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Books, Books, Books!!! - Do You Buy or Borrow?


Books, Books, Books!!! - Do You Buy or Borrow?  

137 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you buy or borrow the majority of your school books?

    • Buy
      83
    • Borrow
      44
    • Other
      10


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Just curious to how many people buy versus borrow the majority of the books they use for school. Not curriculum, but fiction and nonfiction books for reading, science, history, etc.

 

Even though we live about an hour away, we pay a yearly fee to use the St. Louis Country library system. So, we borrow the majority of the books we use.

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Buy if it's something we'll use all year or use again (for us, there's not much in that second category - I don't have any youngers waiting in the wings). Also buy if it's not available to borrow easily and it sounds really good.

 

Borrow everything else. The vast majority of books we read for science and history we read one time. No way should I be buying those books.

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We buy a lot of books because of ds' allergies. We also borrow a LOT of books from the library -- mostly for science and geography. But ds can't touch the books, so it isn't very fun for him. All pleasure reading and living math books we buy.

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A little bit of everything:

 

We use the library extensively but also get a lot of books used ( my extended family are champion thrift store shoppers). I buy brand new books maybe once a month based on DS's interests. I have also been buying more chapter books on Kindle since it is so convenient for read alouds.

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I know there hasn't been many votes yet, but there's already a pattern that surprises me a bit.

 

I've noticed lately while ordering my books online for library pickup that a lot of the ones I want and need are in library binding only format. I've actually found a couple of really great series (for history and science) that look like they currently only come in that format. So, it you were to purchase them, it would be something like $23 a pop for 32-page children's booka, unless you came by them used.

 

For you book-only buyers, do ever run across this? What do you do? A lot of these are for ancient history, so there really aren't any/many alternative books for DD's age.

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We buy the spines, but fill-in with library books (our library is small, but has a fantastic ILL system) or books I find used at the Good Will or thrift shop. It is amazing what you can find! Plus, we have a small-ish house with not a lot of room for storing books. Two bookcases is what we use for our entire school.

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You need an option for "both." I buy things that I know I'm going to use heavily all year long. And I buy picture books and chapter books etc used from consignment or Salvation Army etc. I don't buy books new or even used online unless I'm positive we need it and it is a necessity, or i know my kid swill really like it and we want to have it around longer than a check out period. I use the library or ILL loan for most everything.

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I said buy. We buy the majority, and rotate some through paperback swap.

 

I'll get around buying that $23 library binding by buying it used for $4. :p I have a six book set of them that didn't cost that much. I take my lists to the online used book places, and we're regular shoppers at the local Half Price Books.

 

We've had to do library only in the past. It worked for that season. My now 7yo dd would sit on the floor under the book slot to read that treasure just. one. more. time. before having to give it back.

 

Really good history and science books will be kept. With six kids most books won't be read just once. Tales from Ancient Egypt and Uncle Tom's Cabin stay, even if they do occupy a shelf until the next history rotation. Most fictional history hits paperback swap as soon as we're done with it. I usually choose those based on the individual DC anyway, and each one is very different.

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I buy as much as I can used... there are some great library book sales where I can get several shopping bags worth of books for under $20. I buy books that I know I'll want to use for all 3 kids. For pleasure reading, DD1 is encouraged to use the public library... the early reader chapter ones that she likes add up quickly, for something she can read in 2 days and will never be touched again... I'll gamble 10¢ on a used one that one of my kids might want to read it, but I'm less enthusiastic about gambling $6 on it.

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We buy everything that we need. We sometimes borrow to evaluate books. We borrow lots of extra "fun" books (science, history, art, fiction, nonfiction). I've got four kids and lots of bookshelves. Our library has very heavy circulation--I can't always guarantee I'll find what I need when I need it.

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I used to be a book-buying fanatic until I ran out of room. Now, we just borrow most of them. I was hitting the thrift stores and buying up whatever I thought we might use in the future. Then, I discovered I had ten books about snakes on the shelf and non of them were the one I really wanted and ended up borrowing from the library! Thus, I was actually wasting money even though I was buying used.

