If you follow me on Tumblr, then you probably know how much I use the library. I work there every Thursday and I come home with at least one book every week. That may not seem like a lot, but when I'm trying to read my own books, it seems like a lot. Ask my boyfriend; he is progressively rolling his eyes every time I bring a new book home from the library. I currently only have nine books on hold at the library. Notice the "only" there. I had about 15 at one point and will probably be adding more soon.
But why do I love libraries so much? Why do I choose library books over my own most of the time?
1. It gives me ambition to read the book. I know that sounds really weird. It probably doesn't really make sense. But when I get a book from the library, knowing that I only have three weeks to read it, I get excited to read it and I want to read it right away. If I have to read a book in a certain amount of time then I will read it a lot quicker than when I know I can set it down whenever I want. I have a few of my own books that I've been trying to read for weeks now but always seem to just set it down because I know that I can.
2. It gives me incentive to treat books better. Confession: I'm not very nice to my own books. I dog-ear. I eat right over them. I bend back the front cover. If I've had a book for over a year and I've read it more than once, it probably looks very well loved. I've been known to highlight in very few books. But still, highlight! I toss books around. I find them under beds. I have used books as coasters. I am not good at taking care of my own books. Using library books reminds me that I shouldn't do some of these things with books, and I've gotten better at not doing some of these.
3. Even when I don't have money for books, I can still read new books. I have quite a few books. Not nearly as many as other people I've seen, but that's okay. I don't have a lot of money to spend on books right now. But I do have a well used library card and it allows me to get tons of books FOR FREE. There are so many books at my library that I would like to read but may only read once and would rather spend the money I have on books that I'll read more than once.
4. I have stepped out of my comfort zone. Before my senior year of high school, I was all about YA. That's all I looked at and all I read. But then my senior year, the school librarian shoved a mystery book in my hands and said "try this" and I was hooked. For years, mystery was my main focus. I occasionally read something else, but mystery was what I wanted to read the most. I used the school library to get me more mystery books. The librarian gave me recommendations and I sucked myself in to the world of mystery. Earlier this year, I moved to a different city that has a HUGE library (the one I work at now) and there are so many books to choose from it's almost stressful at times. The YA section is better than any section of any library I've been at. Thanks to Tumblr, I went back to YA. I didn't give up on mystery, but I stepped out of the comfort zone and read more YA, non-fiction, and chick lit/romance. Instead of going to a bookstore and spending $20 on a book I MIGHT like, I go to the library and pick up a book I might like and if I do, then that's awesome! I stepped out of my comfort zone and found a book I like! If I didn't like it, then I'm glad I didn't spend money on it! It's a win/win for me.
5. It's just a nice place to hang out. Don't get me wrong, I love laying in bed at the end of the day and reading a few pages. I love sitting in my chair and reading for a few hours a day, but my favourite place to read is at the library. It's quiet and everywhere I look is books. I can take my stack of books and sit in a big comfy chair upstairs and just read for a couple hours. No one judges me, no one pays attention to me, and I can just focus on reading.
What about you? Do you spend hours a week at your local library? What are your reasons for why you love the library?