Book sources for a lusty reader

Not everyone is so lucky to have access to multiple book sources, but DC certainly has plenty! There have been a number of posts floating (links to others at the end) around about the book buying habits of our fellow bibliophiles. Are you addicted to one-click Amazon purchasing? Do you swear by your Border’s membership card? Or does Paperback Swap take care of your lust for books?

I can walk to 3 huge bookstores from my house (4 if I’m really motivated) and have many more indie bookstore choices as well. I’m so lucky I can quench my lust without having to go far!

I live in the general area of the red circle (stalkers need not apply):

  1. Borders on 18th and L, conveniently underneath hubby’s office building, and on the same color metro line I take to work, and walkable distance from home.
  2. Barnes and Noble at 12th and G, conveniently on same color metro line I take to work, and walkable from home.
  3. Books-a-Million on Dupont Circle, always hanging out in that neighborhood, and walkable from home.
  4. Barnes and Noble on M Street in Georgetown, conveniently (except for my wallet) located in supernice shopping district, a little bit of a hike to walk from home.

HOWEVER even though I have all these fabulous choices my NUMBER ONE option is always the library. Any time I see I book I want to read I immediately go to my bookmarked webpage of my library’s online catalogue. If my library doesn’t have it then I will check which of these 4 book stores have it in stock. If none of them have it I order it online.

That would make a pretty flow chart, huh? Instead I made a SUPER DORKY spreadsheet of the last 6 months of books I read (about 100 books total) and the sources where they all came from.

Clocking in at number uno source: no surprise, the library with 41 of those 100! These come from The Central Library of Arlington in Northern Virginia (red arrow to the side of the map above, about 20 minutes outside DC). Although the sign for this library always makes me laugh, the building and collection of books are AWESOME and huge (that’s what she said).

Don’t get me started on DC libraries, it would take me all day to share how terrible, useless, and unpleasant they are. I’m lucky I work by a nice suburban one!

Now on to where the sources from which I actually purchase books:

  • Internet: 13 books in 6 months
  • Barnes & Noble: 11
  • Borders: 6

Internet: I use because it’s so convenient. I am an Amazon Prime member and enjoy the fast and free shipping. Regardless of the kerfluffles and drama about Amazon throughout blog-land it’s just too easy not to use. And they always have what I need, which is the most important.

For used books on the internet I don’t do PaperBack Swap or similar sites out of pure laziness, it seemed too complicated and I just don’t feel like it. Simple as that! I do use this great second-hand romance novel online store called Books are Better than Chocolate – they’re cheap and usually have a good selection.

E-books from the internet – Shhhh *bringing finger to lips* I don’t talk about this much (not totally out of the closet) but I have purchased a few erotica e-books as PDFs.

Barnes & Noble: I do pay $25 a year for 10% savings on almost any purchase and special coupons as well. Buying 11 books at 10% or more off each DEFINITELY saved me more than $25. But honestly I don’t feel a loyalty to the store, if they don’t have what I want I go someplace else!

Borders: Hubby and I are also part of the Borders Rewards program which has occasional coupons and I think you earn points when you make a purchase that lead up to something? Clearly I don’t pay too much attention. Honestly books are the type of “necessity” for me that I don’t live and die by the prices or discounts. I want a book and I buy it where it’s available. Simple as that!

I don’t go to any indie bookstores or used book stores in DC since they never have romance novels. The big box stores have fairly good romance selections, especially new releases, but NEVER have anything from series back lists. I have had the hardest time finding the early In Death books, or the Nalini Singh Psy/Changeling series, or Meljean Brooks’ Guardians series.

So that is my geeky summation of the sources of my books. Check out the following links to get inside the heads, wallets, and bookshelves of some of my favorite bloggers:

Wendy the Super Librarian kicked it off for us

Kmont’s from Lurv A La Mode

Photo essay of sources from RRR Jessica

What about you, dearest blog reader? What are your sources to quench your lust for books?


16 Responses

  1. Boy, I think I know someone who works at that Borders … I wonder who it could be …

    You forgot 2nd Story Books! Located on P & 19th, if memory serves, right off Dupont.

  2. The Rewards Program:

    You should get coupons in your e-mail. If not, go the rewards site and make sure your e-mail is correct. Coupons sent out are regularly good for 30 — 40% off one item on your purchase. Sometimes, the type of item is specified — i.e., 30% off an DVD.

