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Do you use your library?

30 December 2008

Libraries are amazing things. I love the St. Louis Public Library and use it all the time. As an author myself, perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but it’s very rare for me to be purchase a book (unless it’s one I’m using for my business or one written by a friend). My first stop is always the library.

When I was a kid, I loved the Walla Walla Public Library. I remember my dad would visit regularly. He’d walk and I’d ride my bike beside him. But I had a difficult time getting my books back on time. In fact, I have a recollection of getting a letter from a lawyer demanding my overdue books (or maybe it was just payment of a overdue fines). I was a little kid, so that was scary.

Anyway, I’ve had a lifetime habit of not returning books promptly. But the Internet has helped a lot. My library, like yours, probably, allows me to renew books online. It also allows me to request them and have them sent to my local branch, which is only a mile from my home.

Yesterday I went to the library and picked up three novels to read over the next few weeks. (First on the list will be Florence of Arabia: A Novel by Christopher Buckley. I’m on a Christopher Buckley kick lately.

If you like to read and aren’t using your library, I encourage you to explore what the library has to offer. In addition to books, you can probably borrow movies and CDs. Many libraries offer online databases for library card holders to use, even from their homes.

If you tend to buy books that you read only once, using the library could help reduce clutter in your home. If you’re trying to develop the habit of reading for pleasure, take a trip to your local branch and browse. It’s as much fun as a bookstore (the variety of books is much better!) and a heck of a lot less expensive.

If you’re not sure where your nearest branch is, you can go to the Department of Education’s Library Finder. Once you’ve found your library system, be sure and check out their website to see what they have to offer. If it’s been awhile since you’ve used a public library, you might be surprised!

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Comments

Janine, I sure use my library! I read a lot of nonfiction, and I was finding myself buying many books that sounded good – but wound up not being as good as I had expected.

Now I check them out of the library first, if possible – and just buy those I really like, and like well enough to want to own. Wow, is that saving me money!

Jeri Dansky Dec 30, 11:32 PM

You’re so right, Jeri. I do the same with non-fiction. If I hear a passing recommendation of a book, I’ll just pop right over to my library’s website to request it. Then I’ll test-drive it and buy it if it’s excellent. The library saved me a ton of money when I was studying for the CPO exam, too!

Janine Adams Dec 31, 09:13 AM

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