12 Reasons I Am Totally In Love With My Library

 

why I love my library

When I was a wee little anklebiterΒ  I used to go to the library weekly with my stepmom in the summer. My sister and I would always run to the juvenile/teen section and she would go off in the adult fiction area. We would spend hours (well, at least it felt like that as a kid but alas I probably had no concept of time) and I’d come home with a stack of books I could hardly carry (I had a concept for that burning in my arm muscle so that is accurate for sure). I LOVED the library so much. It was my favorite place to go and I always looked forward to the trip — I have such great memories of going.

But then, as I got older, I sort of fell out of love with the library. Some of that was just my decline in reading during my older teens and early college so it makes sense. I only went during college for research for classes. After that it could have been that I avoided it because of the fact I wracked up the biggest fine ever because I lost a really expensive book when I was in my early 20’s. It also could have been because I became a book buying monster when I started blogging in 2010. I RARELY went to my library for the first couple years of blogging but then….unemployment. Unemployment changed a lot of my book habits but it helped me to fall back in love with the library and it’s really stuck as I’ve changed the way I buy books. I loooove going to the library again and have found it great for SO many reasons as an adult.

So let me tell you WHY I love my library so much!!

(Note: I realize how fortunate I am that I have a really great local library system and I realize not everyone does or that not every library offers the things that mine does).

 

  1. I can walk out of the library with bags of books and all my money in my pocket: The most obvious reason but no but really…I love that on days where all I want to do is spend my money that I can walk into the library and come out FEELING that same high without my wallet crying. I mean, I walk out with 7 books…think about how much I would have spent. There have been days that I’ve been stressed or in a bad mood and I always get very spendy on those days so I hightail it to the library and check out books like a bamf with zero of the shame or regret I would have with emotional money spending.
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  2. I am more adventurous because of my library: I think this is because I have nothing to lose if I pick out a book on a whim. I’m more calculated with my book buying habits these days — aka things I know I will love, auto buy authors, things I already loved as a library book/ARC and want to keep. So, yes, I am more likely to grab a genre that I’m picky in or a book that I know nothing about because I won’t potentially waste $20 on a book that I hate. I’d rather reserve that money for books I already love. Plus all that time spent browsing and wandering all the sections helps me to find things that aren’t on my immediate radar of new books.belle-library-dream3. I can check out ebooks and audiobooks easily via Overdrive: I love that my library is connected with Overdrive in addition to having physical audiobooks to check out. Now, it’s a matter of what your library system purchases, but I love the access I have to ebooks and audiobooks. Sure, sometimes the selection is a little lacking especially for the audiobooks I have access to through my library, but I can always find *something*. You have the option to request that they purchase certain audiobooks and ebooks but I’ve yet for them to buy one that I’ve asked for…which is fine because I get that there is budget and they probably need to see need for it.4. The interloan library system is the best: So probably about half the times I want a book it’s not actually at my physical library — which is a bit on the smaller side. BUT I can go online (or I’m sure you can do it in person) and request a book from another library system in our county and 99% of the time another one has what I’m looking for. It shows up in a couple days and I get an email telling me I can pick it up. It’s great because I am not confined just to what is IN my physical library. I can get anything I want and it’s proven to be helpful for less popular books I want or older books that aren’t in circulation at every library or those niche books like dog training books or travel books that I need. You’ll never see me run so fast from apartment to my car to the library when I get a notification my books are in.

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    5. I can read magazines for free: I used to subscribe to a bunch of magazines back in the day but I subscribe to zero of them now and I only buy them at the newstand if I’m traveling or something. But I do get these moods where I just want to read a magazine and so my library is perfect for that. I can go in and read from the magazine section OR, the option I do 99% of the time, I can hop on to Zinio through my library and get magazines on my computer or Ipad. They don’t have everything but there are quite a few I like to read on there.

    6. Library book sales: Buy books for cheap + support this wonderful library that I utilize at least every week!! WIN WIN. I don’t buy as much as I used to, even AT that steal of a price, but I so love timing my visits when they are having these sales to peruse for things I’ve been looking for. Plus I love to find good copies of books I love and give them to people.

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    7. I can get free passes to go to some really great attractions and places of interest locally: I didn’t realize this until a couple of years ago but the library has some passes that can be checked out and used to get free admission to certain some really great museums in Philly, the zoo, lots of gardens. I don’t if lots of others libraries do this but it’s genius and worth looking into to see if your library offers anything like that. I have yet to be able to get the passes when I want them because they are first come, first serve (and in high demand) but I’m hoping to try again soon.

