Until now, that is. I signed up for a library card at my local library, and it’s a whole new world! So many books! All free! I’m loving the library, so today I want to talk about why I finally got myself a library card.
(The pictures are of all the books I've borrowed so far. My library offers SUCH a great selection!)
1. I have no money. Well, more accurately, I’m trying to save up some money. After six years of undergrad/grad school, my student loan payments are due to start in January. Plus I want to start apartment hunting by next summer. I’m finally full-time at work, and I’m trying to save as much money as possible. My book buying isn’t an insane expense, but (depending on the month) it’s $50-$100 I could be saving.
2. Many of the books I buy, I only read once. I’m a huge rereader of my favorite books, but for every one of those there are 10 books I won’t reread for years. If I really love a book I borrow from the library, I’ll buy my own copy when I get the itch to reread it.
3. I’m finally staying in one place longer than a year or two. I put off joining my local library because I only spent about 18 weeks of the year in my hometown. The rest of my time was spent at school where I automatically belonged to the university’s library. The downside to university libraries? Not the greatest fiction selection. Which brings me to my next point…
4. My library has an amazing YA section. Seriously, I wind up with three books in my arms every time I go, and a list of books on my phone to check out next time. Almost every title I want is right there, and if not, it’s in another branch’s catalog.
5. I get a ton of writing done there. During college I did most of my homework in the library. I work well in that atmosphere: few distractions, the feeling of being around other people without having to actually interact with them. I’ve started writing for an hour or so after picking out my books, and I always get more done than when I write at home (usually double the word count).
6. Instant gratification. I’m the person who obsesses over the tracking information on all my book orders (Where is the package at this very moment? Is it arriving today? Must have book now!), so getting to walk out of the library with your books immediately? Kind of a dream. Unless they have to send the book from another library branch, you can snatch it right off the shelf. BAM. Yours.
7. And finally, the library has an iPhone app. It lets you search the entire catalog, renew and reserve books, and check when yours are due. I use it all the time.
Those are some of the reasons I’m loving the library right now. What about you? Do you borrow books from your library, or are you strictly buy-your-own-copies?