I have seen people mention on this site that they utilize their library for books, but I don't think enough people take full advantage of this resource. I never did until recently when my wife took a part time position at our library to give her something to do while she is on summer break for her PHd. I had actually never been in a library that was not associated with a school I was attending.
Most libraries are part of a larger network of libraries that you can pull from as well an even larger network in which you can perform an inter-library loan. My library didn't have a single tpb, but a simple search yielded a plethora of titles available. I have had a bunch of books that I have wanted to read but have yet to come across during a sale. So far, I have only started pulling books for Captain America, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, and Avengers as you can see from the picture. Utilizing the library to its potential will definitely save a ton of money as these are all books that I was planning on buying once I found a good sale as well as keep me entertained whenever I have to travel for work.
Have you ever read an issue that you thought was perfect whether on its own or as part of the story? I have started to read some of the classic Marvel stories and came across the Kang Dynasty by Kurt Busiek. The story itself was fantastic, but issue 49 stood out as perfect to me. ***12 year old Spoilers Ahead*** The overall story is about Kang succeeding in conquering the world. Issue 49 is titled 'There are No Words' and depicts the moment that Kang conquers Earth in a stunning fashion that includes no dialog or sound bubbles. The issue plays out like the scene in an action movie where everything turns for the worse. The scene where gun fire is muted and replaced with a somber overture or you see one of the supporting cast killed while the protagonist can helplessly watch.
The issue depicts Kang as the ultimate strategist as he calmly walks into battle. You get a glimpse that all might not be lost as the Avengers have success against his commandeered Sentinals. All of this is for not as Kang has a futuristic bomb that kills all the citizens of Washington D.C. (Thor had already used Mjolnir to evacuate the President and all the heroes except for himself and Wonder Man). They try to stop the Bomb to no avail.
By itself, the issue may not be perfect. However, when you look at how it factors into the story, it is truly a defining moment and masterpiece. The raw emotion that the dialog free issue provides perfectly depicts the gravity of the story and turns it into the one of the best single issues that I have ever read.