    Arthur and Library Cards

    8. They have a great selection of tv shows and movies (and video games/cds): I can’t believe what a great selection they have — lots of new stuff. I just recently borrowed the first season of Poldark (which was incredible) and I’m always grabbing movies we’ve been wanting to see. I guess I used to think the selection wouldn’t be up to date but oh was I wrong. I don’t utilize the video games and cds but it looks like they have some good selections.

    9. It helped me fall in love with comics: I had been wanting to delve into the world of comics but I was super intimdated by it and also I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg and figure out how all that stuff worked. My library doesn’t have issues but they do have a good number of trade comics either at my library or in the system that I can borrow. It’s been nice because I feel like I’ve been able to delve into the world in a very easy way. Now, sure, I’m not up to date always because obviously the trades don’t come out until a few issues are out but I’m okay with that for now as I discover the world.

    10. It’s a good place to go when I want to focus or when I’m having a bad day: Honestly it kind of just becomes my place when I need to get out of the house. Sometimes I will go and write blog posts there for a different change of scenery or on a bad day I will just drop by and find a cozy chair in a corner and just read for a little.
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    11. My husband gives less LOOKS when I walk in with more books: I mean..sure…there’s still A LOOK. But it’s also accompanied by a “whew thank god it’s just a stack from the library and they will go back and she paid no money for them” realization that tames THE LOOK.Β  Libraries — making husbands of bookworms less stabby since forever.

    frankdisapprove

 

12. Storytime!!!: I don’t know what I would do without the library’s storytime sometimes when I nanny. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. For 45 minutes I don’t have to do the entertaining. And Miss Laura is amazing!!!

 

There’s so many other things I know my library offers — free wifi and computer access, classes, book clubs (which I always encourage people to look at their library if they want a book club), author events, yoga, great database access for research — but I don’t utilize any of those as of right now. Maybe there are even more things they offer that I don’t know about! But I feel like I definitely get a lot out of my library! I mean, I remember times before we could afford a new printer that I was always running to the library to print out resumes or tickets for something.

I’m soooo thankful for my library. Even if I do wrack up the late fees all the time…..

 

I’m curious…..are you an avid library user? What’s your library like? What sorts of things do you use from it?

PS. 8 Reasons I Struggle To Book Down A Book / How Unemployment Changed My Reading Habits / Reformed Book Buyer

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. I absolutely love the library and I love the 12 reasons you’ve listed. I have always been a fan of the library ever since I was a child. My mother would take me there at least once a week until I graduated high school. Even during my college and post-college years, I still use the library. What’s great is that I can take out books, DVDs, manga, etc. without worrying about breaking the bank. I love looking at magazines and also borrowing e-books on Overdrive.

    The interloan system is seriously the BEST! I love it to pieces! My current local library just opened a YA/Teen room a couple years ago and is seriously lacking in books that I am interested in but with the interloan system, I am all set to get most of the books I want. When I was in high school, my library pretty much had everything I needed.

    I am an avid fan of visiting libraries in general no matter where they are located. There is something about walking into a library and finding a book that wasn’t on your radar. The library is magical!!!

    • Yes! It’s just so great to have access to all these books without spending an arm and a leg (though sometimes I make up for that in library fines lol). I’m picky about what I buy these days so it helps with the impulses.

      YES interloan is so great. I can only think of ONE time that no library in the county had the book I was looking for and I know that I could request it and either they would buy it or I think I could get it from another library not in our county. I think that’s how it works. I never did it but maybe some day I will try.

      SAME when I travel I like visiting libraries and bookstores just to see what others are like!

  2. Haha I love this. I used to go to the library all the time when I was living at home in Virginia as well as in New York. But I’ve learned that the Cork City Library in Ireland just really isn’t up to snuff. The building itself is fine, but their selection of books is pretty meh. EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve gone to search for a book (even using their interlibrary system), I haven’t been able to find what I’ve been looking for. :'( Definitely feeling a bit of librarial jealousy over here xx haha

    • Ah that’s so sad! πŸ™ I do feel very lucky all the time about what I’ve got. Not to mention that I also have a library card to the Philadelphia Public Library System so I have double duty basically. When I was little I came from a reallyyyy small town but I didn’t know any different and wasn’t aware of books so I always found stuff/never felt it lacked. I wonder if, as an adult, I’d find that library to have a lot of stuff I wanted. It’s a more rural/kinda poor area and the library is rather small looking at it as an adult. Next time I go to visit my dad I’m going to have to check it out!

