When I was growing up the library was my favorite place in the world I spent most of my summer vacations at the local South Branch library, reading my way (alphabetically, of course) through the children’s section and, once Ms Cook the librarian decided I was old enough, on through a curated portion of the “grown-up” section.
Fast forward a few decades to when my son was little when we spent countless hours at the local library, progressing from story-time and picture books, to chapter-books and beyond. I still have his very first library card – a bright-orange card with a signature on the back that only one who had given birth to him could decipher. I didn’t bother getting a library card of my own at that time, since I always had his with me. Someone perusing the library records might have wondered why a six-year old was checking out romance novels, but no one seemed to mind.
Since that time, other than a period when I was doing research at my university library a number of years ago, I haven’t set foot inside a library for longer than I can remember, unless you count my own house which does, I’ll admit, bear a striking resemblance to a library.
What with free books from conferences, BookBub, and the like, along with inexpensive paperbacks that I have no problem encountering when I’m shopping (and I like to buy them to support the authors that write them), I have no lack of readily available reading material. I probably have enough at hand to keep me occupied for a year or two at least.
But every Thursday, Jenny Crusie has her “Good Book Thursday” post where people talk about and recommend the books they’ve been reading. A number of the books that have caught my attention in those posts seem to be out of print or at least I am unable to easily find them at a price I’m willing to pay for an unknown-to-me author, no matter how good the recommendation.
Enter the local library, where I took myself to last weekend and got a shiny new library card all of my own!
Libraries have changed a bit from the old days at the South Branch. Among other things, there are now computer stations and you can check out DVDs and even board games. There don’t seem to be as many books either, although maybe that is because the local library here is big and airy, where my old branch library started out its life as a two-bedroom one bath house.
One of the main differences, however, is the availability of eBooks. Now I much prefer a physical book to an eBook, but I can hardly deny liking the convenience of logging into the library website, finding a book I want to read, and having it delivered straight to my Kindle app so I can start reading without ever having to leave the house (or put on shoes).
How easy is that?
The first thing I checked out was the steampunk adventure Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, the first book in her Finishing School series. A random friend on Facebook has recommended her stories to me several times and, after I met Gail in person at the last RWA conference, I decided it was high time to give her a try. The book was a great fun and I was disappointed to find out that the library doesn’t have the rest of the series (yet). Fortunately, there’s always Amazon.
I’m looking forward to trying out a number of new-to-me authors, courtesy of the local library – when I’m not working on my own books, of course. 🙂
So, do you tend to be a book-borrower or a book-buyer?
While you think about that, here’s an inviting reading space, to get you in the right frame of mind.