Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bat Cave Consumer Survey

This is what happens when you flit in and out of Twitter. You miss brouhahas. There was apparently one yesterday, courtesy of a New York Times article. The uproar stemmed over (what else?) the sharing of e-books. I'm not going to rehash it here. Dear Author can give you the scoop, and my opinion on e-books as a whole has not changed since I wrote this piece for Romancing The Blog back in June.

Instead of wading into the Dear Author fray (sorry Jane, I'm just not up for it today), I thought I'd spin this whole thing in another direction. I'd been kicking the idea around anyway as potential blog fodder, and this brouhaha is too convenient to ignore. Specifically, what are the book buying habits of other readers?

I've never made a secret of the fact that the main reason I'm a participant in the romance reading community online is that I love "talking" to other romance readers. I love reading different opinions. I love hearing about what everyone is reading. I love hearing about what you like and don't like. And to be honest? I'm a librarian. I could talk books non-stop, all day long, and I'd be one happy girl.

So to satisfy my curiosity, and just to talk books, I'd love to hear about how everyone "gets" their books. How do you keep yourself in reading material? To kick it off - I thought I'd share mine.
  • What I Buy New:
Hard cover books for those authors I can't wait for in paperback. This is a very select number. At this point? Maybe only 3 or 4? Any mass market paperbacks I just have to have. Especially historicals, and especially if it's a western. Any western that lands on my shopping list is bought new. It's my pathetic attempt to show publishers that some of us still like to read them. A select number of trade paperbacks. Depends on the author and genre - but these are mostly erotic romance or erotica.
  • What I Get From Work (The Library):
All my audio books. The only time I buy audio books is for my father, for either his birthday or Christmas. I love 'em, but damn, they're expensive. Also, any hard cover books or trade paperbacks I'm not willing to fork over my own cash for. Authors whose last few books weren't that great for me, new-to-me authors, authors who I should probably give up on....but can't. Also, since I've been moderating a romance panel for our annual literary event for the past several years - I tend to get almost all my "homework reading" through work.
  • ARCs, Swag And Buying Used:
I accept a small number of ARCs that I review for the blog. And by small number, I mean small. The Bat Cave has no staff of reviewers. Folks, it's just me. If I had to put an estimate on the number of ARCs I accept? Not even one a month. Seriously. It's a handful a year.

I'm getting some of my Harlequins through Sybil these days, and am reviewing them for her (although I've been slacking lately because of an evil slump). This has been great, because it's allowed me to travel "outside my comfort zone" of Harlequin Historical and Harlequin SuperRomance and try some of the different lines, with no "risk" to me, other than I might have to read and review a book I didn't like.

I do pick up swag at conferences, and swap print books with the So. Cal. Bloggers. These generally tend to be books I'm "on the fence" about. New to me authors I'm curious to try. Authors whose last book I wasn't in love with, but I wanted to give them another go. That sort of thing. Also, I unabashedly pick up any YA books at conferences and give them to the Lil' Sis for her classroom. She teaches high school English, keeps a small lending library in her classroom for her students, and most of those books are bought with her own money (OK, so she gets a tax write-off for it - but still). So yeah. I take freebies for her and the kids, usually disclosing this fact to authors when I do (and let me tell you, they're usually more than happy to know that's where the book is going.)

I'm also a member of PaperbackSwap, and love frequenting used bookstores. These days I reserve both for out-of-print titles and those "on the fence" books I mentioned above.
  • What I Get In "E" And What I Get As Dead Tree:
98% of my Harlequin reading is done electronically these days. I still pick up Dead Tree Harlequins for out of print titles (that aren't available in e-format) or if the book is a keeper. I know it's warped, but I like seeing "tangible" keeper books. It probably sounds silly, but it makes me happy, so there you go. I still go with Dead Tree for everything else - unless I want to read it while I'm traveling. Then I get it in e-format and load it on Ye Olde Sony Reader.

Are your eyes glazed over yet? I can't help it - I truly am this dorky. I never get tired of talking about stuff like this. The rest of you might have fallen asleep. However, just in case you haven't - feel free to share some of your habits in the comments section. Or better yet? Take it over to your own blog. Because heaven knows I rambled on for a while....

31 comments:

Katie Mack said...

I'm with you on the dork factor - I love talking about this stuff too. My book buying habits are as follows:

1. Buy New: Very few authors in hardback (Julia Spencer-Fleming is the only one that leaps to mind); maybe 1 or 2 authors in trade (usually erotic rom); several authors in mm paperback. The mmp are typically my auto-buy authors, several of whom are mid-listers so I buy their books new during release week so they'll keep getting contracts. But every so often I come across a book that I just have to read now, and am unwilling to wait 2-3 months for the library to get it.