  3. I literally love the library for every single reason you’ve listed! I go fortnightly on Saturdays and just love it. I don’t understand why book bloggers seem to under use their local libraries so much. I mean, free books – what more can we ask for? I definitely concur that I’m more adventurous with my tastes in books because of the library (it doesn’t cost a cent or have any risk whatsoever to try something new/unknown unlike buying), and I never would have gotten into comics/graphic novels if it wasn’t for the library having such a large range. And their DVDs and their TV shows and CDs sections too. I stock up CDs like crazy. You can just plug them into your laptop and have them on iTunes forever then – without having to pay a cent. It’s perfect. Not to mention author events and book clubs and library sales. And Overdrive! I love Overdrive. I get a lot of the books I recommend bought – usually within 24 hours! I think it’s because I use the app so often. Not to brag or anything, but I’m probably one its biggest frequenters… otherwise I don’t know why my recs get purchased all the time. It’s just a fabulous set up. LIBRARY LOVE! <3

    • Yeah, I am also always surprised more don’t use them. I know in the beginning of my blogging journey back in 2010 I went spend crazy so I had a lot of books and would just buy what I wanted all the time and then obviously all the ARCs came into play so I have always been drowning in books…but I think in recent years, even though I still am drowning in books coming in all the time, I crave books that aren’t the latest and greatest and my library is where it’s at. It’s a nice balance. Though Will is always like, “WHY DO YOU NEED MORE BOOKS LOOK AT ALL YOU HAVE HERE??” Wellllll they aren’t the ones I want right now haha.

      That’s awesome!! You need to teach me your ways to get the stuff purchased!! I sign up to be notified but have never gotten one. Maybe the ones I want aren’t that popular? Also some of them were YA audiobooks and I wonder if they don’t invest a lot in those bc maybe its not popular with the teens.

  4. This post makes me so jealous! *sobs* I LOVE the library but unfortunately my library doesn’t have the greatest books and it often take months and months for something to come in. I think if my library was just a bit better I would go more and I would be able to expand my reading interests because when I buy a book I normally go for as you said auto-buy authors, books I know I will love etc. Because books are just so freaking expensive that I don’t want to spend my money on just any book! Lovely post Jamie! πŸ™‚

  5. I used to go to the library weekly as a child. I don’t go to the library as often, maybe because it’s different than the one I know and I still have to get used to it. I do go when I need to focus on getting work done. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love libraries for most of the same reasons you’ve listed in your post, especially the one about e-books, but also being able to sit there and relax.

  7. I used to be an avid library user, when I worked at one. With no fines on stuff from the library I worked at you can only imagine how tall my stacks of books got. Once I moved it kind has been hit or miss. For awhile I lived fairly far away from my library and we paid for parking so it just ended up not happening. Now I am falling back in love with it, and for so many of the reasons that you listed. I am currently on a Grisha binge and they had all the books and I was so pumped. The selection isn’t huge for ya stuff. And I need to be less intimidated by the other sections, but I am working on it. I definitely love that I can walk out with so many books that I have been looking forward to (or just randomly picked up) without spending a penny. And…I live within walking distance now!! So once the weather gets nicer I hope I can walk there more often. I love this post so much! Libraries need all the love!

  8. I LOVE the library! It has been one of my favorite places in the world since childhood. I love it for all the reasons you listed – especially the ability to use Overdrive and for saving my marriage. I don’t have the budget to buy a ton of books, so the library is my salvation. I haven’t ever heard of Zinio before, but I just looked and my library has it – so now there’s a new reason to be thankful!

  9. The library is just the best for all of these reasons. My parents used to take me once a week when I was younger and I would also leave with stacks of books. I kind of fell out of the library habit in college too, but now I make weekly trips again! Mainly because I’ve also become more calculated with my book buying, and instead of buying new releases or books I’m unsure about I just request them from the library and there’s no risk. If I hate the book it just goes back and I didn’t pay anything for it, and if I really love it I can buy myself a copy. (I also get significantly less side-eye when I come home with a stack of library books as opposed to a stack of purchased books, ha.) And I love just walking in and browsing the new books section and grabbing something that I might not normally try. I’m really lucky that I have a great library system too. It actually sounds a lot like yours! I definitely agree that Overdrive can be a little lacking sometimes but I still love it.

