Friday, December 21, 2007

Books – buy or borrow?

I’ve just received the January/February 2008 issue of newbooks magazine. It is full of information, articles, interviews and so on and so on … plus the special offers. In each magazine there is a choice of a free give-away (you pay p & p costs). There are extracts from each book to tempt you into further reading. This month the choice is between:


On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
The Welsh Girl, Peter Ho Davies
The Oxford Murders, Guillermo Martinez
The Coroner’s Lunch, Colin Cotterrill
Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders, Gyles Brandreth

I’m not sure which one to pick. It won’t be On Chesil Beach because I’ve already got that book. The others all look as though I’d like to read them, so when I get time I’ll be reading the extracts, before deciding which one to pick.

Well, that’s about free books, but the magazine is packed with details of other books and it’s simply not possible to buy all or even many of them. This is where the Library is a fantastic service. I borrow more books than I buy – fortunately says my husband! I have always, as long as I can remember, been a member of a library and for a while I worked as a librarian, so I’m always enthusiastic about libraries. Where else can you get such a wide-ranging and all encompassing supply of free books?

Although I’m extolling the virtues of the library system I also buy books, because there are books I want to read again, books to read at leisure, without being told I’ve got to return them as someone else has reserved them and books I want to own. I buy books regularly (too regularly my husband says) and from a variety of different sources – local bookshops, there are several really good ones locally. I prefer to check out the books in the shops where possible but I also buy books from Amazon and other on-line booksellers. So, it’s a big help to find that BooksPrice now has a UK website that compares prices from on-line booksellers. Next year I’ll be checking them out before buying a book.

3 comments:

Nan - said...

I'm sure interested in the Oscar Wilde -is it a mystery, and if so is it the first in a series? And also The Oxford Murders - is that a mystery or a true account? And The Coroner's Lunch is an intriguing title. How do those folks face a meal after doing their work? :<) I'll be interested in what you think after you've read the extracts.

Becca said...

I've never heard of this little magazine ... very interesting. I buy way too many books so that now I am out of bookshelf space.

Just wanting to drop by and say Merry Christmas and thank you for writing such a wonderful blog which I have enjoyed this year (and for being the first person to suggest Mollie Panter-Downes to me).

Table Talk said...

I enjoyed The Oxford Murders, but you perhaps need and interest in Maths.

Like Becca, my main problem is space, having had to decant the contents of my office book shelves into my home this summer.