2. Library: Usually these are new-to-me authors, books I'm curious about, or authors who haven't been working for me lately.

3. ARCs/Galleys/Free Finished Copies: As an AAR reviewer I receive about 4-5 of these a month.

4. Ebooks: I don't have an e-reading device, so all ebooks are read on my PC. Which means I don't read very many of them, overall. Some are books that are now OOP but still available electronically; some are eARCs; most are ebooks I've borrowed from the library.

5. Audiobooks: I listen to audiobooks while at the gym, so I have an Audible membership which makes them very affordable. But usually these are books I've already read and loved, and have a dead tree copy of sitting on my shelf.

Like you, I have to have my keepers in dead tree format. It feels like I actually own them, and ebooks/audiobooks don't really feel that way to me. Plus, I worry that a computer crash or DRM issue could one day cost me an ebook/audiobook, so if I love it, I buy a dead tree copy.

Katie Mack said...

Whoops, forgot to add that I also buy used when the book is OOP (I buy many older categories this way), or when I'm glomming an author with a large backlist.

K8E said...

1. Buy New: Very few authors in hard back and mostly recently the majority of those have been in the scifi/fantasy genre more than the romance genre. Even my new paperback purchases have dropped to just my die hard favorites. And to make it even more confusing, I've recently starting getting most eventual purchases from the library first to determine if I really need it in my collection (i.e. will I want to go back and reread this one day).

2. Library: Anything goes. One of my friends works at a local branch and is willing to bring me new material to a weekly group dinner. The book she'll bring this week is one I know I'll eventually purchase in hardback and am not willing to spend the money on just yet, but at the same time don't want to wait to read.

3. No Freebies for me :o)

4. Ebooks: I haven't made this plunge. I've tried reading a few books on my computer, but I'm not a fan and I don't own a portable e-reader.

5. Audiobooks: Almost exclusively borrow from the library or online from Librivox. And always a book I've read before as I can't multitask while listening to new material and I listen to audiobooks mostly while at work.

I don't think I'll every fully plunge into electronic reading. I have a tactile attachment to my books. I love the weight, feel, smell....you can't get that with an e-reader.

Lori said...

Me?

1. I buy about 95% of my books. With my own hard-earned cash. How do I split them? About 75% print and 25% e.

2. Library. This is where I get most of my "I absolutely have to read the hardcover and just can't wait for the mass market release" books. Sorry, but I just can't afford to buy hardcover since I buy almost all my books. Maybe if that rock-star gig had worked out for my hubby instead of being a teacher... but what.ever.

3. ARCs. If I've gotten 5 or 6 in the past year, I'd be surprised. I'm fortunate to have one or 2 authors that send them to me, cause I'm their ho, but otherwise, that's it.

4. Audiobooks. Not yet. I keep wanting to jump in, but just haven't yet. Those babies are expensive! And I haven't figured out what I want to try yet, so no go from the library yet.

Venus Vaughn said...

I used to buy all my books, but last year, I finally went to the library, and lo and behold (!!!) they actually had romances - a decent selection of them no less!

So I started reading more and taking more chances outside of my comfort zone. Because I'm not making the monetary investment myself and because I don't have to find a place to put the book in my house, I picked up lots of stuff I wouldn't otherwise take the time for.

I'm also a member of Paperback Swap, and it feels great to get rid of some items, and know that eventually I'll get my hands on books I want.

I never buy hardcover. I have enough in my TBR that I can wait out any hardcover to paperback conversion. And if I can't, the library is my friend.

My mass market paperback purchases have slowed down with the economy. When I buy one I usually buy about 3 and I try to include something by a totally newbie author as well as something that takes my fancy and something I really want that I either know I'm going to want to keep or know that I will be able to "sell" on PBS easily.

With the library and PBS and my wallet, my forays into the Used Bookstore have lessened considerably. But when I do venture in, I usually can't leave with fewer than 3 books there either.

I don't have an e-book reader, and am not interested in one until they fix a whole lotta things wrong with the technology (IMO).

corrie71 said...

Well, since you asked:-)

1) Buy new: Any book that I know will be a keeper, like the Harry Potter series, etc. or I book I want to use as a reference. Very rare for me to buy hardback fiction--maybe one or two a year. It's just too expensive!

