Yesterday, April 15th, was Tax Day here in the U.S., which means lots of lucky people will get refunds of over-paid taxes.

Whether you’re one of them or not, what would you spend an unexpected windfall on? Say … $50? How about $500?

(And, this is a reading meme, so by rights the answer should be book-related, but hey, feel free to go wild and splurge on anything you like.)

As it happens, I am one of the lucky ones getting a tax return. And it’s a very nice tax return. And I am planning to do a bit of book buying. I haven’t decided yet how much I’m planning to spend on books (certainly not all of it! I just don’t have the room), but I am planning to spend a percentage of it on books.

But for the question at hand, I’ll keep my answer to the suggested amounts: for a $50 windfall, I would probably spend it exclusively on books. I’ve got a long list of books I’m interested in purchasing or reading, so I would probably pick a few books that are of immediate interest to me. Right now it would probably be Drood by Dan Simmons and Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper. Given that they’re both still hardcovers, that would easily eat up the $50. For a $500 windfall, my first instinct is to put the money toward a new laptop computer (mine is 4 years old but acting like it’s much older). So that would be my inclination. But if I were to spend it on books, well, let’s just say I’d go a little crazy. I’d probably use some of the money to purchase new releases at the area Borders/B&N, but I would also spend some of the money at the two used bookstores in my town (to my knowledge, neither carries new releases). As for what I would buy, I would probably try to fill in some of the gaps in my classic literature collection. Most of what I own or have read of the classics is British or American (with the occasional trip to France and Russia), so I’d like to kind of expand my horizons a bit.

I would probably also donate some of the money to a reading or literacy-based charity. Whether the work is done here in the United States or elsewhere, I think literacy is essential to making the world a better place.

What about you? What would you do with a monetary windfall? To see other answers, click on the image above.