As I believe I’ve said, and as every writer has ever stated, one cannot be a good writer if one does not read. And I love to read!
When Tim and I first started dating (and many times over the course of our relationship) we’d have entire date nights spent at Barnes & Noble. These are some of the best dates we’ve ever had. And though “reading dates” are my absolute favorite, they are also some of the most expensive dates ever.
I’ve run into this problem many times over the years. I’ve tried to temper the expense of buying books by planning to only buy one, but let’s be real, that’s never worked. And no matter how many books I buy, I always end up leaving a bunch behind that didn’t make the cut.
There also isn’t a bookstore anywhere near where I live. So it’s a commitment whenever I want books, financially and time wise.
I found myself in this conundrum last summer when I desperately wanted to read the second book in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. We had zero extra money to spend on books, and even if we did, I’d have to drive quite a ways for a book I wasn’t certain the bookstore would have. Then, I had an epiphany.
The library probably has it!
I went online and found that my local library did, in fact, have the book. Even better, my local library is only 2.5 miles away from my house. The best part is that everything about it is free! (Yes, I know local taxes go to supporting the library.) Bonus fact, I wouldn’t be left with a book taking up space in my house once I’ve finished it.
All of these facts about the library are common knowledge and readily available. Why it hadn’t occurred to me to become a member of the library sooner is beyond me. I suppose necessity really is the mother of invention (or, in this case, of realizing the obvious). Regardless, I ran to the library that day, and within 15 minutes, I had the book I wanted, plus two more to read when I was done.
Now I’m at the library several times a month. It is, quite literally, my happy place. I have access to all the books I could possibly read in a life time, and then some. And if they library doesn’t have it, they can certainly get it, no matter what “it” is.
I think people underestimate the delight that is the library. With Amazon Prime and e-books making access to books easier than ever before, I think the library has become somewhat overshadowed. Being a bibliophile, I’ve never really jumped on the e-book bandwagon, though you can borrow e-books from the library as well. But who among us doesn’t love the adventure of walking through the stacks to find the next exquisite title?
The library makes me happy. And if you love to read, in whatever form you choose, the library will make you happy too. If you haven’t checked out your local library, I strongly recommend you do. You never know, your next favorite book could be there waiting for you.
Do you go to the library? How many books do you get when you’re there? Let me know in the comments below!