Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
J295
Posts: 2272
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by J295 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:12 pm

In the past I used to read books in hardcopy or electronically from the library. Price was right, and I only read the books one time. Recently I find I am buying the books, usually used through Amazon, as I like to mark them up and read and reread some of them and have my markups/notes available for review.

What do the rest of you do with your reading choices.

brennok
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:18 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by brennok » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:18 pm

Once I switched to a Kindle my library checkout rate skyrocketed. I buy almost zero books now.

I guess growing up with physical media, the limitations and drm of ebooks significantly lowers what I am willing to pay.

User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 9622
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:21 pm

J295 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:12 pm
In the past I used to read books in hardcopy or electronically from the library. Price was right, and I only read the books one time. Recently I find I am buying the books, usually used through Amazon, as I like to mark them up and read and reread some of them and have my markups/notes available for review.

What do the rest of you do with your reading choices.
I guess I'm old enough that the feel of holding a book is "special".
I also like to turn pages back and forth, re-read sections (I get special pleasure from especially well-written sections)... or the entire book.

Reading e-books? Not at all the same.
I just don't get the same pleasure.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

User avatar
climber2020
Posts: 1276
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:06 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by climber2020 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:22 pm

Library. Any book they don't have they can get on loan from any other library in the country, so availability isn't an issue. I also tend to be better about reading books from the library since I know I have to take them back after a period of time.

I hate clutter so rarely buy books anymore, and the many books I used to own I gave away except for a handful that I re-read regularly. Tried the ebook thing, but not a fan.

User avatar
bengal22
Posts: 1858
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by bengal22 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:23 pm

I buy books I want to keep and borrow books from library.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

User avatar
GerryL
Posts: 2645
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by GerryL » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:40 pm

bengal22 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:23 pm
I buy books I want to keep and borrow books from library.
Ditto. Most of the books I buy would be considered reference or coffee table books. And text books. Trouble is, I buy a bunch of lovely "keepers" but never get around to actually reading them because I constantly have books out of the library that I need to finish before they are due back.
I'm a retired librarian.

User avatar
jabberwockOG
Posts: 1913
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:44 pm

We buy very few books, no more than a couple per year, mostly cook books. Everything else comes from regular visits to our excellent local library - physical books along with much more convenient ebooks. My wife is especially good at getting on the new release hold lists early and always get the latest books almost as soon as they are released.

FraggleRock
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:50 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by FraggleRock » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:47 pm

Yes.
Next question, please.

Invest4lt
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Invest4lt » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:56 pm

brennok wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:18 pm
Once I switched to a Kindle my library checkout rate skyrocketed. I buy almost zero books now.
Same here. Signed up for a library card because of my Kindle.

User avatar
Soaker
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Soaker » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:03 pm

I have a specific new book I want to read over several days on the beach on Maui: the biography of U.S. Grant by Ron Chernow. I bought it from Amazon because I can't guarantee somebody else won't be ahead of me in line for the library's copy.

But 95% of all my reading is library books.

User avatar
Will do good
Posts: 887
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:23 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Will do good » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:14 pm

60% library books, 35% Audible books, 5% purchase from Amazon, more or less.

revert
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:35 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by revert » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:32 pm

I was 100% Kindle for a good 5-6 years, but have since switched back to physical books. While it was convenient for travel, I didn't like having yet another device to worry about, the library ebook selection got worse over time (more books available only via an app and not on e-ink Kindles), and I much prefer the physical book reading experience (the feel of progress, bending/creasing pages, marking it up, ability to lend it out, and tossing it at the wall when you get annoyed with the book 😊).

Most of my physical books are purchased from one of two extremely good local bookstores. Probably half of those end up getting sold back at some later point. Occasionally there'll be a book that I'm interested in, but expect I will get tired of and not finish - those I'll try to nab from the library. Even more rarely there'll be something obscure or out of print that the local bookstores don't have, but a Goodwill or similar listing on Amazon will be selling for <$10, otherwise I try to avoid purchasing online.