  10. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ I really do need to get back tiki tart life. And agreed, unemployment has changed my reading habits as well. Tough times but we still have libraries!!

  11. I love the library! I love all the reasons you listed too. I am super lucky because I am actually a children’s librarian, so I get to be at the library all the time. I love being able to recommend books to families and putting on story time each week. My library is smaller so we don’t always have everything right when someone wants it but we do have ILL and some other libraries close by. I’ve always been an avid library lover, but like you I had a falling out with them in college. The town I went to their library was just lacking, but I fell back in love with them during my time at library school and now I am lucky enough to work in one. People talk about libraries going away, but I don’t think that will be for a very very long time.

  12. As a librarian myself, I really think you should share this with your local librarians πŸ™‚ It would absolutely make their day to know what they’re doing right.

  13. Loved this post! I have a few events coming up this summer at some local libraries, including one I think is very close to you!
    This post is such a great reminder that we can indulge our book addictions without going broke–thanks for this! πŸ™‚

  14. I LOVE my library. I visit it at least once a week – usually to pick up books from the interloan system. I rarely browse for books (except for my son). But I reserve books ALL THE TIME. It saves me so much money. πŸ™‚

  15. I was just gushing about PA libraries the other day. Unsure how our state got it so right? Access PA is a godsend. I’m signed up for four different library systems.

  16. You know, it’s funny, but I just realized that I’ve only been back to the public library twice since I stopped working there last year. This mostly has to do with their hours — they’re only open late enough for me to make it after work one day a week. BUT. I’d completely forgotten until now that there’s a branch nearer my house that’s open on weekends! I know what I’ll be doing this Saturday while my dog is getting his teeth done at the vet.

  17. Yaaassss! I love the library so much. I totally know what you mean about not spending money, but feeling like you did. It’s always super therapeutic to go to the library when I’m feeling the need to splurge on books. I’m positive my husband feels the same way yours does about the library, because it really does save us so much money. He still doesn’t understand why I need to check out a dozen books, but at least he doesn’t complain as much!

  18. I LOVE THIS POST!!! I absolutely love my library. I’ve been using the library since I first started reading at 5 years old and I have such wonderful memories of roaming the aisles in the library and walking out with a stack of books. When my parents told me we were moving back to England, the one thing I was super excited about and what helped ease the terrible homesickness was being able to go to the glorious libraries you get in the UK. I go to the library every week and I absolutely love it. I love the variety of books my library has, the inter-library loaning (not that I’ve used it but it’s nice to know it’s there), the amount of DVDs they have available – and just how comforting the library is, really. I feel like libraries are so underrated so THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! <3

  19. I absolutely love my library as you outlined on your list! Overdrive is a lifesaver plus NO LATE FEES!! I grew up in a country were we didn’t have a public library and the university library (it was one of the biggest in Asia at one point, like 50 something years ago) did not really stock up on a lot of fiction books, so I understand what it was like to not have access to books! We did have the local school library but they had outdated books. This was like in the 90s, I’m sure it’s different now.

    But when I moved to California, I WAS BEYOND THRILLED! Plus, when I discovered overdrive… ohhhhhh lorrrrdy, I was reading more and more YA books.

    I go to the library every other week or so, when I check out physical books and I used to hang out there a lot for alone time 😊

    Funny thing is, I was just talking to my husband about volunteering at the library but then I’d have to commit to set hours in a week and my work doesn’t really help with that. 😒 wish this will change!

    Great post, Jamie!

  20. The library is the greatest!!! I was obsessed as a kid and it was really my only source of new books to read. In middle school I would always use the spare time before school and the lunch recess time to wander the library and check out books that I’d finish by the next day. I remember my school librarian calling me his “best customer”, which I quite enjoyed lol.

    Last year I moved to Austin and re-discovered the public library for the first time as an adult, and I am LOVING it. I totally feel your pain regarding needing to buy books but not having the spare money all the time/not wanting to spend money on something I’m not sure I will love. The city library here has a great YA selection actually and if they haven’t had something I’ve wanted to read, they have actually bought the book every time I’ve requested it!

  21. all super duper good reasons to love your library. I love overdrive. Its so easy. My library even lets me check out ebooks through amazon. even easier. love it. Storytime is the best. I wish I could take my little grandson but i work during the times they have it. Sometimes on the weekends they have a therapy dog the kids can read too. He is only 2 so he does read yet… but we like to read to the dog so he can sit and pet the dog. its fun.

