Where I Get Books (Hint: I haven’t bought a book for years)

I don’t really buy books. I share my very small apartment with my partner and two cats, and sadly we just don’t have room for that room full of library that I dreamed about as a child.

The other thing is that I just don’t really tend to read books more than once. There are SO MANY good books out there, and so little time to read them all. Sometimes I hear about people who have read one book many times, and I just wonder how they can possibly have enough time in their lives to do so??!

So here’s the thing: I haven’t bought a book for years! Before you jump on me and assume I’m downloading e-books illegally or something, I don’t do that either. No, I get all of my books in a legal and legitimate way, I just don’t feel the need to buy a physical copy of each book.

So, where do I get my books? Well, I’ve decided to make this post about where I get my books.

1. The e-books section of my local library.

I realize that I am really privileged when it comes to my local library. The Toronto Public Library is one of the largest public library systems in the world. It has over 100 branches, and millions of physical books and e-books that Toronto residents can borrow for free.

So, for the most part, I can get my books from the e-book section of the local library. I’ll admit that there are times that the e-book has a longer holds queue than the physical book. But guess what? I can download the book from my very own living room, without having to go out in the middle of winter. Then, I can carry a few books around at a time, without having to weigh myself down with 10 extra pounds.

2. Real books from the library.

So as much as I love borrowing the e-books from the library, there are times when “real books” just work better. The library tends to have more copies of the “real books,” so if it’s a popular book I can usually get the physical copy faster than the e-book. Also, if it’s more of an obscure book, sometimes they don’t have the e-book version, but they have the real book.

So, even through getting books from the library requires me to put on pants and go to the actual library branch, there are advantages to getting physical copies.

3. Book swaps.

You know, I’ve had pretty good luck with book swaps. A couple of bookclubs I’ve been involved with have had successful swaps, where I’ve been able to pick up copies of books that have actually been on my reading list for a while.

I think people who bring their books to book swaps are probably a little bit like me: they only read their books once, or twice at the maximum. So they’ll bring really good titles in the hopes of swapping them for other good titles. Anyway, if you’re in the mood for swapping something you own for something else, this is a good way to pick up some new titles.

These are just three ideas that I have. In fact, I get most of the books I read from numbers one and two. Where do you get your books? Let me know in the Comments section below.


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