It's not the most cost efficient, but reading is important enough, enjoyable enough, and inexpensive enough that I don't mind "splurging" on one of my main hobbies. Plus, I view some of it as paid support for the events/book clubs/etc. that my local bookstores organize.

User avatar
randomizer
Posts: 1547
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:46 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by randomizer » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:48 pm

I've been fully Kindle for the last 7 years due to crazy work hours (hard to get to library), but I plan to go back to using a library as much as I can once I get into a less hectic job.
87.5:12.5, EM tilt — HODL the course!

User avatar
Nate79
Posts: 5450
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Nate79 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:06 am

We haven't bought books in years as we exclusively use our local library system, both kindle and hard cover. I can't imagine the amount of money I've saved when I quit buying and started using the library.

User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 8090
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:23 am

I mostly use the library. But I buy a few books a year for travel, reading at the beach, in the bath etc.

The librarians give you very stern looks if you don't bring the books back in the same condition they started it.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:47 am

I usually search my library first before I buy anything. No space at home. I’m trying to get rid of things.

AlohaJoe
Posts: 5150
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:00 pm
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by AlohaJoe » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:53 am

J295 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:12 pm
What do the rest of you do with your reading choices.
I never re-read books and rarely bother marking them up. (No point in marking them up if I'm not going to re-read them, right?)

I buy books for the same reason many people tip at restaurants. The $10 or $15 a book costs is negligible to me and the author (along with the rest of the editing team) spent a large amount of effort crafting something that brings me enjoyment/education/whatever.

I buy e-books exclusively. I haven't a print book in over a decade.

MrMojoRisin
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by MrMojoRisin » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:12 am

I use the library a lot.
However I do keep a small collection of books. Some were given to me by friends, others I buy pre-read at Half Price Books. I noticed a friends son was reading a military history book. Next time they were over at my house I took down a book I thought would appeal to him and gave it to him to keep. Too few kids these days will curl up with a book, too many other, flashier ways to amuse yourself.

mouses
Posts: 3941
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:30 am

I have given away hundreds, maybe thousands, of paper books in the last decade. I have maybe a hundred that would never work in eformat that I have kept.

I prefer ebooks because I can enlarge the type. I would only buy a paper book now if it was not available in eformat. I bought Troublemakers when it was only in paper, but that's the first paper book in years that I have bought.

Osprey
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 3:04 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Osprey » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:49 am

I buy books I want to keep and borrow books from library.
I also buy some books that I want to read at the beach.

Slacker
Posts: 721
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:40 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Slacker » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:58 am

Been using the physical library for many years and over time decreased my purchasing habits to zero. I have been trying to get rid of my books for the most part.

Now with Overdrive, I rarely read physical books. I have a few that were given to me, but they are too much of a PITA to deal with compared to using my phone to read that I barely read more than a few pages a week in the paper books. E-books (audio and text) I go through about 1-3 per week.

My son, on the other hand, refuses to read e-books. He only reads paper books and has amassed a nice little collection of them (he's still a teenager).

Dead Man Walking
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:51 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Dead Man Walking » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:00 am

We use the local library. The library sells used books for extremely low prices. We've bought some cookbooks and birding books. We also make a charitable contribution to the library annually. I have always been a fan of Ben Franklin!

DMW

User avatar
Mrs.Feeley
Posts: 828
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:52 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:38 am

I get books from a variety of places. Unfortunately the local public library branches are not bus-friendly from my house and I don't like driving. So I download new titles from the public library system when they have them available. Or I download books from Project Gutenberg. There are a lot of classics I have yet to read that I've been wanting to read. Occasionally I buy used books on ebay. Maybe once or twice a month. I think ebay sellers earn more than Amazon sellers. I also borrow paperbacks from the Little Free Library kiosks that have been springing up around our neighborhood. Usually Grisham novels and the like. Visiting several makes for a nice walk in the evening. Only once in a blue moon do I buy a new book off Amazon. If it's a title I'm eager to read, can't find anywhere else and I want to support the author.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 40021
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:01 am