    When you spend $150, you get $5 back. All purchases in store (excepting gift cards) and online qualify for this. Borders Buck accrue the first day of the month following when you reached the $150 mark, and expire at the end of that month.

  3. Mal Snay: everuyone at that borders is always nice and friendly :) im pretty sure ive been in 2nd story books, and it’s all boring and serious, no genre or pop fiction, no romance novels. when we moved recently i called like 589023 million used book stores in DC to see if they would take donations of gently read romance novels and they WOULDN’T. snobs.

  4. A few years back I seem to remember some Congressperson standing up and delivering a speech about how sad it was that the public libraries in our nation’s capital were criminally underfunded and….sad. In a nutshell, “What does that say about our country?” sort of thing.

    Of course the speech was just that….a speech. And no action (typical) was taken. Now with the tanking economy, it’s getting worse – pretty much across the entire country. Word on the street is that 2010 is really going to blow as far as library funding goes. Ugly times ahead seems to be the prediction.

    Oh, and do be sure that Borders has your e-mail address. They send coupons out all the time.

  5. I have a dorky spreadsheet too! But I’ve never recorded the source of the book. Mine has author/title/date of pub./date read/grade/subgenre.
    I left a long comment on Wendy’s original post but I really should do my own post on this theme because I live in an area with a great public library and like you most of my reads are from the library. I could get some good pictures.
    Oh, and *I* think the sign picture is definitely funny!

  6. Wendy: its sad, there haven’t been any rennovations at the three DC libraries i go to and they are all in need of desparate repair. the only nice ones are in the super rich areas like Georgetown and those aren’t even that great compared to the suburban ones. at least the metro is clean?

    and i think all the borders emails go to the hubby since he signed up for the rewards card. i will fix that stat!

    Phyl: haha glad you liked the sign. certainly unexpected that a funeral home would be a bigger deal than a library! and cheers to great libraries!

  7. Dude! You live near me, I am TERRIFIED to live in D.C. but I live just outside and travel by metro a lot. We should get together for coffee and talk about books!


  8. Monica: awww, terrified of DC? i has a sad, i absolutely adore it. but to each his own ;)

  9. I, too, utilize our library system very often. The beautiful downtown branch is just a few blocks from where I work, so I often walk over on my lunch break. An added bonus: if they don’t have you want, you can just submit a request and WHAM! You’re getting an email a few days later telling you to come pick up your requested item. I’ve requested books, cds and movies, and every single item has been ordered. *sigh* I heart our library system. If it’s something that I can’t get there for some reason, I usually use amazon too. Sometimes I go to Borders. I worked at B&N for 7 years, and I don’t often go there, just cause I like to shop in peace and not have to make small talk with those I used to work with. Sad, I know.

  10. Oops….forgot to mention that I also hit up our big Friends of the Library sale every February and stock up! If there are any romances you are looking for in particular, let me know and I’ll try to hunt them down for you there. They usually have a great selection–and are only 50 cents a book!

  11. […] NO HARD WORK or even thinking required. All you have to do is read my post from yesterday and tell me to which source you would like to win […]

  12. The library is a good sourse like you mentioned, especially if you put books on hold, then just pick them up. Believe it or not I don’t have a Borders close to me, over an hour away! I buy from Amazon, B & N, and bookcloseout, sometimes ebay for older books. I do use Paperback Swap because I had a ton of paperbacks that I knew I wouldn’t read again. I also go to Library sales.

  13. Oh- my library sucks. Like bad. Like we’ve got to be the worst in the nation. I can’t get classics but I can get porn. I just don’t get it. But I usually go to Barnes & Noble, Target or if I’m online I like BookCloseouts because I can get new hardcover books for $4 on a good day. :) I have had nothing but horrible luck with Amazon!

  14. Don’t forget the indies and the second-handers – Books for America, Second Story Books, Kramers… I love Dupont bookstores, in particular!

  15. The last time I was in DC I spent like an hour in the Books-A-Million on DuPont Circle! That is a pretty nice store.

  16. […] was super excited to write my End of Year post and see that I read 156 books last year! Although I also tracked all the bookstores and libraries I find my books here in DC (and I’m very proud of the map I made) I still wish I kept more detailed stats about my […]

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