I've been going through some of my book shelves, thinning out titles to reduce occupied shelf space. On a quick walk through, I grabbed 22 books - quite a few romance novels (a habit I have broken) and some others that I purchased or received as gifts, which I didn't enjoy enough to want to keep. A few are hardback, most are paperback.
I started thinking about how much money was invested in those books - most cost $7.00 or more. If I were to pretend they all had a new book value of just $7, then that means there's at least $154 worth of books. Most I only read once. I spent less than that in restocking my cloth diaper supply in preparation for Nathanael's arrival in the house. I spent less than that ordering a custom kit from Homestead Emporium in preparation for baby cakes' birth.
I also started thinking about how hard it is to let go of these books, even if I haven't read them in years, and don't intend to read them again. I think about the money spent, and how I probably couldn't get more than a dollar out of any of them. It certainly makes me think about what makes a book worthy of purchasing.
This has also certainly caused me to value my local library - I can borrow books, and not have to worry about money spent on something that won't get any more use. I continue to add to my collection, but very slowly. I buy books that I borrow repeatedly, and these days mostly non-fiction works. I have siblings and friends with extensive collections, so really, there's little reason for me to buy a book that will sit around on my shelf for years, with just one reading in them.
I love my local library for the great selection of children's books. My kids get a wide variety of books there, more than I would buy, and the great thing is that if a book is really bad, I don't have to endure my kids wanting to hear it over and over. It also is a good way to find the books that we really do like to read as a family.
So, if you haven't visited your local library in a while (or ever!) Go check it out! Your tax dollars are at work there, and you might as well get a good read. Or a bad one that you can quickly return. Whatever works.