As anyone who looks at my list of goals can tell, I read lots of books. I guess that it's something of an occupational hazard of being a librarian ... you get to see all of the new and interesting titles go across the desk and want to read them. Many of the books (especially new books) that I read are from the library where I work. However, I also own 6 very full bookcases of titles at home ... and then there's the cookbooks and the stragglers in boxes and on corner tables ... well, you get the idea.
Basically, I end up buying something whenever I go into a bookstore. A good share of the reason for purchasing for myself is that I want to support the authors that I love to read. I want them to keep writing (and not working anywhere else), and I understand that they need the royalty income to do that. So, if I think that I'll be rereading a book that I took home from the library, I'll probably purchase it.
The other part of buying for myself is that it's my chance to browse and choose titles that I know nothing about. When I purchase for the library, almost all of my decisions are based on a review that I've read. That's dandy, but the trade reviews often have enough plot to color my perception of the book. However, there's a delicious thrill in opening a new book that you know absolutely nothing about and being sucked in by the first sentence. And, yes, I run into duds this way, but I've also found treasures.
Anyway, with the bulk of my reading coming from the library - and, yes, I do observe the due dates - I don't always get a chance to read books that I buy (or get as gifts) in a timely manner. When I started working on my goal list, I had a stack of about 30 titles - both fiction and nonfiction - that I hadn't read. That was just too many for where they were sitting, so I added the goal of reading 15 out of the stack. I finished both the 14th and 15th from the pile last night. They ranged from the memoir of a high school friend's father to light humor to fantasy to history. Even though the unread stack is still fairly high (due to some recent gifts), I think I'd better get back to library reading now ... I've got books due on Monday!