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Money Leaks: Buying Books

Posted By Jim On 06/02/2011 @ 7:15 am In Personal Finance | 25 Comments

I understand the allure of buying books, my lovely wife has explained it to me on a number of occasions. It’s one of the reasons why she doesn’t have a kindle, she enjoys holding a book way too much. The heft of the pages, the feeling of progress, and the look of the words on actual paper. If you’re like her and you enjoy reading, I totally understand why you enjoy buying books.

Here’s the thing – you can borrow them from the library for free. Everything you enjoy about a book has nothing to do with actually buying the book. It’s not the physical ownership that makes it special, it’s the book itself. When you borrow a book from the library, you get all of the positives with none of the negatives. You don’t have the pay for it, you don’t have to store it, and you can return it when you’re done. If you want to read it again, you just check it out. At worst, you pay a few cents in fees if you hold it a little longer than you’re supposed to.

This is the first edition of our new series called Money Leaks. [3]

My most valuable tip when using the library is to sign up for online access if they offer it. Through our public library system’s website, we’re able to search for books, request holds, and even renew them from the comfort of our home. We get email notifications when a hold is available and when books are nearing their due date. If I find a book I want to read, I simply place a request for it. If it’s popular, sometimes I have to wait a while but eventually I can get it. If I enjoy it so much that I really want my own copy, I can always buy it afterwards.

The library is one of the most valuable resources you can take advantage of in your community. Since you pay taxes, you’re already paying for it, you might as well use it!


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