Growing up, I spent a lot of time browsing the library shelves. Or rather, shelf. The tiny county library branch tucked into a strip mall boasted one whole YA shelf. But that never stopped me from checking out books. And later, when the library branch moved into a larger building, I’d moved onto romance and mystery books, which had entire SECTIONS.
Some time between college and book blogging, I forgot about the library. Book blogging, especially if you stay caught up in the new releases and latest hot titles, makes it easier to forget about the library because it’s all about buying books.
But that’s expensive. And like many, I can’t afford to buy every book I want. (Woe.) For the past year, I’ve been on a book buying ban: only buying books with gift cards I’ve received or on my birthday. (If I can’t buy myself a book on my birthday, what’s the point of having a birthday?) It was a brilliant plan because I could still get books and I was more likely to read the books I already owned.
Then the Great Historical Romance Bender of 2013 began.
I don’t own many (if any) historical romances. So in order to feed my need, I made the trek back to the library. And it was GLORIOUS. I rediscovered the awesomeness of the library and it’s time we celebrate it. Here’s what I love about the library.
1. It’s a building filled with books I can check out for free
What’s not to love?
2. I feel better about trying new books and not liking them
If I try a new book/author/series/genre and don’t like it, no harm done. I simply return the book to the library where hopefully someone who does like the book will get a chance to read it. I haven’t “wasted” any of my money on a book I don’t like. No DNF guilt.
3. I can binge on books
Great Historical Romance Bender of 2013 wouldn’t have happened without the library. I can check out an entire series or author and read STRAIGHT THROUGH. Again. And again. And as many times as I want.
4. It forces me to read
Books you buy don’t have check out limit. Nor do they have any kind of penalty if you hold onto them too long. So those library books? I read them. Otherwise I’ve wasted my time going to get them and somehow that bothers me more than buying books I don’t read.
5. The books come to me (aka I’m a request monster)
I’ve turned into a request monster. Sometimes I do it because the only book available is at a different branch, but sometimes I do it because I want the book and want to make sure no one grabs it before I get to the library. And nothing goes faster than running into the library, grabbing the books waiting for me, checking them out, and going to home to read them.
Plus, I can still request new releases. I don’t get to read them on release day, but I’m okay with that. I still get to read the latest books (Shadowdance and No Good Duke, I’m looking at you) when they come out.