On Buying Books

On Buying Books >> Life In Limbo

On last week’s episode of Happier, their guest Ramit Sethi shared his “book buying rule”: “If you’re ‘thinking about’ buying a book, just buy it. Don’t waste time debating. Even one good idea makes it worth it.”

This reminds me of something Seth Godin once said on an episode of the Tim Ferris podcast: “A book is a screaming bargain. You pay $15-20, and you have something that might change your life; you have something that reminds you 20 years later, sitting on the shelf, where you were when you read it. I love buying books.”

It probably goes without saying that I adore these ideas, being a passionate book person and all. But it did get me thinking about why I tend to have resistance to buying books in the first place. I grew up as a library kid – my dad took me every week to pick out new books – and I’d say I’m still very much a library kid today. The idea of buying all the books I want to read seems extravagant and impossible. Especially hardcovers, god forbid!

And yet every week I probably spend the equivalent of 3+ books on going out for drinks or food with friends. Those are great experiences too, but are they screaming bargains? I’m going to go with: no. It’s interesting to observe that I often act like books aren’t worth the money. ME. THE GIRL WHO READS 100 BOOKS A YEAR.

So hearing this book-buying rule opened my mind. Recently, I’ve read a few books (this one, this one, and this one) that in the weeks since, I’ve wished I could go back and reference for their anecdotes and research. And so I think they’ll be the first three I buy with this new rule in mind. Their ideas are worth it. 

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