The trouble with books is they’re so inconspicuous, so affordable and so enjoyable. I said I wasn’t going t o buy any more books in 2009 except at the Friends of the Library annual book sale. Of course I was not able to stick with this plan. I’m certain I have bought at least one book each month. The problem is, books are just too affordable! They are too affordable and available everywhere. About ten days ago I managed to buy five books for $2.50 at the Goodwill store. It was 50% off day at the Goodwill and these books would have sold for at least $2.00 at a used book store. I found a Clifford Simak novel, an Alan Dean Foster paperback, The Cat and the Hat and a few other children’s books for my stepson’s daughter. (That’s her in the cow suit in my profile photo.)
I blame my family, the economy and the book vendors for my book acquisition problem. Our local used book warehouse, McKay Books, has been a prime contributor to my problem. Their bookshelves practically bleed classic Sci-fi, fantasy novels and bargain priced rpg books. In the past two months I’ve found copies of the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook and a Savage Worlds hardcover to add to my bookshelves. I blame the economy, even at bargain prices the books innocently and quickly begin to overflow the bookshelves.
So, I blame the books, my family, the book vendors and the internet for my problem. The used books stores are a bit helpful since I can trade in my old books for books I never knew I wanted. But the book credit can be a problem if you live in a family of readers and suddenly you find you’ve been given four of five, or more, boxes of paperbacks from the in-laws. Once the used book store sorts through the in-laws old paperbacks you’ve got $200 in credit and it’s like Christmas in July.
I’ve found a few services on the internet that contribute to my problem with books too. Paperbackswap.com is pretty helpful since it’s a one to one book swap between the members of the site. I’ve created an account at BookCrossing but I have yet to give a book away. I’ll eventually find a book too dilapidated to trade and will find an appropriate place where some other curious reader will likely adopt it.
Instead of announcing that I will not buy any more books in 2010 I should keep a budget of my book expenses. I’m thinking I’ll give myself a $100 budget for books at the beginning of the year. This doesn’t sound like a very big budget but $100 will go a long way at used book stores, library sales, yard sales and thrift stores. I can use the money I save by limiting my book purchases for my retirement or to purchase a new truck. Nah, I'm sure I'll spend it on my other problematic hobby, brewing my own beer.