Thursday, March 6, 2008

Libraries? How Novel!

As a grad student, I spend a great deal of time in the library. I owe CU's Librarian my firstborn child in overdue book fees (ok ok, only 128$ according to the bill I got today.) Something I never do, however, is check out a book for pleasure from the library. If I want to read for fun instead of for school I buy books on Amazon. Not sure why I make this distinction. Maybe when reading a book cover to cover rather than quickly skimming for facts I care about newness, shininess, and cleanliness?

But no more! The no more crap rule applies to books too. I love books, so this one will be tough. But like clothes, even though I truly enjoy and value them, partially my purchase of books is just to have another status symbol. Everyone does this, right? You want people to see the "right" books at your house when they come over for dinner so they think you're deep and brilliant. Ewwwwww. We humans can be so lame! If we really are what we own as a bunch of pessimistic 20th century theorists say, my worth is dwindling significantly. I prefer my Nana's logic: You can't take it with you (when you die, that is.)

Today I returned a number of overdue academic works and checked out a Dashiel Hammett novel. It has writing in the margin which i find really annoying, but it isn't another 13 dollars down the tube for something I'll probably read one time.

PS: The irony of talking about saving money while I have accrued 128 dollars in avoidable late fees is not lost on me. I'm trying to get better...


Sharon J said...

You're spot on about our reasons for owning books - I have to admit that I'm the same. I have a book shelf upstairs and one in the living room. The one in the living room has only ever held the kind of books I want to be seen to have read. How bloody stuck up! That's changing now though because the books - apart from reference books that I need are going as part of my decluttering plan.

I too owe the library money.

Melissa said...

Another cool site to check out is - I'm going to be writing about it on my blog shortly.