4, 2010 / 11:17 pm

      That is true. I haven’t been buying books at all.

      Like

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