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Doomsday – Booking Through Thursday

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

One of my favorite bookstores burned down last weekend, and while I only got to visit there while I was on vacation, it made me stop and think.

What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?

Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

I shop at Borders for 95% of the books I buy. I’m sorry, but Borders is covers and spines above B&N. Amazon’s okay, but I like to feel a book, hold it, sniff it. I guess if Borders went out of business I’d just make do. 

Things like Bookmooch and ARCs from publishers has slowed down my book buying, so Borders going out of business would be a bummer but it certainly wouldn’t be devestating.

I’m not really a library girl, so the library burning down would just make me happy that perhaps my local Borders would make a little bit more money. JO-king.

Basically this scenario would just be a blip in my reading habit. At this point, I have enough books to last me well over 2 years without having to buy any more books.

How long would you be able to go without buying books? One year? Two years?  By this I mean new-to-you books, not books you could re-read.

Don’t forget to enter my 14 book giveaway! You have until this Saturday (July 12th) to enter and/or finish up your additional entries. Good luck! I WILL be picking five winners!

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27 Responses to “Doomsday – Booking Through Thursday”

  1. Amy

    The answer to that is so completely embarrassing. I could easily go two years, maybe three. Maybe more.


  2. Melody

    I love visiting bookstores! I’d only go online if they have promotions or if the books I want are not accessible at the bookstores…

    I just cannot imagine myself not buying any book for more than three months! That’d be too much for me! ;P


  3. Jennifer

    I could go a few years I suppose, but I wouldn’t be happy about it!
    For me Borders, second-hand bookshops, and libraries are all important for different reasons but I’d miss the library the most.


  4. Kat

    I love browsing the bookstore. Many of the stores now allow people to sit and read books, like a library. I wish we had better libraries here though. That’s one thing that’s sadly lacking here.


  5. bybee

    Thanks to my frantic stockpiling when I first moved here, I could get through a year comfortably. Maybe eighteen months.

    If What The Book? closed its doors forever, I would sit right down on the sidewalk and let the whores (it’s located right smack dab in the middle of “Hooker Hill” in Itaewon) and shopkeepers stare incredulously as I wept loudly and without restraint.


  6. Jen Forbus

    I have to admit that I have close to 150 books that are “new-to-me” here at home. And I get books from so many different sources…used bookstores, the library and library sales, Borders, Amazon,…it would take a lot to slow me down on my reading. We don’t really have any small independent bookstores in my area, but if there was one that I really loved, I’d definitely try to help in any way I could for them to get back on their feet.


  7. Swapna

    I completely agree about loving Borders more than B&N. For one thing, the displays are so much better. I rarely if ever discover new books on the displays in B&N, but when I go to Borders I usually have to take a pen and paper with me!


  8. writer2b

    I couldn’t go long I’m afraid! I have tons of books I haven’t read, but the reason I haven’t read them is they don’t appeal to me these days… I’m at a stage where I need to augment my own book stash with other books, bought or loaned.

    The internet book suppliers are awesome! Though I’m bugged that Amazon has to charge state sales tax now.


  9. Eva

    I’ve got about 100 TBR, so maybe a year. But I could totally spend another year rereading all my favourites! lol

    Where I live, Barnes and Noble is much, much better than Borders. Funny how that works, isn’t it?


  10. readerville

    I’ll have to forgive you for loving Borders. I don’t think I could go very long without buying books. In the last few years, the longest I’ve gone is probably a month. Even after I’ve stocked up with 15 or 20 new books, I seem to see something else I want every week or so. I suppose if I had to go without, I could last three months based on my current TBR pile, then another month or two by borrowing from friends.


  11. mizb17

    Sheesh… I don’t know how long I could go without buying books! I have over 1200 books in my collection, and frequently receive more in the mail (A.R.C’s), and I’m a very-frequent patron of the local library. So it’s not like I’d be without reading material…

    But, I have a bad tendency to order books through mail-order book clubs like Doubleday, and I can’t help but pick up a couple of books from the used-book stores, or from yard sales (they’re dirt-cheap there, after all!).

    So, telling myself, “No more buying books for _x_ length of time” would practically kill me! LOL.

    I’ve tried to tell myself that I wasn’t going to buy any more books for a while… it lasted all of, maybe, a month!

    Anyhoo. The answer to your question is:
    1) if it was just to rely on my own sources because I *had* to, I could last a few years — maybe 10! LOL.
    …but if (2) it was just because I SHOULD stop buying and SHOULD read my own (but didn’t *have* to), then I probably wouldn’t be able to stop. LOL.