Both. When I retired and started thinking about cutting expenses, one of the first things I did was to remove Amazon's "books" from my "favorites" and replace it with a link to the interlibrary loan order page for my local library network. That is, my default way of "ordering a book" is now to borrow it from the library system instead of buying it from Amazon. In addition to saving me, at a very rough estimate, at least $500/year, this has side benefits. One is that when the book arrives--usually comparable to Amazon shipment times--I have to go to the library to pick it up, which is about a mile-and-a-half walk, round trip; fitness motivation. Another is that I'm spending more time in the library, which in this millennium is less-and-less book storage facility and more-and-more Chatauqua-and-community-center.

Although there are many queasy-making aspects to it, there is some complicated Faustian bargain between the library system, Amazon, and a mysterious company called "Overdrive," that does something they call "borrowing library eBooks." In practice, it means that there is a collection of eBooks--big but not unlimited, sort of comparable to "only the physical books your local library physically has"--that I can "borrow" electronically for two weeks. Popular titles are often "out" and I have to "put them on hold" and wait, but if they're in, the electronic process takes minutes and the book is instantly available to read in my Kindle application. Eh, it's not bad. To indicate the scope, I was able to borrow Taleb's "Antifragile," with no wait, but only in ePub format, not Kindle... and the only ePub reader I have sucks.

Of course I buy books, too, but mostly as eBooks. (I wasn't going to wait weeks to read "Fire and Fury!")

By the way... I mostly buy eBooks for new books, and I am going through a gradual "de-accessioning" process in which I ditch my print copies if, for any reason, I get an eBook copy. This mostly applies to older "classics" that I can get in eBook form free or at a negligible price. Books I was keeping, not to actually read, but just for nostalgic memories of the days "when I wore a younger man's clothes," I've been taking pictures of and then discarding.

Yes, I like print books. In fact, not only do I like the look and feel and smell... and the ability to locate things in them by riffling pages, for which eBooks fail to provide any reasonable substitute... I even get nostalgic for the "crisp" appearance of books printed in letterpress instead of offset. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about: compare some ordinary book in good condition printed before, say, 1960 or so, with books from the 1980s or later. In the older books, just as the name "letterpress" suggests, each letter is literally pressed into the page, making a very slight identation. You can see it by finding part of a page that's printed on only one side, and looking at the unprinted side. The letters are blacker, smoother, very slightly glossy... and the microshadow at the edge of the letter where it's sunk into the page gives it a slightly "high-definition" look. But, no, the difference is not enough to overcome the huge advantages of eBooks. I find eBooks to be just as suitable for "ludic" reading as print books.

And the nostalgia thing can go too far. I don't miss "foxed" paper on old books, or awful books printed with World War II paper restrictions with brittle, yellowed paper... and I don't think it's important to have an occasional live silverfish crawl out of a book.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
ClevrChico
Posts: 1608
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:30 am

We're lucky enough to have an amazing neighborhood library. I take the kids there a couple times a month, and we typically check out enough books to fill a large grocery bag.

Dantes
Posts: 296
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Dantes » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:33 am

I buy physical books. The only time I read ebooks is when I'm traveling; and then its usually books out of copyright and available for free. I'm fortunate to spend time in a location with excellent new and used bookstores. Buying and reading books is my main luxury. I read relatively few new books, though. And I agree that book design is not what it used to be. There are exceptions, but by and large the average new thriller, for example, is so crudely produced that its like the publishers don't want you to hang on it it.

pennywise
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 6:22 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by pennywise » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:35 am

