Commenter Jay B. suggests using Netflix and the library to avoid media purchases. Amen, I say! While I don't plan on getting a Netflix sub, I do love love love the library. We get the bulk of our media there, books, movies and music. I have around 100 items on my holds list most of the time. When a movie I'm interested in is moving from the theatres to DVD, I just pop it on my holds list. Now, yes, sometimes you'll wait. And wait. And ... wait. We just came to the top of the list for Pirates of the Caribbean 3, and that's been out how long? There's the Netflix advantage, a lot less waiting! Still, I don't mind the waiting to save the $20-$30 a month.
There are some movies that I'll still buy. Back before Netflix existed and buying or renting from the local shops were the only options, my rule was, if I knew for sure that I'd watch the movie more than three times, I would buy it. When we got our first DVD player, I was more liberal than I would normally be, because of the novelty of the new form. Wow, a disc can hold a whole movie and special features! I've become a lot more discerning.
Why buy at all? We love to watch movies. We don't watch any broadcast TV. For example, I own the Lord of the Rings trilogy extended editions and I've watched each one at least ten times (yes, that's a lot of screen time). I like owning them, I can watch any time I please, no waiting, thank you ma'am. For the Ocean's Thirteen example, that's a movie I really love (I'm a sucker for caper movies, and add in George Clooney, well, there you go). I've already watched it twice since we bought it, and will watch it many more times.
A couple of years ago, we culled our DVDs and sold the ones we didn't feel we needed to keep. There were some early mistakes, ones we'd bought on impluse when the medium was knew. We just don't do that anymore. We've made the choices mindful.
Those who've seen my bookroom may be surprised to learn how few books I actually buy anymore. Most of my collection was amassed long ago, when I was in high accumulation mode. For the past five years, I've purchased very few books. The ones I do buy are ones I either know I will read again, ones I plan to read in compromising situations (while traveling, on the beach/boat, in the bath). It's worth $.69 to me to not worry about the condition of a book while I'm reading it, and likely, I'll either pass it on to a friend or use Paperback Swap and exchange it for something else.
How do you handle your media purchases? Do you buy or rent, borrow or rip?