    So sad…



  12. Amy

    I could probably make it a year or a year and a half. I like Border’s too but I don’t buy many books new. I am definitely a library girl.

    Bybee’s answer cracked me up. I would do the same if my library closed. (sans hookers, of course.)


  13. thekoolaidmom

    “How long would you be able to go without buying books?”

    I was going to say that I haven’t bought a new book in a week… until I saw the qualifier, “new-to-you”, which I’m taking to mean mooching and ARCs. It’s been a day since then, and I don’t think I could last a week without it! I’m addicted, man… I gotta have my fix! That’s why I left a little room in my “Ye Olde TBR(e) Challenge” for me to get new-to-me ones. Like you, I’ve got about two years of books I’ve never read in my house. So it’s not the lack of reading material that’s the reason for getting books.


  14. chartroose

    I’m a library gal, myself. I guess I’d better be since I’m a librarian! I interlibrary loan 95% of the fiction I read, so this wouldn’t be a problem for me unless all the public libraries in the U.S. were destroyed at once.

    Trish, I wish I had a Borders close to me, but the nearest one is about 20 miles away, so I have to settle for B&N for my immediate book addiction needs.


  15. Lisa

    I’d say 7 or 8 years and that’s without breaking into the boxes of romances in the garage. I don’t buy much any more now that I have paperbackswap, but I’d sure pine for new stuff.


  16. Nithin

    I always borrow books from the library and rarely buy any. If the town library were to burn down, I’d be in trouble because the next nearest source of books is 50km away. 🙁

    I’ll most probably sit down in front of the computer and start reading the Project Gutenberg collection on the monitor. 😉


  17. donstuff

    “How long could you go without buying books?”

    I have made it through a week (maybe once) without buying a book. I love to read and always have a few at the ready. There is something comforting about going into my home office and being surrounded by books – old, dusty, comfortable, consistent friends who are ready to sweep me away on an adventure at a moment’s notice.

    Realistically, if I couldn’t obtain any “new to me” books, I could likely make it through a year… maybe… with serious withdrawls…


  18. softdrink

    I could go for maybe one year with the books on hand…it would be tough though, because some of those are books I started but lost interest in.

    Our B&N has a better atmosphere and staff…for awhile, the Borders was staffed entirely by 20 year olds with multiple tattoos and piercings. Not that I’m against it, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of ummmmm…personality. Or customer service skills. Or book knowledge. Still…Borders gives good coupons, so they still come out slightly ahead.


  19. Sally

    I have a stack that would last about six months.


  20. Alea

    I’m a Borders girl too! And I also have enough books to last me several years, doesn’t stop me from buying new ones though 🙁


  21. Pam

    I have about a six month stockpile. I’m a library girl, and if I buy it I usually read it right away…so I don’t have much book stash.


  22. Lori Barnes

    I have collected quite a few not sure how long before i started getting nervous! I act like i don’t have anything to read I think it’s my inner self planning for the future to make sure i have enough if i can’t go out and get any.


  23. gautami tripathy

    I have a long TBR list. So I will last a long time!


    Here is my BTT post</a


  24. A Soldier's Girl

    I used to buy new books (at Borders!) once a month…then I became a poor law school student & it went down to once a year. Now I am back in the groove…but, I am trying the local library. Mainly because there are a lot of old books I want to read & the library is the perfect place to get them.

    But, I have to admit nothing beats the touch and smell of a brand new book! And I could spend an entire day in the bookstore!


  25. tanabata

    With my current TBR piles (aka the TBR Mountain Range) and factoring in the amount of books I read a year on average, I have enough books to last me a little over ten years!!!!


  26. thisredhead

    I agree that most Borders are better than Barnes and Noble – although I like shopping at B/N downtown better than Border because they’ve got a cafe I can sit in.

    I think if Paperspine closed down (heaven forbid!), I’d start going to the library regularly again.


  27. mellymel

    ditto with Eva – our B&N is so much better than Borders. but my favorite store is Duck’s Cottage in the Outer Banks. even though they are small, they have a great selection – lots i have read, and of the ones I haven’t – i could read them all.
    as for how long could i go without buying new books…probably only 6 mos to a year. although i can’t stand the thought of not having a backlog of books. it makes me panic a little. when we had a snowstorm last year…i went to the library instead of the grocery store in preparation.


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