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:01 am

Although there are many queasy-making aspects to it, there is some complicated Faustian bargain between the library system, Amazon, and a mysterious company called "Overdrive," that does something they call "borrowing library eBooks." In practice, it means that there is a collection of eBooks--big but not unlimited, sort of comparable to "only the physical books your local library physically has"--that I can "borrow" electronically for two weeks. Popular titles are often "out" and I have to "put them on hold" and wait, but if they're in, the electronic process takes minutes and the book is instantly available to read in my Kindle application. Eh, it's not bad. To indicate the scope, I was able to borrow Taleb's "Antifragile," with no wait, but only in ePub format, not Kindle... and the only ePub reader I have sucks.
From the sister of a librarian: libraries buy a certain number of licenses for e-books, which can then be coded to be transferred for whatever period of time the library allots to people utilizing the online portal to which both the license and requestor are registered. I sometimes find the e-book queue is shorter for popular books at our library so will request both print and electronic versions and read whichever comes up first. I actually like one e-book feature which is that it is impossible for the book to be overdue since the license expires whenever the library loan period is up and poof your book is gone with no need to get anything back to the library.

Like many others I borrow far more books than I buy. As a voracious reader I couldn't afford my book habit so this is the best compromise for me. Our library caps checked out material at 50 books and at any given time I've probably got 25-35 on my home library bookshelf. I use the online management system heavily as well; one can request books, track where you are on the list (if others are waiting) as well as see what you've got out, when the books are due and if you have renewals. Our system checks out for 28 days with up to 6 renewals if no one is waiting so it's easy to keep books on the shelf waiting.

I occasionally buy books our book club is reading if I think I might ever want to re-read, and I very occasionally buy a book I can't get at the library. For older, more obscure or difficult to find titles I use abebooks.com which is a very good aggregator site that lets you search many independent bookstores in the US and abroad. Prices can be excellent with modest shipping costs; I recommend it highly.

vveat
Posts: 294
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by vveat » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:05 am

The choice is so individual - do you like reading digitally or on paper, do you read once or re-read, do you have easy access to a library?

I read a lot and re-read with pleasure. My 2 kids are the same. While I and my older kid do read digitally, we much prefer paper, especially for re-reading - so the ones that we get digitally are the ones we have some doubts whether they will be to our liking (or if we are stocking up before a big trip). And if I really like a digital book I have been known to get a paper copy as well (I so wish Amazon was offering a discount for these double purchases :annoyed). We use the library often, but our pleasure is to have the books at our disposal (and when my son grabs 40 books at a time it stresses me out to make sure they don't get lost among ours, I am actually relieved when we are ready to return them). The one exception is non-chapter books which are quickly outgrown- until recently my son who just turned 7 still liked picture books - of these we had a few, and donated them as soon as he allowed. Now that he enjoys chapter books and series, he jumped on the purchasing train as well (for his birthday last week I told friends who asked for advice on present to bring him the next books from his favorite series). We do donate books to the library sale each year but the net result is often negative since we come back from the sale with more than we sent in.

As a result of our choices and preferences:
- we spend ~$150 a month on books. The bulk nowadays is on books for the kids
- we have ~2000 books at home, in 13 bookcases (my husband built me #13 as a birthday gift last year since we were overflowing)
- if we move, I've estimated the books will weigh a literal ton to transport
Even though the numbers looks scary, we wouldn't have it any other way while we could still afford it.

Caduceus
Posts: 2313
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:47 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Caduceus » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:06 am

I don't buy physical books, unless the paper layout is superior - books with lots of photos or charts and financial statements.

The Kindle is superior to any print-book - you can read it with one hand, it's crazy lightweight, you can adjust the font so there's no eye-strain, it automatically remembers the last page that you left off, and after 10 years, you aren't left with a physical book that's turned brown or attracted bugs. Also, the Kindle version is almost always cheaper than the physical book. And it takes up no space.

