Why We Spend Money on Books (And Not Feel Guilty About It)
Ever since I was a kid, I delight in reading. I took pleasure in perusing hand-me-down textbooks from my cousins; reading the Youngblood section of The Inquirer; and would get giddy with the non-school related books that my parents would occasionally buy for us.
I am so glad to be married to a man who loves reading, too! Though, we have different reading styles — he would jump straight to the parts that interests him while I am more likely to savor every page of the book, even taking the time to read the copyright and dedication pages. Lately, I have adopted his method to prioritize on the sections with content that I need to have a grasp on and speed up reading on the many books that I am currently reading.
When I got pregnant with our firstborn, I began reading to him and would play audiobooks and place one part of the earphones on my belly. It’s a blessing that from his toddler years up to the present, he is so fascinated with books! These have helped him immensely with his speech, reading, and learning as a whole. We have continued the same practice with his little sister.
Read alouds are a must in our household regardless of our schedules and circumstances. We read to them when in bed, while eating, and sometimes while riding in the car. When my son turned 6, he began reading aloud on his own and sometimes, for his little sister. He would always pick up a book when he wakes up, before and after meals, after playing, during his sister’s nap time, and before bedtime. I’m very proud of this habit of his and happy to see that our youngest would imitate his big brother. I told my husband that we should go back to reading physical books just so our kids would carry on with their book reading habit and be their good role models as well. Ever since we got phones that made reading books more convenient for us — we can read while in bed even when the lights are off; read anywhere without bearing the weight of the physical book; get access to online versions of books that we like at a much cheaper price (Hello Amazon!) — we rarely read paperbacks and hardcovers. But, we must spend more time on old-fashioned, page-turning, paper-smelling, bookmarking and highlighting book habits if we want to be good influence to our kids and to lessen screen time for all, us parents included.
Given our family’s fondness to reading, procuring books, old and new, is part of our lifestyle. A stop at bookstores and thrift shops is a must whenever we go out. Grand book fairs make our hearts beat faster so we allot time and money for them.
The annual, week-long sale of the Big Bad Wolf Book (BBW) and the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) always leads us to do intense planning and implementation — making a list of the titles or topics that we want to buy, figuring out the best time to shop, setting our spending limit, and of course, packing meals just to be sure that we can eat on time (what we like and healthy, too) without having to go elsewhere.
Our previous trips to the Big Bad Wolf and MIBF are always memorable for our family. We leave the fair extremely tired with going around the halls and browsing through countless books, checking almost every genre, and doing our very best to stick to our budget, which is really a challenge especially when there’s a vast array of books to choose from at extremely low prices!
On our ride back home, our kids would ask, “Can I open this one, Mommy?” because they couldn’t wait to flip through the pages of their new treasure finds. It’s a lovely sight for me and my husband, seeing how our children immerse themselves and travel to places where the wonderful world of reading takes them. So, yes, we spend money on books and do not feel guilty about doing so.