 

Purchase the spines we'll use long term, but borrow living books: lit, history, science, etc. The idea of being permanently surrounded by that much STUFF (books) is overwhelming, distracting and, honestly, makes me queasy.

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School books (aside from textbooks and reference books) are generally borrowed from the library. I'm lucky that within an hour's drive I have access to 5 different library systems that each have very good collections. It's rare when I cannot find a particular book I'm searching for unless it has been OOP for a really long time.

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We buy

--no library fines

--our library doesn't carry many Christian books (or decent books for that matter)

--my children beg me to let them check out Scooby Do/Sponge Bob/etc. type books when we do go

 

I buy many of our books on Amazon for $4 (penny plus 3.99 shipping), most of which are ex-library books. :lol: I prefer these over new paperbacks since I know they are a bit sturdier. We spend very little on actual curriculum, so I feel like it's a good use of our HS budget.

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I suppose that, overall, we get the most from the library. However, I buy an awful lot of fiction at thrift stores and so on - in that case it tends to be things that look good and are available, rather than specific things I'm looking for. We buy things online if I intend to use over an extended period (used, if possible).

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I am really sorry to answer with the annoying 'other' but I buy most of the books we read used at library book sales or thrift stores. I've got most of the sonlight and Jim Trelease books, but rarely pay over $1.50 so it didn't seem right to answer 'buy.'

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We buy a lot of books - many second hand but if I want specific books then they almost always have to be new as they are often not available where I live. I do borrow from the library a lot but the chance of getting the books I really want there is also small - so I just take what we can find on the topic we are addressing - sometimes that doesn't work either and we will just take out a book on any topic and read it and count it as school work too.

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It depends. Fiction I usually check out from the library. Non-fiction depends on how long we will be using it. If longer than a month, I will probably buy it. Also, I like having the non-fiction books on the shelf for easy reference.

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I voted "other" because I do both. I use the library as much as possible, but I also like to buy really good books. I think it's good to have some books take up a permanent residence on our bookshelves, so we can read and reread them over and over again. But books are expensive, and even when you buy them used they add up. That's why we mostly use the library.

 

Edited to add that I do buy used as often as possible, when I do buy them. I've been surprised at the classics that I have found at thrift stores. I shop at used bookstores, and also buy used through Amazon and Ebay.

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I didn't vote, because I'd have to say both. I buy books that I think will be read more than once or that will be essential spines. I borrow LOTS from the local library -- so much so that they have a binder for patron inter-library loans, and a separate, larger binder for just our family's inter-library loans. :lol:

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Mainly buy (used) these days. I have a large home library and my kids love to revisit old favorites. I find my library has a limited selection and no ILL (well unless I want to pay $5/book whether they find it or not :huh: ) and no holds (unless I want to pay $1/book :glare: ).

I have a good thrift store where I go a couple times a month. If I donate 2 bags of books/clothes/toys (easy to find around my house..still cleaning out some storage boxes from moving) I get a 20% off coupon. So Chapter books are .64@ and picture books are .44@. I think some schools/homeschoolers donate to them, because I always find series, classics, leveled readers, tons of non-fiction and picture books.

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Our local library is lousy and I just don't have the time for ILL and driving around. We have been collecting children's books free or less than a dollar for over ten years and we continue to haunt a couple of fabulous used book sales each year we get lots of stuff for a quarter. I selectively buy the rest used on Amazon for, usually, $4. If it's something really nice that I'm sure will be well-loved I'll pay more used but I seldom buy books new.

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I know there hasn't been many votes yet, but there's already a pattern that surprises me a bit.

 

I've noticed lately while ordering my books online for library pickup that a lot of the ones I want and need are in library binding only format. I've actually found a couple of really great series (for history and science) that look like they currently only come in that format. So, it you were to purchase them, it would be something like $23 a pop for 32-page children's booka, unless you came by them used.

