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Friday, September 15, 2006

Feeding the Monkey

I have two addictions: reading and smoking. I read about a book a day, depending on how fast paced it is. And I smoke about a pack a day, depending on how much drinking I've been doing. The price of smokes and new books are about the same these days. That makes two pretty expensive habits. Its pretty obvious I can't buy used smokes so I think its easy to see how I feed that monkey. But how do I feed my other monkey without going broke?

I bet you're thinking I use the library. Wrong! Oh, sure I could do that. But its embarrassing to have librarians tell me "You know those are all due back in 2 weeks, right?", while staring at the dozen or so books I"ve stacked on their counter. I'm thinking to myself, "Yeah, I'll be back in a week for more." Plus, most of the books at the library are hardbound. A dozen of those suckers are pretty damn heavy! There's one other reason I don't do the library. I have a sort of half assed reading circle. My best friend and I swap books all the time. Occasionally I swap books with my sister and mother in law. So library books aren't really good for that. Unless you like large overdue fees that is. I don't.

Used bookstores are good places. The one I use most lets you build credit by bringing in your used ones. Of course they don't take ALL of them. They are picky. Luckily for me they will donate the ones they don't want for me so I don't have to deal with them. Prices aren't bad. Usually they charge half of the cover price and deal mostly in paperbacks. I spent nearly $32 today. I bought one new paperback because I needed it to fill in a series I am reading and the didn't have it used. And I got 6 used paperbacks. That's not too bad. New paperbacks are going for anywhere from $6 to $8 and up.

The best place to find used books really cheap and I mean REALLY cheap is at Goodwill. Paperbacks run 50 cents. Most hardbound books are 70 cents. That $32 I spent today could have gotten me 60 books. The only problem with Goodwill is that you are dependent on the taste of others. The stores only carry what other people have donated. You can't really go to Goodwill with a shopping list like you can at a used book store. There's a fifty fifty chance that you will find something you like.

I go to Goodwill, stock up on a lot of books, read them and then take them to the used book store and hope like hell that they will accept a lot of them. Then I use that credit to buy books I am specifically looking for. Once those are read I head back to Goodwill. It keeps the monkey off my back.


  • At 8:58 AM, Blogger Meowkaat said…

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