  22. I am with you on all of the above. I need to use my library more and I think with the baby coming I will be there more often to save money. I’m lucky because I have a library just a few houses down from me (I live in the country and it’s a tiny radial library of the bigger town one) and I pay to be a part of the bigger library system in the city. I work in the city (it’s only 25 min drive) so I go there more.

    The only thing I don’t know about is if my library offers passes like yours for zoos, gardens etc. I have to check into that. If they don’t I might suggest it. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your library love!

  23. This post makes me smile. Seeing as I work at two libraries I always love hearing other people’s love for their home libraries. I work as a young adult/youth services assistant and the kids LOVE story time. Seriously. I am so glad you are having fun at your local library. Also, who doesn’t love all those free books?!

  24. I agree with you on all of this 100%! I love the library, and I always have since I was a kid. I moved back in July, and I had a great library system at my old place so I was afraid my new library wouldn’t be that great. The library itself is really small, but because of interlibrary loan I can always finds something. The overdrive app does wonders, and is probably one the reasons why I decided to finally get an ereader. Awesome post, Jamie!

  25. I’m definitely more adventurous when picking out books at a library compared to picking out books at the bookstore. Because of the library I discovered the joy of cozy mystery novels, which I definitely wouldn’t have purchased at a bookstore!

    I also love that we can borrow baking supplies from our library. I haven’t done it yet, but I plan to. Why invest in a bundt cake pan that I might only use once when I can borrow one from the library for free?!

  26. Hey Jamie! I totally agree with your point about feeling more comfortable reaching for things out of your comfort zone. I’m so lucky that both my school and local libraries rock, so I’m never without free reading material. In the past year I’ve had this major personal switch to buying books instead of reading them at the library. I can’t pinpoint exactly where this is coming from, but I think that the top two reasons are 1) I want to KEEP the books I love, put them on my shelves and REREAD them later. 2) Bookish Photography is a LITTLE more difficult with the filmy protective cases of library books (although I have found ways around this). I just snagged about 4 books from my school’s library on Friday and I’m so excited to get back into reading things I might not buy. This was a cool post with LOTS of awesome advice for non library goers. My advice? BECOME A LIBRARY GOER EVERYONE. Bye!!

    xox

    -Mary

  27. I just discovered Overdrive too and I’m super excited about it. I prefer to borrow ebooks from the library because I’m horrible at remembering to return my books on time.

  28. Rae Cowie says:

    What a wonderful post πŸ™‚ I too adored my local library as a child, even sneaking into the adult section every now and then and borrowing books I thought were ‘forbidden’. But then I moved location and never got around to visiting my local library until children came along – when it saved my sanity. A selection of free books – no more need to read the same rhyming stories over and over! Then I found the online ordering service, which stocks a fantastic selection of new releases. If my house were on fire, I’d grab my library card first!

  29. Love the library. So many hearts to Overdrive. I’ve been using it since the dark ages. Seriously, you used to have to listen to the books you checked out on your computer–this was before they even had a “send to iPod button.” Overdrive is so much easier now in the age of smart phones. I don’t know what I’d do without my library card.

  30. Your library sounds like heaven omg. It’s a shame really but I don’t have any library in where I live. The only library I have is my school library, so it doesn’t have a lot of fiction books and I have no interest in reading about school subject. Plus I’m going to graduate this year, so that makes me practically library-less!

  31. I have always loved the library, though how much I use it has ebbed and flowed over time. Loved going as a kid!! I started really using it again (aside from studying or doing homework) right after I graduated college. San Diego had a huge county library system and there was one really nice one near my work. Considering I had very little money, it was perfect! And where I live now has an excellent library system! Checking out a new book, esp a new new book, is such a rush, I love it! They’re pretty good at buying physical books I suggest too, which is great. The library has definitely made me more adventurous like you said. And I checked out lots of wedding magazines when I was planning. I need to try the dvd rental πŸ™‚ I’m running out of space and trying to cut down on spending anyway so I’ve been using the library a LOT this year. It’s wonderful. So is this post :)))

  32. Like you, I love libraries. Every library has as different personality, even when they’re in the same local area. I try and borrow as much as I can when I visit, just to keep their circulation number up. I worry about the longevity of our libraries…..

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