Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Great Wednesday Compare #6- Libraries VERSUS Bookstores


The winner of last week's Great Wednesday Compare (Paperbacks VERSUS Libraries), with a final score of 9-1 is libraries.

Okay, so I'm trying to figure you guys out. You prefer real bookmarks to fake ones, but would gladly use a scrap of tissue if it meant not having to give up hardcover books. However, you'd easily trade in hardcovers for paperbacks, but NOT if it meant the closing down of libraries...whew. But what about bookstores-- if you had to choose one or the other, bookstores or libraries, which would you pick?

Vote in the comment section below before July 14th.



23 comments:

Sandra said...

I can't imagine living without either one of them but libraries has to be my choice in life now. I'm too disabled to be tolerated in bookstores, not to mention that information help is dismally lacking in any bookstore that is not independently owned and managed by the same people.
Cost, quiet, and an eagerness to assist have always been serious considerations that bring me back to the library. They also provide computer time, courses, author readings and events that are community based, and better online services than bookstores. And if I do the appropriate song and dance, they will often purchase books this family wants to read.
We try to keep good writers working by buying their books - the three of us own 3000 books between us. But with 27 local branches, libraries are more convenient, and sad to say much friendlier than bookstores nowadays. At least in these parts. (Hamilton, Ontario if it interests anyone). My vote is for Libraries.

Jules said...

I agree with Sandra, I couldn't live without either.

I'm a proud supporter of Libraries. I'm a Library Technician, so keeping people interested in libraries, supporting them, keeping them funded, open and full of books are a must for me. Not to mention when I live within a 5 minute walk of a library I'm there at least once a week. Best of all it's free! My current public library system, isn't as good as I'd wish it to be. 13 branches (London), and at times not the best selection for my reading tastes (I got soiled in Toronto 99 library branches! Oh My!)

But I also love bookstores. In fact, I'm almost dangerous in them. (Especially independent/used bookstores). Something about getting a brand new book, with the new book smell, and without that mysterious stain you find on the library copies. Not to mention much easier to lose you self in the bookstores selection, and you don't have to wait months on a wait list to get the latest best seller.

Final thoughts/my vote: Bookstores (I like to hoard books)

Chris said...

I'm going with libraries too. I'm trying to imagine not having a library and it's too difficult.

raidergirl3 said...

I'm way too cheap to give up libraries.

(I think we are perfectly logical, and we swing that pendulum strongly when we vote)

Wanda said...

You'd think Dr. Venkman and Associates would have known to keep quiet after a library ghost says "Shhhhh..."!

Though I do buy books, especially as gifts for loved ones, this family would be flat broke trying to support our reading habit without the library.

Jane Doe said...

I'm a book hoarder, plus I'm really hard on books, so I rarely ever use the library except for audio books and book sales. I'm going to have to say book stores.

Becky said...

libraries

carolsnotebook said...

My vote is for libraries. I visit ours at least once a week, picking up things for me and my daughter. And they have movies and CD's, game nights, events for kids and adults.

Oh, and my town doesn't actually have a bookstore - sad, I know.

Jo-Ann said...

Libraries!

Gavin said...

Oh! What a difficult choice. I have to say libraries. I don't know what I would do without mine.

Lahni said...

Totally libraries. I love the library. It's almost like magic. I can see a book I'm interested in reading online, go to my library's webpage, put the book on hold and then go pick it up the very next day - for free! Also, librarians are usually much more helpful than the people working at the bookstore. I find that librarians are usually book lovers while people who work at book stores (at least big box book stores) aren't.

Steph said...

I am going with bookstores, hands down. First off, I like to keep my books, and I like them relatively unspoiled. I also like not having to wait for a book on hold or finding it missing from the shelves.

While libraries are a really lovely privilege and most often a necessity for people as an alternative to spending money on books, I view buying books as more important. I want to support the indies, authors, and pubs more than I feel the need to promote a service too many take advantage of.

But I'm jaded, as you can tell. I've worked in both bookstores and libraries, and I have to say, perhaps it depends on the library. Personally, you couldn't pay me enough to go back to work in the library I was at. Unfortunately, it made me lose faith in humanity! (Thankfully, I've since got it back.)

Melwyk said...

Libraries - totally self-interest as I need to stay employed ;)

Seriously, I love both, but as a community service and a support to democracy I will go with libraries.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Libraries! Absolutely! Bookstores are fine, but libraries far surpass being just a building where you can pick up a book to read. They are one of the last bastions of opportunity for people of all circumstances. Libraries feel like a haven from the world.

Suzanne said...

This is like choosing your favorite child! Very difficult decision, but I am going to vote for bookstores in that most of the time I can find what I'm looking for right away, as opposed to the library where I sometimes need to go on a waiting list for an item.

Unlike political elections, though, I'd be happy with either choice!

Leya said...

I support both of them, but if I had to choose only it would be libraries.

Carrie K said...

Hmm. Libraries are my default right now because I'm broke but I've always patronized both the library and the bookstore.

I'd choose libraries if they were compelled to KEEP ALL THEIR BOOKS.

Can you tell I was horrified the first time I discovered libraries didn't keep their books forever? Scarred for life. And now I check out books randomly, just so that they get some love. Is it wrong that I'm temped to scrawl in red on them CONTACT CARRIE K FIRST BEFORE DISCARDING THIS BOOK.

Remi said...

I'd love to say libraries. Alas, I have a book buying compulsion so I will have to side with stores.

matilda said...

What a horrible choice to make. But a great question.

Much depends on the bookstore. If we’re talking an independent shop owned and staffed by knowledgeable people who love books and readers and who take the time to talk to me and get to know my tastes and who recommend titles I’ve never heard of that enrich me in ways I’d never have guessed – and more – then I’d have to say “bookstore”.

But if we’re talking chains and Amazon and other behemoths intent on taking over the world, then without hesitation I’d say “library”.

I grew up loving libraries and still do. They play an important role in society, and on so many levels, especially where children are concerned. What better way to whet the literary appetite for a lifetime than by early access to [what seems like] an infinite world of free books?

It’s really quite impossible to imagine not having both. However, given what’s happening to indies currently, we may not have the luxury of choice much longer.

gypsysmom said...

John, you're not making these any easier. I'd be lost without either but then I have a relatively good income and I can purchase more than enough books to keep me going. But I probably wouldn't be the reader I am now if it wasn't for libraries. My town didn't have a public library when I was young. Instead we could order books from the University of Manitoba Extension Library. The pages after pages of books that were available encouraged me to read and read some more.

So I'm going to vote for libraries.

Allison said...

Libraries definitely! Although there is something about used bookstores, I'm really partial to those library wheel stools. ;)

Nicola said...

Libraries for me. With my budget I'd have to take up a new hobby if I had to buy all my books!

But I like Carrie's stipulation that the libraries must keep all their inventories or at least check with me first before discarding anything, even magazines, or bits of paper in the archives!

Luanne said...

Hmm, well I work at a public library, so for me that is my first choice for sure. I can find anything I want or need there. I browse the bookstores online, but rarely go into one in person ( maybe that's from working 7 yrs in an unnamed big box book store..)