While I’m a library girl through and through, I do like to have my own copy of books that I LOVE. A few examples of such books would be The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Atonement by Ian McEwan, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, and Becoming by Laura Jane Williams. (The last three I listed are signed copies, and you can bet that I am never, ever letting them go.) Even though I hardly reread anything anymore, I like the fact that I have these books on hand to reread at any time I want.
I have a tricky relationship with buying books nowadays, as my book buying habits are largely dictated by the very limited space I have in my apartment for books (so, none), and what my bank account balance dictates that I can spend on “fun stuff” (so, not very much). My local library has a great selection of books, plus it has a pretty stellar ebook catalog. Ninety-nine percent of my reading is done on my Kindle; if I can get a book in ebook form I am definitely going to read it. And while it can take what feels like for-ev-er to get off a library waitlist, it’s not so bad when I can read other library books while waiting to get un-waitlisted for a book.
However, despite my love for borrowing books from the library, I still like to buy the ones I really, truly love. And so when my boyfriend got me a $50 gift card to Amazon Kindle for Valentine’s Day, I immediately set about making a list of books that I love — or want to love, and cannot get at my library — enough to buy.
The first two books on my list were:
- Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
This is a debut novel that I am so, so excited to read after I came across Buchanan’s essay “The Woman Scared of Her Own Kimono.” I felt so strongly that Harmless Like You was going to be a remarkable read that I even pre-ordered it, which is unheard of for me as I always forget to preorder things before they’re released.
- Code Name Verity Elizabeth Wein
I read this book in 2015 and it is still one of my favorite reads of all time. I’ve been hankering to reread it lately, which says a lot as I am not really great with rereading books nowadays. Code Name Verity is the story of a sensational team, and that’s all I’m going to say about that because I’m terrified of giving anything away to someone who hasn’t read this yet.
A good start to my book buying list, to be sure. But once I had written those two titles down, I paused and wondered what else I should add to my list. This may sound odd, but to me, those gift card dollars are precious, like little nuggets of gold. It was a thoughtful gift from my boyfriend, and I want to make every dollar I spend with it count. I view owned books as prime rereading material, but since I don’t reread very often, I need to be very choosy with what books I choose to buy with my gift card money.
Luckily, Amazon Kindle gift cards don’t expire. So while my $30ish or so book buying dollars may burn a hole in my pocket, I am comfortable with the idea of not spending any of it until I’m absolutely positive I am buying a book I will cherish forever. (Or not be able to get at the library. I’m open to that possibility, too.)