I have thousands of E-books and 8 print books for which a Kindle is impractical, like my yoga and pilates books with lots of drawings. If you aren't going to read it again, just borrow from the library. But if it means borrowing a physical book from the library versus buying a Kindle version, I'd buy the Kindle version. I hate having to hold an actual book these days and don't understand how people return to it - you have to use two hands, you have to strain your neck, you have to keep exerting pressure to keep the book open, etc.

rec7
Posts: 2369
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:22 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by rec7 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:29 am

I use the library a lot but used books on the net are such a deal. If I was not so tight I would just buy them all used. I buy a few a year.
Disclaimer: You might lose money doing anything I say. Although that was not my intent. | Favorite song: Sometimes He Whispers Jay Parrack

User avatar
dual
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by dual » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:13 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:06 am
The Kindle is superior to any print-book - you can read it with one hand, it's crazy lightweight, you can adjust the font so there's no eye-strain, it automatically remembers the last page that you left off, and after 10 years, you aren't left with a physical book that's turned brown or attracted bugs. Also, the Kindle version is almost always cheaper than the physical book. And it takes up no space.
+1

In addition, you can search the book and look up words in a dictionary. Say you come across a character or concept that you want to find out more about. Just do a search and you can find the description when it was first introduced.

The word look up function was particularly handy when I was reading a Brit book recently. It used a lot of slang and I found most of the terms in the Kindle dictionary. You can also install different dictionaries from those that come with the Kindle.

I actually tried reading a dead tree (DT) book recently and just couldn't do it. It was heavy and awkward. It wasn't backlit so I had to turn on a lamp. The font was hard to read. I gave up.

Ebook pricing is a problem though. The big 5 publishers are deliberately over-pricing ebooks since their sales undercut the big 5 monopoly on DT books. My approach is to search different local library systems for the book or wait. Prices usually come down after a year or so.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 4539
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by lthenderson » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:22 pm

J295 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:12 pm
What do the rest of you do with your reading choices.
Neither, people buy books for me. For the last ten years or more whenever someone wants to give me a gift, I request a gift certificate to someplace that sells books. I probably have enough books to keep me reading for the next decade or more. I am blessed to have such generous family and friends.

island
Posts: 1734
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by island » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:30 pm

I buy books, like to hold them in my hand, turn pages.
Have e-reader capability, but not the same experience and I don't want anymore screen time. I get enough at work and elsewhere to make me bleary-eyed without adding reading.
Usually one read and done unless reference, but I regularly swap books with 3 avid reading friends and the free lttle libraries in the community so I feel worth the money and passing them reduces clutter.
I keep telling myself once I'm done with my stash I'll go to the library, but I keep finding new titles I want, as do my friends, so I don't see that I'll be waiting for my turn for coveted titles at library anytime soon.

Seal the Deal
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:25 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Seal the Deal » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:00 pm

100% library audio books for me, on overdrive phone app.

AlwaysBeClimbing
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:39 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by AlwaysBeClimbing » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:47 pm

Public library. Mine is very good on purchasing requests. If I really find a book I want a personal copy of I can usually find a gently used copy somewhere. I can stomach reading digital articles of short to intermediate length, book length not so much.

tarmangani
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:14 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by tarmangani » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:06 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:01 am

Although there are many queasy-making aspects to it, there is some complicated Faustian bargain between the library system, Amazon, and a mysterious company called "Overdrive," that does something they call "borrowing library eBooks." In practice, it means that there is a collection of eBooks--big but not unlimited, sort of comparable to "only the physical books your local library physically has"--that I can "borrow" electronically for two weeks. Popular titles are often "out" and I have to "put them on hold" and wait, but if they're in, the electronic process takes minutes and the book is instantly available to read in my Kindle application. Eh, it's not bad. To indicate the scope, I was able to borrow Taleb's "Antifragile," with no wait, but only in ePub format, not Kindle... and the only ePub reader I have sucks.
I can speak to this as a library director. Publishers have been and continue to be leery of eBooks because of the potential for simultaneous downloads. One copy could potentially be pirated to a virtually unlimited set of users. In response, publishers placed library-like restrictions on access. Even though a "book" is electronic, it is treated as if it were one physical copy owned (in fact leased) by the library or its consortium. Consequently only one copy can be checked out a time, usually for two weeks. Developing a robust eBook collection, incidentally, is very difficult, because libraries--with notoriously small budgets--must add another media format purchase for the same item. Many eBook collections, therefore, are coordinated at the network/consortium level so that individual libraries do not need to purchase the electronic materials themselves. When a new item comes out, libraries often buy the same title in regular print, large type print (when available), physical audiobook/CD, and now e-Book and audio book. That adds up for just one title, even with the fairly substantial discounts libraries receive.