2) Library: Virtually everything! I happen to live in an excellent library system (Loudoun County, VA) and I get my "must reads" from them (J.D. Robb, Sookie Stackhouse series, etc.). I also use the library to get audiobooks because those are CRAZY expensive.

3) No ARCs/Galleys/Freebies for me.

4) I have a Kindle and an iphone. I rarely purchase via them though. I usually just get the freebies. I have to say, I don't use my e-reader as much as I thought I would. It could be because I have the massive TBR to plow through and also because I get most of the really want to read via the library. I DO use the iphone alot to read while waiting, standing in line, etc.

5) I get most of my paperback romance stuff via Paperback Swap. I like being able to get rid of books that I don't want to keep while also getting new stuff. There is a used bookstore in my area that I've gone to for more than 20 years and that's also where I get alot of my stuff from.

JamiSings said...

Since I work in a library I rarely buy new anymore. I borrow most of my stuff via work. Sometimes though I like a series or a book so much that I decide to buy it later. I did that with Misdemeanor Man and I Write The Wrongs by Dylan Schaffer. I want to buy the entire Dresden Files series but can't afford it right now.

For romances I used to buy whatever looks good. Now I only buy Karen Marie Moning's books. Though that might change in the future if I find someone whom I like as much. Sometimes while traveling I'll buy new if I finished all the books I brought with me.

I buy a lot of used stuff via the Friends. Or if it's something unusual then eBay.

Leslie said...

I love reading about books and reader buying habits. :)

New - mostly mmp of my favorite authors - books that are part of a series that I know I'll want to keep. HC - very few new - too expensive.

Library - I usually have between 60-70 books out from the library. Most of my new release HC are from the library.

ARCs etc - only a handful a year.

Ebooks - no ereader so very few.

Audiobooks - I've always got one going and they're all from the library.

UBS - love shopping at UBSs, it's like hunting for treasure. :) I get probably 75% of my books there. Also a member of paperbackswap which is good for books I can't find at UBS.

jmc said...

1. New books: very few hardbacks, with JD Robb being the primary exception. Some trade-sized books. Many, many paperbacks. I buy much more than I borrow generally.

2. Library: almost anything but especially hardback releases and books by authors that who've been removed from my "buy" list (Linda Howard, Janet Evanovich, etc.)

3. ARCs/freebies: I don't receive ARCs, but occasionally win a book in a contest. Got a lot of free books at RWA, but that was an aberration.

4. Used books. Mostly from library sales since my local UBS is not romance friendly.

5. Ebooks. I love them. They are gradually overtaking print books among my reading. I read on my phone, on my Kindle and on my laptop.

My reading since Sept 1 breaks down as 5 RWA print books (free); 8 paperbooks that were purchased, although only 3 were purchased recently -- the others had been on the TBR pile for a year or so; 1 ebook won in a contest; 2 borrowed from library or friend; and 11 ebooks, all purchased at or about the time I read the books.

Blanche said...

I love talking books too! :)

Buy New: I only buy 1 author in hardback.......Diana Palmer. I have several auto-buy authors and as a general rule, I buy lots of print books!

Library: Like most I use our libraries to get my hands on the authors who release hardbacks and I won't be able to get the print in forever!

ARCs: I've been lucky to win a few and I'm thrilled when I do!

eBooks: I LOVE them! I have my laptop and a Sony eReader that I use. Honestly I would say I buy 75% print and 25% eBooks. I also will buy the print of the eBook once it is released!

Audiobooks: The only ones I have are the Harry Potter ones and we love them!! When you are stuck in the car with 2 kids and have to drive for hours on end.....they are the best things! :)

I am also a member of PBS and get lots of books from them and I have 1 used bookstore that I frequent!

Samanthadelayed said...

The only books I buy new are from eharlequin, and then ONLY if I have a coupon and free shipping. I do this for authors that I have to have and for imprints I don't get a lot of in the UBS that we own.

I still get a lot of books from the library, but mostly non-fiction and usually hardcovers. I get the odd paperback romance or mystery.

They only ebooks I have read have been free ones, like the ones offered to celebrate Harlequin's 60th anniversary. I have to read them on my laptop for now.

Janet Webb said...

I love questions like these! OK, when I buy new, it's only paperback except for a couple Baloghs and Brockmanns in the past. And it's spontaneous, I'm in an airport and I MUST have the book. So mostly it's the library, the UBS, the friend and most of all, Amazon free shipping for $25 ... that's where I get most of my "new" books.

