Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The Liberry!

When I was a kid I LOVED the library.  It was this amazing place you could go and get books to take home FOR FREE!

(I am oh so very grateful to my parents for having a house full of books (I still remember the two giant bookshelves at the top of the stairs, as well as the bookshelf in my bedroom) and instilling a love of reading in me, because I really do love books and reading and I'm glad I do!)

I don't remember when I stopped using the library regularly, but at some point I did, and I would buy books instead (also another pleasure!)  Sometimes at book stores and later at amazon (truthfully, just because of the savings, and I say that somewhat guiltily, I do so love picking a book off an actual shelf and taking it home!)

When I started to have to really tighten up my budget, one of the things I had to let go of, or I suppose, I *chose* to let go of was buying books.  But I still wanted to read, so I decided at some point (last year?) to go through my bookshelf at home and see if there were books I could let go of.

I don't keep all my books, just the ones that I really enjoyed, so my bookshelf isn't all that large, but it's also doubly full... as in each shelf has two books deep... if you picture what I'm saying, so I still have a decent number of books, including a secondary shelf just for childhood favourites.

When I started going through my old books, I realized that many of them weren't that happy or relaxing, or in some really frustrating cases, I'd loaned out one of a series and only had the others left so... no fun to start mid way through.

At some point, I realized that I'd all but forgotten about the library and that I'd never actually been to the ones near where I live, so I decided to visit them.

Now, the library I grew up with is the library I think of when I picture a "library."  I honestly couldn't tell you how big it was but I remember the kid's section and the picture books and then I remember how grown up I felt when I started moving to the "non-kid's" section.  I remember it was on the other "side" of the library and I was proud I had moved on to chapter books and real books.

I also remember card catalogues and the stamps you'd get on the cards with the return date in that little envelope at the front and man oh man I loved libraries as a kid.

When I visited the library closest to me I took in my card and explained that I hadn't used it in years and that I wasn't sure I'd ever used the online system and so they checked my account and showed me how to log in and it's been all go since then!

I also decided to track how much I would have spent had I bought the books I took out on Amazon and so far I'm at $270.  And I know, there's an argument some have made that libraries don't help authors make any money because we're not out there buying their book, but I'm not NOT a book buyer, I just am on such a tight budget that I'm not buying any right now.  And having read nearly three hundred dollars worth of books is an awesome thing to see.

I do, occasionally, get stressed by a book taking too long to read, especially if it's a popular book and I can't renew it so there are some I've had to pass on (until they get less popular) and sometimes a book I want is waaaaaaay full of other people who want it and so I just... hope it dies down at some point, but it's pretty cool to just... request a book online and then get a notification that it's ready for pick up and an email reminder when it's coming due, but most importantly... BOOKS!  FOR FREE!!!

I went to the "main" branch last week and was surprised at how big it is.  I didn't even go through it all, I just was looking for a book and I got lost because I mis-read the numbers and there's like a whole library upstairs and it didn't seem like that many fiction books but like I said I didn't really look around too much, it was kind of intimidating!

Maybe next time I go back to where I grew up I'll stop in to "my" library.  I have no idea if it's been renovated since I left (I wouldn't be surprised if it has) but it would be nice to see if I get that same sense of happy and almost magic that I felt as a kid.

So yeah, I've been getting back to library books for the last while, and my bank account thanks me.  Books are awesome, especially the good ones!  (And I know that "good" is a relative term and that's cool too.)  (Hey, I just remembered I used to track the books I was reading on my sidebar here, wish I'd kept a list of them all!)


Happydog said...

Hey Libraries are great! And as someone who used to work in publishing authors totally get royalties from library books. The library has to purchase them and if I remember correctly they didn’t get quite the same wholesale price the bookstores did. And from talking to authors they’re happy to have people read their books because word of mouth is as useful whether you buy or get it from the library. And did you know you can go to the library website and request they order a book?! I've done this for a couple books that aren’t out yet and they ordered them! So yeah libraries.

Jason Langlois said...

If you turn to your right when you come into the Main Branch, you'll find the fiction section. It's definitely not as large as the massive upstairs non-fiction section, but there's still far more books there to read than I'll ever get too.

The Esquimalt branch has a fairly decent fiction section, too.

Victoria said...

Oh YAY HappyDog that makes me extra happy to hear! YAY!

I saw the fiction section in the Main branch, Jason, and you're right, still lots of books comparatively speaking! Not even sure where the Esquimalt branch is, will go google :)