I like big books and I cannot lie. I also like checking books out from the library, like, a lot. In fact, I just returned four books and three CDs earlier today. (Actually, yesterday by the time this blog goes up.) There are a ton of book lovers that buy a load of books and make their own library. Just go on Youtube and type in “book haul”; the result will astound you. I’m definitely not hating on any of those, but I cannot afford to get mountains of books at a drop of a hat. A lot of them bargain buy on Amazon, and Book Depository, and others… (wow, brain fart).
I’m here to tell you why I go to the libraries. Not in any particular order, here they are:
1. It’s free. Need I say more? You don’t need to pay for a card. You don’t need to pay for checking anything out. However, be careful of fines, and remember you can re-new.
2. You can renew. While most libraries give you a movie for one week, magazines and CDs and non-fiction movies and TV show DVDs for two weeks, books and audiobooks and playaways for three weeks, you can call or go in and get your material renewed if you know it’s going to be late. It takes minimum effort, and you’ll get double the original time!
3. Wide selection. There’s a huge selection of new books, movies, CDs, audiobooks, and playaways. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m Indie or hipster or whatever and claim the library won’t have what I’m looking for because it’s new and no one’s heard of it and it’s totally not mainstream. Let me tell you something – they have it. They’re on top of it. They got your back hipsters and mainstreamers.
4. Holds. You can go online, call, or even show up in person and put whatever your little heart desires on hold. And they HOLD it for you. If someone has it already checked out, place a hold and hop in line to get it next. The awesome thing is you can place a hold for things that aren’t even out yet! Real life example here: I heard that the gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is coming out with a book in 2015. My Sunny-loving self went on my libraries website and placed a hold. Guess what. I’m number one, so when it comes in I’ll be the first kid on my block with the shiny new book.
5. Rating. You can rate the books you read and even write reviews on the website.
6. Reactionary. These libraries know, man. If you start requesting things that they don’t have, they’ll know that whatever you selected must be popular (cuz you’re such a trend-setter) and they’ll probably order a copy or two for the collection. They’ll probably order other things that are similar to what you requested since there is obviously a demand for it.
7. ILL. Let’s say you want something, but the librarian or assistant sees that the library does not have it in the collection. Something super cool that they can do is request the material from surrounding libraries! It’ll be sent to your library, and they’ll call you when it’s in.
8. Book discussions. While you may have noticed that I love to write about books, you might not know that I love to talk about books too. So does the library. They’re not all the books that you see Oprah pick out. They’re not all those light mystery novels you see your grandma read. They do ones like Orange is the New Black and Kill Shakespeare and other awesome books.
9. Helpful. The people working there are all willing to help you find just what you’re looking for even if you aren’t. If you come in with an author you like, or a genre, or even a book that you really enjoyed, they’ll find something that you’ll enjoy based on those minimal requirements.
10. It’s free. Just to re-iterate, if you don’t get fines, everything is absolutely free. Even with fines, a lot of libraries let you get away with under $5.
Boom. Find your local library and become the best patron ever. All you’ll need, at least in my experience, is a photo ID and mail to prove your residency. What are you waiting for? Get out there!
Until next time!