Why, in the 21st century, I still Love the Library by Carlene Moore
I walked into the library the other day, breathed in the smell of possibility and went to the shelf to pick up my newest hardcover adventure – for free! I left with a smile on my face and pep in my step. So later that day, when a friend spotted the library tag on my keys and laughed, I launched into a passionate explanation of why I love using the library for my reading needs, despite modern day technology.
1. The library is free: Call me cheap but I feel like I’m constantly handing out $5 here, $50 there, $35 here, $42 there. Because of that, there’s an undeniable joy of getting just what I want for the whopping price of $0. The library provides entertainment, companionship, education, and possibility, FREE of charge. That’s amazing.
2. The library introduces me to new material that I may not have otherwise seen: It’s great that Amazon and other websites suggest books based on my reading trends. But sometimes I want to read outside of my usual box; the library helps me to do just that. Between books
on display that catch my eye – those center displays really are so effective, to recommendations from librarians who are well versed in the best books and newest releases, to the books that jump out at me from the shelves when they’re sitting next to what I intended to rent, I find myself exploring a much wider genre of books.
3. The library holds me accountable: If I read a book that I rent from the library, I have two weeks to get it done. If I read a book that I own, I have a lifetime to get it done. I bet you can guess which circumstance motivates me to dedicate more time to reading. In my to-do list ridden life, that motivation is definitely a good thing!
4. The library reduces clutter in my apartment: My husband likes to buy books, even if he’s read them on his kindle, to put on our bookshelves as a “trophy”. Although I think that the concept is adorable, it makes for some serious space issues. When we moved from Chicago to California, I almost threw my back out moving box after box of books – and getting them in the apartment was just half the battle! We had books coming out of our nightstands, our closets, our bookshelves, our under-the-bed boxes, and everywhere in between before we moved to a bigger place. When I rent from the library, I love the book while I have it but then I return it, and never have to worry about moving it, finding a place for it or shoving it somewhere before company comes. Talk about feng shui.
5. The library is an escape: We all need everyday sanctuaries in our lives. Mine currently are the mountains, the beach, my apartment – namely my naturally lit bedroom – and the library. When I walk into the building, I feel the inspiration, the excitement, the heartbreak, the joy, and the camaraderie of every character in those millions of books. And as I walk through aisles of books where parents are reading to children, college students are studying, young professionals are wildly flipping through page turners, retirees are taking their time, and hundreds of people are searching for just the right fit, my love for reading is amplified more than I thought possible. The power of the written word is so obvious.
I know that it can be tempting to just hit purchase on a kindle or a website, but next time you need a new book, consider your local library. You may just be surprised at how pleasant the experience can be.
Wantrepreneur, wife, adventurer, blogger, wine drinker, avid traveler…in no particular order. Carlene Moore is a Midwestern brain with a California soul. Follow her on Twitter @EverMooreMilest and read her blog here.
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