Yesterday I was thinking about the The Martian by Andy Wier, and how much I love it, and I was thinking to myself “I love it so much I’m seriously considering buying it!” Which got me thinking about my book-buying habits in general, and made me wonder how other people decided what books to spend their hard-earned cash on.
I was going to make a list of all my book-buying criterion, and then realized that I really only have one:

I need to love the book so much I want to own it so I can read it again. And again. And again. And sometimes just pull it down and read a few paragraphs from my favourite parts and then grin like and idiot because I love the characters and the story, and even just seeing the cover makes me unreasonably happy.

My bookshelf at uni. Note how most of these are actually journals pretending to be books. (Stack of textbooks not shown :P)

Suffice to say I don’t really have problems with unread books piling up on my shelves.

But why such a strict book-buying philosophy, Sarah? If you like books, why don’t you just go out and buy what looks good like a “normal” bookworm?

The short answer is because I’m cheap. I don’t like spending a bunch of money on a book I don’t know I’ll love (the exception here is books in a series – if I liked the first book(s) enough to buy, I’ll be much to anxious to get my paws on the next instalment to wait for the public library to get it). Also books take up a lot of space, and my bookshelf (at least at home) is already bursting at the seams with books.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I will NEVER buy a book I haven’t yet read and/or isn’t part of a series I know I’ll love. There is the odd book on my shelf that I bought on the strong recommendation of a friend or at a book sale for incredibly cheap, but the vast majority of the books I own I’ve either bought because I love them so much or have been given them by friends and family.

This is not to say that I don’t own very many books, either. I own a LOT of books. Three shelves full of them, plus a few scattered around the house in other bookshelves, or my closet. Which is making me think about how I organize my books… another post for another time.
So yeah. I buy the books I know I’ll love.

When do you buy books?