Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have just been reading Crystal Paine's Biblical Womanhood blog. She was teaching on frugal living. If you have to, want to, or believe you should live frugally, spending less than you do, she can probably tell you several ways how.

One of her points was that she gets books from the library, even through interlibrary loans, instead of buying them. She even does this for her young daughters. (I know for a fact that she owns a few books, considered school books, that teach sign language or catechism.) From a woman who writes and sells books, I find this an ironic confession.

For myself, I'm a writer. Someday I intend to publish something and get paid for it. In the mean time I blog, for free, and spend all my writing energy doing this much easier exercise instead of putting together a book. Yet I sympathize with authors, feel for the mass of books out there as competition. On top of all this we add libraries.

So here is my solution, killing two birds with one stone. I use the libraries. In this way I discover whether a book is worth purchase. (If it wasn't worth purchase to anyone, it ought not have been written. But some people purchase unworthy books - like all the romance novels we see at garage sales and used bookstores.) After reading a book that I like, I will usually add it to my list to buy. There are a few instances in which I will buy a book without reading it: I trust the author, I trust a reviewer, I trust the store, or I get a really good deal. Which brings up the fault in my reasoning. I would much prefer to own secondhand books than to pay full price in most cases, especially if the author is already mainstream. Some books I see as supporting a ministry when I purchase them full price as directly as possible from the authors.

All this to say I am almost never completely frugal with books. I would not want to have the library own all of my favorites for me. Though I am willing to live in an inexpensive apartment my whole life, and to not eat at fancy restaurants, and not buy new clothes (or many clothes). Though I can resist going to the movies, or buying frivolous things; I have every intention of owning shelves and shelves of books. To this end I never refuse to spend money on a good book. And I have stacks of books in my room.

Just recently I cleaned and rearranged my room in order to shelve all of the recent purchases that had been stacked on my floor. Immediately following this burst of energy and organization, I went out and bought stacks more books. Stacks. And then I went to the library, where I checked out seven large books as research for my writing. (One of them is about Iceland in the Middle Ages, and has me all bound up in that world; look for the review!) So my floor is just as covered as ever with books for my library.

If I ever move or get very organized (and ambitious: buy new shelves, rearrange my whole room...), I will take massive pictures for you. In the mean time this is what you get.

1 comment:

åslaug said...

"I have every intention of owning shelves and shelves of books." I can sign this one =) I love books, and I love to read. I read less now that I used to, but it's mostly due to poor time management and even poorer discipline.

It's a good sign that romance novels are founf on a garage sale: it means the owner have understood it was indeed a worthless purchase. I had plenty of romance novels on the boxes I sent to my garage sale; oh, what a sign of a more healthy fed soul =)

I'm looking forward to the review of the book of Icland in the middle age, is it about vikings or later? My people first populated the island (unfortunately, you may say, my anscestors didn't move there, or I would have been Icelandic and not Norwegian). I'm looking forward.

I never tire of reading your blog.

Soli Deo Gloria,