I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?
A year ago, I would have told you that I never visit the library and never really have. We went for a few months when I was little, but that was mostly to get movies. When we forgot the due dates for our videos more than once and our mother had to pay the fines, she decided that we wouldn’t go any more. I don’t really remember minding, strangely enough. When I learned how to drive, I started going again because the lure of free books was strong, but I got my license in the summer and when school started again, I had a lot less time for reading, so I stuck with my own books. I’ve since gone sporadically when a new hardcover comes out and I don’t have the money to buy it.
The library in the town where my parents live is small and doesn’t have a great selection. They’ll have several books out of a series I want to read, but they will be out of order and I’m not going to buy a random book in the middle of a series. I also discovered my worst affliction, which is that I always want to own the books I borrow if I like them. I didn’t really end up saving any money, so I stopped going.
This all changed in the fall. First, I got stressed out, so I decided I wanted to read lighter fare like I hadn’t in years. I already know I’m not going to reread any of those books, so I decided for once to start using the public library. The York Library system is great. They have numerous branches and I can borrow from any of them, so I don’t have to worry about not completing a series. I don’t have an income right now, so I can’t really afford to buy unless someone else foots the bill, and the library is a wonderful solution to my problems. I have a mountain range of TBRs, but if I’m looking for something experimental, I have somewhere to go besides the bookstore.
I don’t really think the bookstore has replaced the library. They’ve tried to make it so, but it doesn’t work for me. I’d feel guilty about sitting in there reading a new book that I know I should buy. Most bookstores are more comfortable than my public library in York, though. Too many people use the library for internet and after 2 hours the library charges patrons, so they have computers and thus people everywhere. I obviously love that the library has such a source of income, but it’s much too busy in there to sit and read, and the chairs aren’t even that comfortable. I usually get my books and run.
So, pleasant memories, not really, but I’m very glad I re-discovered the library.