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Books That Are Worth The Money

indie ebookstore, basically1) Books you have read already, perhaps via the library, that you know that you will want to reread

2) Books that activate the release of serotonin in your brain simply by the sight of their spines because you love them so much

3) Books with pretty spines

4) Books with pretty titles

5) Books that help define your tastes, opinions, and proclivities to strangers who might be in your apartment and looking at your shelves

6) Children’s books, because you will read each of them ten zillion times until you have them memorized and can rattle them off while walking down the street. “Up! Up! The sun is getting up! The sun gets up, so up with you! Up ear #1, ear #2!”

7) Reference-y books that you can reach out for in times of need, like Bird by Bird

8) Anything by Anne Lamott, really

9) Books by minorities, women, or minority women

10) Books by any author who’s still alive

11) Books by any author who’s still alive and struggling, especially if you are a writer yourself and you believe in karma, or even if not

12) Books that will supposedly “accrue value” like a signed first-edition hardback of the Corrections with a printing error in the first chapter that you got for cheap from a fancy store that was closing

13) Books you wish you had written

14) Books you wish your teachers or parents had written

15) Books your teachers or parents did write

16) Books that remind you of particular times, places, and people in your life

17) Books of essays, because a really good essay will speak to you differently several years later

18) Books of poetry, because ditto

19) Graphic novels

20) Art books

21) Books that remind you that you a sober, dedicated person who can set a task and complete it

22) Books that remind you that you are a wacky hedonist who likes sex

24) Books that teach you to pay attention to detail

25) Your own books — ok, “your own” magazines/journals where your stuff has been published

26) Your friends’ books (you don’t have to read them, but bonus points if you do)

27) Books that remind you of your family, if you like your family

28) Books from church sales, thrift stores, and Free! boxes

29) Books from used bookstores

30) Books from independent bookstores

31) Books from big empire bookstores that maybe once were the bad guys but are now the only guys left besides Amazon

32) Books you want to loan out

33) Books you want to keep forever

34) Books that make you laugh like a donkey, weep uncontrollably, faint on the subway

35) Books that make you jealous

36) Books that help you deal with jealousy

37) Books that teach you how to make money so that you can buy more books and more shelves to put them on

38) Books

39) Any kind of books, really, you can’t go wrong

40) e-books are also acceptable


12 Comments / Post A Comment

thegirlieshow (#5,285)

Yes yes yes. I managed to restrain myself during this weekend’s tax-free holiday/used book sale, but just barely.

Nibbler (#5,331)

All books, because you never know which books are going to become 32) Books you want to loan out.

callmeprufrock (#5,158)

Thiiiiis. So true. I started adhering to Rule #1 in college, where I first experienced the pain of moving all my belongings and realized what a heavy hobby I have.

Christy (#3,892)

YES to (9)! I try valiantly to avoid buying new books by white men. It’s challenging because they’re such a large proportion of what’s published.

I bought my most recent books because of reasons 2, 3, 7, 18, 30, 38, & 39. Also not mentioned here: the endpapers. I have an endpaper obsession, and now I’ve found one that I want to have tattooed on me.

cryptolect (#1,135)

Books in other languages so you can feel a sense of accomplishment when you look at them!

chic noir (#713)

Love this post.

I’m looking to read a book essays by someone between 20-40 years of age. You guys have any good recommendations?

@chic noir Always! I just read and strongly recommended the essay collection BAD FEMINIST by 30-something prof Roxane Gay. Also I have out from the library right now THE EMPATHY EXAMS by Leslie Jamison https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/empathy-exams And then there’s the amazing John Jeremiah Sullivan — try PULPHEAD. Yay essays!

chic noir (#713)

@Ester Bloom thank you. I’m certainly going to read Bad Feminist ASAP. I’ve read a few interviews with the author. I’m really curious to read her essay about reality television. I will also look into the other books you’ve mentioned.


Theestablishment (#7,469)

What about books that have no purpose other than to entertain. It’s so cathartic being able to escape into a story for a couple of hours with no worries pressuring in from the outside.

I’m looking at you, Stephen King.

Also, surely there have to be some violations to #39? I’m thinking about some of those books on ‘leadership in business’ or ‘career success’ or ‘self-empowerment’ that are so trite and condescending that they don’t really end up helping anybody.

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

This is basically my list too.

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