My Rules on Buying Books

I received a $50 gift card from Amazon and I got these three books:

This one is still on the way

It was Black Friday so the hardcovers are cheaper and almost the same price as the paperback. I don’t particularly prefer hardbounds to paperbacks because I find hard copies bulky and heavy. But I was in a I-want-to-try-something-new mood that day so I went for the out of the usual choice.

Another unusual choice is the act of buying books! When I finally afforded a Kindle, buying physical books was a rare occasion (plus I also discovered Libby!) For a time, I no longer see the point of spending money on books when I can download them conveniently. And to easily go back to my highlights and notes? That was the ultimate selling point. It also doesn’t help that I’m cheap.

But recently, I had new appreciation for acquiring physical books. But not enough to not set a criteria before actually buying them:

On Buying Books by Gleniz

1. The book should have changed my life

Sometimes I read books on Kindle that makes a huge impact and would compell me to get a physical copy. I want it to be always visible because I want to be frequently reminded of the impact it made. (ex. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert)

2. It should be love at first read

And then there are books (in the case of Upstream by Mary Oliver) where I immediately get captivated by the storytelling, the insights and the writing. Without finishing it yet, I know that this book will be one of my favorites and like the others, would be life-changing.

3. Books recommended by people I trust (aka budol)

If the book is something that’s aligned with my interests and it’s recommended by a person (or YouTuber) I trust when it comes to book choices, I would probably get it (ex. Serious Concerns by Wendy Cope).

These are my unspoken rules that I’m trying to flesh out right now. But there’s a second criteria that pertains to actually buying the books:

On Actually Buying the Book by Gleniz

1. I should get it at a discount.

2. I wait for it to be available on second-hand book shops (I made friends with the store clerk at BOOKSALE). But now that I’m no longer in the Philippines, I discovered the selection of second-hand books at Value Village. It’s pretty good.

3. Or wait for my birthday and have someone gift me.

4. (and the new and recent one) Get a free Amazon gift card.

I told you I’m cheap. But I’m glad I’ve made these unspoken rules (well, not anymore) when I buy books. It curbs my spending and I don’t feel the need to buy books on a whim only to find out that I hate it and was a total waste of money. And this way, I still get to support authors but only those who I actually admire and love. I promise, that if I get wealthier, I will support them even more by buying their books full price 😅


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