If Mary Balogh or another author I like offers a free book, I'll probably throw my hat in the ring but other than that, I don't get free :)

Phyl said...

Great questions, Wendy. It's been fun to see the other answers.

0. I have a book budget of up to $20 per month. I can't/won't spend more than that.

1. I never ever buy hardback or trade. The only mmp I buy anymore is Mary Balogh (because I own her entire backlist already in paper) and a handful of other favorite authors like Karen Ranney, Jo Goodman, Liz Carlyle, or Elizabeth Hoyt. But even for these latter authors I'm starting to buy e.

2. About 75% of my monthly reads come from the library because I can't afford to buy all I want to read. As you know I have an awesome public library with an extensive romance collection. And I'm not shy about suggesting titles for them to buy; they almost always honor my requests.

3. Free. I don't get ARCs or review copies. I've won a handful of contests, but I don't enter very often. I prefer to enter contests held by other readers rather than those held by authors so I don't feel obligated to review a book I may not want to review. I had done that a few times and found it more stress than fun. As you say, blogging should be fun.

4. I have an ipod touch with the Stanza & the Kindle Apps. I get the most bang for my buck via Fictionwise, but sometimes I'll buy a Kindle version because a title isn't available in the right format for my ipod. I try to spread my money around so that I support as many authors as possible with the few dollars I have to spend.

5. Audiobooks. Nope. I've never gotten interested in them. I like my own voice in my head, lol.

Kristie (J) said...

I answered your survey at my place *g*

Tara Marie said...

Great post and like Kristie, I'll pull it over to my house :)

Tabitha said...

Oooh, I love book talk. I buy 99% of my books. The remaining 1% is winning luck from some author or blog site. Books I buy:

1. New - Favorite authors that I can not wait for paperback release; at most, 5 authors (I think). Paperbacks I purchase either from Borders, Walmart, Target, or Amazon.

2. Used - I buy from UBS' near me, through Amazon's sellers, ebay, or Abooktrader which is an awesome site for purchasing used books.

3. Library - I haven't been to a library in ages. I know, the crime! I was a library fanatic until I moved from the city 3 years ago. I live in the very boondocks where the library closes to me has extremely limited selection of romances I read.

4.ARCS - I don't receive any; not sure if I ever will. I'm a new blogger not to mention I'm horrible at reviewing books so ARCs are too much of a responsibility.

5.Ebooks - My e-reading device is my iphone and laptop. But with DRM and me being very techno-challenged, I'm not a fan of ebooks because I'm afraid that I will break my device one day and all the books I purchased can not be accessible again. Oh yeah, and the fact that DRM makes it hard for me to read my books on different devices. (yes, techno-challenge here. lol)

6. Audiobooks - I don't listen to audiobooks. I prefer to read and make my own interpretations of the charactes than have one read and impersonated to me.

I need to cut down on my book buying habits. I've become very impatient in the past two years so I have been buying books soon as I hear, er read, about them (approx. 500 books purchased). And then I don't like to get rid of books because I'm afraid I will want to read them again someday and too cheap to cough up $$ twice so...I keep them. I have way too many books and they're stored in boxes not even shelves.

And sorry for rambling on!

joykenn said...

OK, I'll do this in reverse. I only buy ebooks now. I borrow hardcovers and a lot of romance from the library plus audiobooks through Overdrive. I have a "standing hold" for the new books of certain authors (our Library's computer system allows us to do this).

Every now and then I'll buy a hardcover--Harry Potter is the only one to come to mind recently--and a few travel guides or cookbooks. I buy used paperbacks and mostly recycle them again to the Library's booksale. I do have a subscription to audiobooks so I buy then once a month--usually keepers like JD Robb (Nora Roberts) who I can listen to again and again (love the reader of those--great job on Eve & Peabody) but I may give it up in the future.

I also buy in eformat Baen Books (science fiction) through their Webscription where I purchase packages prepub at a significant discount. They're good folks so I do this as much to support their efforts as anything. They make a lot of ebooks free and give free subscriptions to ebooks to the handicapped. If you read SF, I suggest you support their efforts by buying from them--many different formats, also good.

Karenmc said...

I, too, love talking about these books. Thank God the internets allows me to find like-minded people.

1. Buy new: not so much, unless I can get it 25% off on a new release.

2. Ebooks: I check fictionwise.com every week and try to buy there (for my ipod Touch). It’s usually less expensive, and I need to stop filling my small house with books.I also have dozens of free ebooks from the Gutenberg project, etc.

