Hello! Welcome to the borrowed bookshelf.
My name is Shvaugn and I’m a book lover, writer and reviewer from Canada. My main reading interests include CanLit, fantasy, sci-fi, and queer books, but I’ll read just about anything. The majority of the books I read are from the public library, occasionally from university libraries if they’re older. I very rarely buy books these days unless I absolutely loved them.
Why review library books though? Like most people, I am not made of money. I’ve found that among booktubers and reviewers there’s a huge emphasis on hauls and buying pretty new books. And that’s great! I love beautiful books and bookshelves just as much as the next person. But I and many other people can’t afford to buy books regularly. I used to buy tons of new books when I was in high school, but now I’m an adult and have to spend money on adult things, like food, rent, internet, bus passes, and making sure the cat doesn’t starve. If literature and reading is a human good then it should be available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.
Secondly, I read a lot. Like hundreds of books a year when you factor in all the manga and graphic novels. Even if I had money to buy new books, the scale in which I read them means that I’d be spending thousands of dollars each year. I’m also not a big rereader, preferring to rely on my memory. I’ll only reread a book if it really touched me or I might go back to it years later. So my reading habits aren’t very conductive to forming a personal library.
And lastly libraries are pillars of our communities. They provide so much to a wide range of people, from internet access, printing and scanning, books, dvds, programs, storytime and more. The more books you borrow, the bigger their bugets and funding gets because they can prove there’s a need for their services.
But what about supporting authors you ask? Even if you don’t have the money to buy their books new, there’s tons of different ways to support authors and the books you love to read. I request my library buy certain books they don’t already have in their collection, I get books from interlibrary loan, I recommend them to everyone I know and I take the time to review them. And if I can afford it, I do buy them. But money shouldn’t impede people from enjoying books. And an emphasis on new, up-coming books shouldn’t stop us from going back and reading older books.
I review books here on my blog, as well as on GoodReads. I have previously written book reviews for the Charlatan. You can also follow me on Instagram for book and cat photos (and sometimes photos of cats on books), or on Tumblr for book photos and quotes.