 

For you book-only buyers, do ever run across this? What do you do? A lot of these are for ancient history, so there really aren't any/many alternative books for DD's age.

 

 

Books are sold through different channels. One of those is the "educational" channel (schools, libraries, etc.). I have been scouring ancient history myself, and yes, I have found that books that look rare or oop on Amazon are usually readily available at my library.

 

Amazon has numerous policies on educational materials (mostly because of teachers manuals) but they could do a much better job offering materials out of the educational catalogs.

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We buy textbooks and some activity books, but borrow the majority of our fiction/non-fiction books from different libraries. Sometimes we have about 200-300 items checked out to 9 library cards we have from different libraries taking into account we have very large book collection of our own. I need to hide books from my oldest child who reads all the time.

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We mostly buy. Our library is tiny and looks like something out of the 70s. The only books we've borrowed have been a few old children's series, like the Boxcar Children and the Hardy Boys. Our local university has a fantastic library, so we should be able to make good use of it in a few years.

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Hmm...that is hard to judge. We definitely check out more books from the library in a year than the amount of books we own. But if we didn't use the library we wouldn't actually buy that many books. I do buy a lot of books used. (In addition to garage sales and thrift stores we have a used homeschool book store). I only buy new if it will have long term use (encyclopedia type books). I also give my girls fun fiction books for gifts.

 

We do have a nice little library with access to a large library system. No late fines at our little town library for books, no charge for ILL (fines may apply though, depending on where the book is from). There are also two nice large in system libraries in the larger town where we work/grocery shop etc...

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I voted buy, since you said "school books." That makes me think of texts and spines. But we "school" a lot out of library books. I do not borrow texts for math and english and spelling. We own those. I don't lend them out either. I like to keep them on shelf. I buy history and science spines and quite a few supplementary as well. I could probably totally school out of what we own, minus the 5th grader's literature studies. But we like to expand everything with tons of library books.

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I voted buy, since you said "school books." That makes me think of texts and spines. But we "school" a lot out of library books. I do not borrow texts for math and english and spelling. We own those. I don't lend them out either. I like to keep them on shelf. I buy history and science spines and quite a few supplementary as well. I could probably totally school out of what we own, minus the 5th grader's literature studies. But we like to expand everything with tons of library books.

 

 

We have so little storage space and we rent, so I have always sold what we could at the end of the year. I wish we could have kept them all!

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I mostly use the library, but I do buy:

 

General encyclopedias (World Book, New Book of Knowledge, Columbia, Golden Book)

One subject encyclopedias (Usborne, DK, Kingfisher)

Ebook collections Yesterday's Classics and Heritage History

Dover Evergreen and Thrift classics, to go along with Whispersync audiobooks from audible.com

Art, craft, experiment books that I use a lot.

Christian, Waldorf, Pagan, Jewish books the library doesn't have

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We are usually after specific book or genres and our library usually has none of them.

 

Its also just another thing that lowers the stress factor. If I'm borrowing books a lot and using them as the main books, I have to hover over everyones shoulders and make sure the books are treated like gold. Its just too stressful (kind reminds me of when I visit my brother, on his hands and knees picking up little micro bits of dirt, because his landlord is strict). If one of the books was "hurt" under our care I'd be feeling guilt for a long, long time, no matter how unreasonable it sounds.

 

So we buy the majority. Specific titles from BD, and genres/subjects from used bookshops (either online or IRL).

 

This way I don't have to worry if anything happens.

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I haven't seen this mentioned yet. I buy almost everything used on Amazon for a penny Plus $3.99 for shipping. But, before I buy anything on Amazon, I always check to see if the title is available for free on Open Library. I can usually get about 25 to 33 percent of the books I want for free on Open Library. I keep an Amazon wish list running and wait for books to drop to a penny before I buy. I also have a separate Amazon wish list that includes the books we want to read that are available on Open Library. So we can do a mix of e-readers and physical books on any given day.

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