3. Used: Thriftbooks.com has been a great source over the last couple of years. I’ve been able to snag some wonderful backlist books there. And if I wander into Goodwill, I might come out with one or two old titles. There’s a UBS up the hill from my house, too.

4. No audio books. I’ve never been interested.

5. I have a library card, but I’ve discovered that I just can’t be bothered with going there when the internet is with me all the time. Shame on me, because as I young reader I always checked out my limit each time I went.

6. ARC’s: no access for me.

There are a few books that I have in both dead-tree and ebook form. Only a very few, but I want those available to read on a very big screen when I’m an old lady with terrible eye-sight.

Jennifer B. said...

This is fun, LOL.

1. Buy New: Only the mmp's (that I'm certain I'll like--e.g. Singh)I find at WalMart and only when my grocery budget allows. I buy no hard cover books brand new (unless it's a gift for someone else).

2. Library: I get well over half of my books from my library's shelves, paperback swap rack and statewide lending system. Nervous right now because our governor is seeking to cut that statewide lending system and the bulk of my borrowing occurs there (our local library is not big on romance).

3. ARCs/Galleys/Free Finished Copies: One or two a year now.

4. Ebooks: Minimal since I don't have an e-reader. I do buy them once in awhile though (e.g. Spice Briefs) and read them on my PC. Still, a sliver of my reading.

5. Audiobooks: None. I never drive over 7 miles (10 minutes) in any direction now that I live rurally. And oh how I could kick myself for not using my hour plus commute back in my city-dweller days to "read." Can't do it at home either. A 6-year-old lives there.

Aside from the library and local UBS, the bulk of the books I read come from friends. You know who you are. :-)

Lynn Spencer said...

I'm starting to realize that I have a lot of books...

1. Buy new - This would be most of my books these days. It wasn't always the case, but I do tend to buy a lot of paperbacks new now. I buy very few authors in hardback (Julia Spencer-Fleming and Tana French are the only ones I can think of), but I buy a fair amount of trade pb because I read historical fiction and nonfiction history. Most of my books are still mass-markets, though.

2. Library - I used to go to the library all the time, but the one near me these days is rather dangerous(they've had attacks in the stacks) so I tend to shy away from it.

3. ARCS/freebies - I don't usually get much swag aside from RWA conference. I do get 4-5 ARCS/finished copies/eARCs per month, though, because that's my review load.

4.Ebooks - I buy very few ebooks but I seem to get more every year.

Becky said...

1- Buy new- I tend to only buy a very few authors new and generally only in paperback. I will buy hardcover as remainders but my budget doesn't really stretch to much more than $10 a book. I do have a rule of thumb that if I check it out twice, I try to buy it. I did spring for every Harry Potter in hardback, though.

2- Library- I check almost everything out from the library before buying if at all possible. I find the collection pretty hit or miss though, which can be really frustrating. I think they are just coming out of some sort of budget freeze.

3- I don't get any free books.

4- I don't do much with ebooks because I don't have a reader. I could see them being really nice, though and we had an extended stay overseas. With weight restrictions, it was worth it to deal with reading books on my computer.

5- Used- I buy a good number of books used. Between Books-a-Million selling library weed outs (apparently the Nashville Library System and I have inverse interests) and Friends of the Library, I do fairly well.

Becky said...

Oh! I forgot about the specific category of "bath tub books." There are a hunk of books that I adore that I only buy in paperback because it's too hard to read hardbacks in the tub and they are vital to my bubble bath experience.

Lesli Richardson said...

1. New - very few, very rarely. Usually either a book that I cannot get as an e-book, or cannot get via PBS, or one I wish to keep a hard copy of, like James Lee Burke or another must buy author.

2. Library - not so much, my hubby gets to the library more than I do.

3. ARCs - N/A.

4. Ebooks - Mostly. In fact, we bought Dan Brown's newest for our Sony when it was available. I'd much rather have the ebook version, it's saving us space in our already cluttered house.

5. Audiobooks - Audible.com

I'm trying to thin my collection of dead tree books because our house is small and we have thousands of books. We're not eligible for a hoarding tv special, thank god *LOL* but I hate to dust, and we live in hurricane territory. When we survived Charley relatively unscathed after it came ashore almost on top of us, we decided to start simplifying and paring down to make life easy on us. Ebooks are MUCH easier on us than dead tree books.

Rebecca @ DSB said...

Hey Wendy - thanks for the link to the brouhaha about that Kindle sharing thing. I went over to Dear Author but then I saw something like 269 comments and my eyes glazed over. Whatever - those guys can hash it out. I'm more interested in your discussion about book buying habits.

