I don’t have unlimited amount of money and space at home. Therefore, these are legit concerns for me in shopping for books. Also, as I grow older, I learn from past experience. For example, I won't go to bookfairs no more. Especially, when I found out that those books that I bought in last bookfair have not been read yet. What is the point? For me, I love books in spite of the convenience and my acceptance of ebook. Put the ‘green’ stuff aside that it kills trees to print books and all that for a moment, it is nice to own books. That's why there are even 'fake' books that can be found for decoration purpose. I mean those looked as real with nice hardcover, but actually are blank. However, my experience is that books are one of the bulky and heaviest items in home-moving. The packaging part is easy, but it did take up a lot of space. Therefore, I do have to really think before I buy any books these days.
There are certain categories of books that I won’t buy anymore and I will tell you why. The following is my ‘no-no’ list:
Fictions – I don’t care how big a seller it is, DaVicci Code? Harry Potter? I’m sorry. Don’t get me wrong that I don’t like story books. For example, I did enjoy reading those books from late Michael Crichton back in my college days. Nowadays, other than I won’t have time to read them, even if I do, will I go back to reread them again and again? I really doubt that. So, read them once and they will be useless to me. Thus, it is not economical to buy these books.
Coffee table books – Well, I don’t have a coffee table at home, even if I do, I would put my feet on it rather than stocking these oversize, overprice, heavy hardcopy books. Regardless how nice those pics are, I just think that I can get those pics online. What they can include in one book would never been enough in terms of numbers.
Books with lots of data – Many of these books have data or statistics, they may have charts, graphic, etc. Well, I can get more up-to-date data online and maybe in data format as well, it would be more usual that way.
Tech manuals – Same as the above, data in these books are dated. Technology info these days should be transmitted and stored in virtual world for constant update and easy access. Who will want an user guide for Window 2000 at home this day?
Other types of DIY manual – like cooking, fishing, etc. I can find them online with videos as well. Why bother?
Short articles books – those like collection of blogs, jokes and humor articles. Stuff like that. Same, I can find them online.
That’s said. The books that I really will buy are those that are “re-readable”. Not necessary tools or manual, but more of things that are inspiring and useful. E.g. like Bible, Seven Habits, First Aids, etc, that sort of topics. Not sure if it sounds kind of vague, but still that’s what I’m going for.
Of course, I’m only talking about these are what I will buy for ‘myself’. As a parent, there are books that I just have to get for my son, that’s a different story.