Some products use a different pricing model altogether that allows for simultaneous checkouts--Hoopla is a prominent example. With Hoopla the library pays for every download of an item, so they limit patrons to some arbitrary total to control costs (say 10 checkouts/month) but you can access items automatically.

You should also be able to use the ePub format on your Kindle device with the Overdrive (or Libby) app. When I worked as a technology librarian I had helped a patron with her Kindle Fire and she did not have to use the Kindle version of a file--we used the ePub one for her, which was a lot easier since it didn't have to route to Amazon first. So try that on your device. Not sure if it still would work. Try asking one of your librarians for help.

I would also recommend that you explore the advantages of signing up for different library networks (if you're allowed to do so) so that you can broaden your effective eBook collection. I live in Rhode Island, where we have one library network, but my wife has access to two additional library networks in Massachusetts through work. In effect, then, she has three separate eBook collections. The odds of her finding something palatable therefore increase substantially. The feasibility of this suggestion of course depends on your particular environment.

SeekingAPlan
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:03 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by SeekingAPlan » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:23 pm

I am trying to downsize so I do not buy books anymore & have donated most of what I had to the library. Except for technology books I almost always borrow the ebook for my Kindle. One issue I have encountered is that I can borrow physical books from other libraries in the network but can only borrow ebooks from my home library. I'm not sure if there will ever be an answer to that but it has the effect of giving me fewer options than I used to have.

User avatar
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:09 pm

Library mostly. Even before getting my iPad that functions as an e-reader, I was heavily using the library. Now even more so. The selection in e-books is good, and includes some that don't have hard-copy versions at all. Also, I don't use reading glasses, and the print from many books is becoming challenging these days.

MP173
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by MP173 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:32 pm

I enjoy going to the library and typically read 40-50 books per year.

Books that I wish to keep for reference will be purchased. I will also buy books at garage / estate sales and then give to co-workers after reading.

No e-books yet.

Ed

aprilcpa
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by aprilcpa » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:13 pm

My family uses the library a lot!! We typically have six to eight books checked out at any point.

The books we do purchase are usually from book sales that the local library foundations sponsor. We can find some pretty awesome books for $.50 to $2.00 each! If those books are not deemed keep worthy, we donate them back for the next sale.

I tried using a Kindle for a while but found I preferred a “real” book.

User avatar
munemaker
Posts: 4151
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by munemaker » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:16 pm

I share an Amazon account with some relatives, and we have accumulated a lot of Kindle books over the years...mostly free ones.

Since retiring, I have been reading a lot. I belonged to the local (Erie) county library system. I joined the Carnegie library system in Pittsburgh. I had to go to a branch to join, but after that, I borrow ebooks (Kindle) and audio books (Overdrive) online and never visit a branch. Also, I joined the Free Library of Philadelphia (a BIG library system), and I did not even have to visit a branch to sign up...all online. So belonging to those three library systems, there are a lot of books available. Quite often if a book is out at one library system, it is available at another library system.

The one problem I had with ebooks was reading outdoors, such as at the beach, where the summer sun would make it impossible to see the screen. I bought a Kindle paper white e-book reader for these instances, and it works great in bright sunlight.