I get four free books a month courtesy of Amazon Vine program, I pick up about 15 library books a month, and I buy 10. Rarely, I get a freebie direct from an author or PR person.

Kelli Gilliland said...

This stuff is pretty fascinating, so I'll throw in my stats to help you out...

Unfortunately, I don't buy hardly anything new. Economy being what it is, I don't have much in my budget for books of any kind. So I check out almost all of my books from the library -- which is good, because I'm one of those people who reads a book once and then has to give it a long while before re-reading it. If I don't get it from the library, chances are I've borrowed it from family. The few books I own are fifty-cent paperbacks that the library was selling because they weren't going to put them in circulation, and a few trade paperbacks that I've bought over the years for trips or because I couldn't find the author in the library. As far as ebooks go, I've been sticking with the free ones Mills and Boon and Harlequin give out (www.everybodysreading.com). I got Silent in the Grave that way and man was it worth it! Granted, it was free, but it was genius of M&B to give it away -- despite the cost, I will be picking up the sequel ASAP.

Well, I hope I helped somewhat. I wish I could put buying books as a higher priority, but at least I'm still reading!

CindyS said...

Answered at my blog - I would have broke your comments!

Anonymous said...

I pretty much only buy new mm of fave authors that I know I won't be disappointed with.

I never buy hardcovers.

I have an unseemly addiction to e-pubs, so that is the mainstay of my ebook buying. Actually it is probably where the majority of my romance budget goes these days.

I have to re-investigate my local library, a couple of years ago they only had a handful of Mills and Boon and historicals - and neither are for me. But have heard that things have changed, so am going to investigate this week.

I am a massive used book buyer, op shops, second hand stores and online.

I think that is them all, out of order, but there?

Mandi said...

Great topic Wendy - I am going to take you up on your offer and blog about it at Smexy :)

Kwana said...

Great post. I get lost of books at conferences. If they are going it away I take it. If I don't want it. I share with friends and family. Mostly my grandmother.

If it's a hardcover or audio book I get it from my library. Love my library. Or if It's a book my friend suggested I order it from the library or something I'm just thinking I heard buzz about it's the library for me.

I usually buy e or buy new from friends and other buzz books that are too hot to pass up also from my favorite authors that are on my never pass up list.

Marg said...

I get most of my books from the library - probably about 80-85% I would think. Next highest portion is the books I get sent for review, and then the books that I buy. I never get books electronically, and it is VERY rare for me to buy a used book.

dancechica said...

New: I buy anything I can't wait for. I don't buy as many hardcovers as I used to (they're expensive, awkward to hold, and take up too much room) but I have about three or fours authors that I regularly purchase in hardcover. For some reason, I'm more willing to purchase YA hardcovers than adult hardcovers. I think because they're usually smaller and cheaper. For mass market paperbacks, I will purchase whatever books I must have right away and that I know I will read relatively soon (trying to reduce the TBR pile). Every now and then I'll buy a book just to support an author who's doing something new or different. I rarely buy trades.

Library: As much as I love the concept of the library (free books!), it just doesn't work for me. My nearest library is pretty small and doesn't have a very good selection. Even using the interlibrary loan system, I often have a hard time finding things that I want. Also, I have a hard time getting stuff back on time and often end up paying fees--which is money that could have been spent buying books. On top of that, our librarians are very unfriendly. So I generally don't use the library unless there's something I want to read right away but don't want to spend the money for it or for audiobooks because they're too expensive to purchase on my own.

ARCs & Swag: I don't receive ARCs or freebies. When I use to blog, I got a very small amount for review. Now I sometimes get ARCs and freebies through contests or when conferences come to the area (like ALA), but this is very infrequent.

Used: I used to buy secondhand books from Amazon, Ebay and Half.com all the time, but that was before I discovered Paperbackswap. Ever since I discovered PBS two years ago, I've become addicted to it and rarely buy used books online anymore. I would love to visit more brick and mortar used bookstores, but I can't really find a good one that isn't too far.

Ebooks: I have a Sony Reader. For about the first eight months or so after I purchased it, I bought mostly ebooks. After a while, though, I got tired of dealing with all the different file formats and file shifting; having to open up Windows to download books (I use a Mac) and not being able to trade or sell them afterwards. Now I rarely buy ebooks except if I'm in a mood and must have a particular book to read right now. For all the convenience of ebooks, I find I still prefer dead tree books because I love being able to flip back and forth in a book and I love seeing books on my shelves.