The only paper book I have purchased recently is McLung's book "Living Off Your Money." It is not available for Kindle and is heavy reading so I needed quite a while to get through it. It is a book I will refer to in the future. Generally though, I prefer the ebooks. Less clutter, much easier to manage and they are always with you.

hudson
Posts: 2179
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by hudson » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:08 pm

Ever since Kindle came out, I've been buying 95% of my books from Amazon....Kindle Editions.
The other day I started to buy the Kindle Edition of The White Lioness by Henning Mankell...originally published in 1993. The price was about $25 which was too high; if it would have been under $10, no problem. I tried to put it on CamelCamelCamel, but Kindle books won't work there. I saved it to my wish list...waiting for it to go down to a more reasonable price.

I remembered that my son talked about borrowing Kindle books from his local library; he said that his son was a regular user; he never paid for a book. I logged on to my library account. It took me about 5 minutes to figure out how to get to the Kindle books; 30 seconds later I had The White Lioness on the Kindle App...on my iPhone...no charge...except being a taxpayer. I've got two weeks to read it. I noticed that I couldn't read it on my computer, but it works fine on my Kindle or my iPhone App

I guess I finally qualify to post to the "What Frugal Thing Did You Do Today".

By the way, the book is excellent; it could be worth $25.

scrabbler1
Posts: 2458
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:39 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by scrabbler1 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:19 pm

bengal22 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:23 pm
I buy books I want to keep and borrow books from library.
Same here. One good source for buying cheap books is the local library's annual (used) book sale. I have picked up some great books that way for $1 each.

ScaledWheel
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:06 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by ScaledWheel » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:25 pm

I'm a bit surprised I'm in the apparent minority here. I pretty much exclusively buy and read physical copies of books. I like highlighting and taking notes in the margin, and frankly like having my own personal library that I can refer to. It can be a pain to move, but I'm still young (30) and don't mind the few extra trips to the moving truck.

RandomPointer
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:38 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by RandomPointer » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:57 pm

I love eBooks. I mostly borrow, and sometimes I purchase them.

I still get physical books, for those that I really like, or books that I use as references, has tons of graphics, tables, books that need flipping back and forth, or books that I would like to give away or loan.

How can you leave eBooks as inheritance?

User avatar
FreeAtLast
Posts: 683
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by FreeAtLast » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:07 pm

Both. I love my public library, but I also buy physical books so they will keep making them. I tried the Kindle for a month and despised it.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

2015
Posts: 2906
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by 2015 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:42 pm

The Los Angeles County library system absolutely rocks. I order books online and books are delivered to my local library from any library in all of LA County! All transactions occur online and notifications are sent via email.

No paper books for me, no Kindle either, as only about 20% of book contents are actually of value, rest is filler repeating the main point in different ways. While reading, I bookmark important pages, then scan bookmarked pages when finished reading the book. I review these "book summaries" in my digital library regularly in order to ensure important content is transferred from short to long term memory.

skylar
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:28 am

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by skylar » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:28 pm

I only buy books that I know my partner and I will both read (and preferably read several times). Shelf space is too valuable a commodity to waste on books that will only be touched once. Buying new is expensive (new book depreciation must rival new car depreciation), so I buy books at our local library book sale (where everything is a $1), otherwise I'll look in used book stores.

While we have a Kindle, I only use it to get books from the library so that I can be in two hold queues for a book (physical and electronic) rather than one. I really do like the feel and smell of real books, so haven't quite converted to e-books.

scrabbler1
Posts: 2458
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:39 pm

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by scrabbler1 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:58 pm

2015 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:42 pm
The Los Angeles County library system absolutely rocks. I order books online and books are delivered to my local library from any library in all of LA County! All transactions occur online and notifications are sent via email.
My county library system has similar features. From home on line, I can request books to be delivered to my local library from any library in the county for pickup, with an email to tell me it is waiting for me to pick it up. I can even renew books from home without having to present the book for renewal, as long as it isn't on reserve from another patron. I also get email reminders when a book comes due in a few days. I can access the online card catalog for the entire county, and I sometimes go to another (nearby) library to get a book right away instead of waiting for it to be shipped over.

User avatar
Pranav
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:25 am
Location: Texas

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

Post by Pranav » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:00 am

Library
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki

Post Reply